• Tag Archives Storms Of Transformation Series
  • New Dystopia, Cadáin’s Watch ~ Live on #Amazon for #Kindle

    After two years of work, Cadain’s Watch (Storms Of Transformation Series Book 3) has been published! This is the final installment of my dystopia.

    Cadain’s Watch is a near future dystopia. It is set in America, 10 years from now.  You can find the Kindle version on Amazon.

     

    For folks who would rather not read Ebooks, the paperback is coming soon, so stay tuned.

     

    Below is the Cadáin’s Watch Book Trailer.

     

     

    For reflections from an early reader, check out this post from Book Horde.

     

    I was sent a review copy which I just started reading and I am really impressed by how much the writer has grown since the first book, Tears of Paradox, which I reviewed last year. My main complaint about the first book was that we were too much in the characters’ heads and as a result the pacing was erratic and at times confusing.

    Cadain’s Watch does not have that problem – the characters are continually in action and the narrative flows briskly. This is great because it allows the writer’s talent for creating characters that feel intensely really come through.

     

    Thanks to all my friends and readers for your support! I hope you enjoy the book.

     

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    Free Short Story ~ The Protest

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  • Tears of Paradox #FreeKindle Giveaway ~ A Success!

    My free book promotion for Tears Of Paradox got over 1700 downloads.

     

    Thank You

     

    This was the best promotion I have ever run, and to everyone who decided to take a chance and download Tears, I’d like to say Thank You!

    For those who open the book on their Kindle someday and decide to give it a try, Thank you, too!

    For all of my friends who tweeted, shared Facebook & Gab posts and helped spread the word, Thank you!

    To vm, blogger at Bookhorde who placed my book in a Valentines Day post, Thank you!

    And finally, to the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance, Thank you! The placement of Paradox in the CLFA February Booknado helped more people find my book.

    I hope readers like the book and the entire series. 🙂

     

    A note for new readers.

    My books are near future dystopias told from the POVs of Catholic/Christian characters. On Amazon they are categorized as Christian Fantasy and Futuristic Christian Fiction in addition to other categories.

    But my books are not what many Christian Fiction readers might be used to. I made it a point to model my characters on what I see and hear every day from my own husband, family, and other working class people. We are devout Catholics, yet my husband is not a saint.

    I have read that much of Christian fiction forbids any use of swear words (even mild ones) and sometimes the characters are not portrayed as gritty sinner types.

    If you downloaded my book and find that it’s not what you thought it would be, I hope you will give it a try anyway. I explain my thought process and the time I spent agonizing over the way I portrayed my male characters in a blogpost I wrote. Click here.

    But back to the question at hand. Should we or shouldn’t we write characters who actually do and say the things we ourselves do and say? My answer is: How could we not? After all, we are following Christ for a reason. We are all sinners. If we weren’t we wouldn’t need Christ. What good would it be to write characters who don’t sin and struggle? After all, if they were perfect they would have much less need of Christ’s light. I’m sure some folks would disagree with me, and of course that is their prerogative, but I must admit that I like a certain amount of true to life grittiness in the fictional books I read. This includes books with Catholic or Christian themes, precisely because such works show the world realistically.

    IMO writing realistic characters can actually be a boon. If Jason had been a choirboy while getting ready to begin serving overseas during the Global War On Terror, it would have seemed fake, fake, fake. He had just left the girl he loved behind and his future was uncertain. Such a man, though a believer and even a sporadic churchgoer, simply wouldn’t have not gotten drunk at least once, and probably many more times. The same goes for Brad, a student of pharmacy in Memphis TN. A product of the times, living in an old dump of a house with a bunch of roommates. Of course Brad sowed wild oats.

    However, during the course of the book, times begin to change. It is made clear in early chapters of Tears Of Paradox that both Brad and Jason were given a moral upbringing in the Catholic Church. Though they did drift away for a time, they found the “world” to be not of their liking. This makes their ultimate return to the Faith and Jason’s treatment of Michelle all the more satisfying. When Brad finally marries he too becomes a changed man, in part because of his faith, even though he doesn’t see it at the time.

     

    monstrance and Blessed Sacrament

    By the middle of the book both men are married to women they love and treasure, and Jason, due to his struggle to cope with circumstances beyond his control, is spending time in Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament.

    Such a transformation — from lady killer to a man relying solely on Christ — would have meant much less if Jason hadn’t been portrayed as a sinner. And in fact, he continues to fall and fail and ask for forgiveness throughout the series. I use the word transformation deliberately. Tears of Paradox and The Notice are part of The Storms of Transformation Series. As usual there is irony, or perhaps paradox, because not only is America being transformed, but the characters are as well.

     

    Above is my outlook on things.

    Again, thank you to all! I’m feeling pretty good today, knowing that 1700 potential readers have a copy of my book on their devices.


    For a sneak peek into book 3, Cadáin’s Watch, check out the book trailer below. 

     

    Now, back to work.

     

    Related Post:

    Patience

     

     

    Check out the free preview of The Notice, above. 🙂


  • Cadáin’s Watch is Available for Preorder!

    What a great bit of news to report! Cadáin’s Watch, the third and final book of the Storms Of Transformation Series is available on Amazon for kindle preorder!

     

    cwkindle_fotorfinal

     

    Above is the cover, designed by author and graphic artist Kia Heavey.  I am thrilled with the book cover. It really stands out, and allows readers to know what is contained between the pages.

    And, I designed the warrior-angel Cadáin myself. This was no small feat, as I was almost a beginner in photoshop. However, the angel finally turned out the way I envisioned him.

    On another note, according to feedback from an early reader, Cadáin’s Watch can be described as a “stand alone” book. Readers need not have read the first two books in the series to enjoy the third.

    And fans of Tears Of Paradox and The Notice will not be disappointed in Cadáin’s Watch, so please order your copy today!

    To preorder Cadain’s Watch (release date March 14), please click here.

    And to my friends and readers, thank you for your support of my work!

     

    Thank You

     

    Related Posts:

    Title for Book 3 Announced!

    Update on Book 3, Cadáin’s Watch


  • Latest On Cadáins Watch

    A quick progress update on book 3 in my series, Cadáin’s Watch.

    I am still revising the first draft. I’m 2/3 of the way finished. That’s actually not bad for me, since I admit I am rather slow and methodical in my work.

    I wish I were a faster writer, but I’m not. I wish I were like the roadrunner.

     

     

    Instead, I’m more like a turtle, slow and steady.

     

    turtle-861085_640

     

    So here’s another update, just to let readers know that I am still working hard. Stay tuned.

    owl-158414_640

     

    Related Post:

    Cadáin’s Watch ~ First Draft Finished


  • Update on Book Three, Cadáin’s Watch ~ First Draft is Finished!

    This was me on Saturday after I wrote the words: “The End.”

     

    Doing the Happy Dance !!!

     

    Finally, after almost 18 months of planning, research, outlining and writing, the first draft of Cadáin’s Watch is finished.

     

     

    Above is one of favorite quotes, from Audrey Hepburn, a terrific actress who was the epitome of class.

    Though it took many months, I’m finally finished, and have begun revisions!

     

    6cc2d9175d5b2b15156525ba6166db6a

     

    Above is a bible verse that has applied to me through this project.

    I am very grateful to God for getting me this far, and I trust that He will enable me to keep going until I can publish the book!

    Thanks so much to all of my supportive family, friends, and readers, and also to my writer buddies for your support. 🙂 It means more than you will ever know.

    I need to get back to work now, on editing and revisions… I will update readers periodically, and I look forward to revealing the book cover when the time is right.
    In closing, I’ll share the new book trailer for Tears Of Paradox, Book 1 in the Storms Of Transformation Series.

     

     

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    Book Reviews for the Rest os Us: A Step by Step Guide

    I Wish You Peace

     

     

     

     

     

     


  • Quick Update on Book Three, Cadáin’s Watch

    Here’s the latest.

    I am nearing the end of the first draft! Whoot!

    I have a few loose ends to tie up regarding characters, and then another big scene to write.

    And then I can write the words: The End.

    After the first draft is finished, I will revise it (I have already begun this process in my spare time) before sending it to my friend/feedback gal, Kia, who will tell me the truth about what is good, bad or indifferent, and suggest some changes.

    When Kia has finished reading I will consider carefully all the advice given, and make changes before sending copies to beta readers.

    All of this will take some time, but will result in a quality book to end the Storms of Transformation Series.

    In addition to the above, I am going to overhaul my website to make it stand out.

    Readers, I thank you all for your interest in my work, and your patience and support during the writing of book three. It has taken longer than I expected, but I promise it will be worth the wait.


  • Update on Cadáin’s Watch

    My last update on progress was published back in March. (Click here to read).

     

     

    I’m happy report that my tiny grandson thrived in the NICU, and went home with his parents two weeks ago. He now weighs 6 pounds. (He weighed 2 pounds, 13 oz at birth).

    Isn’t he darling? We are so happy and thankful to God for him. 🙂

     

    Baby Grandson

     

    During the past couple of months, work on my manuscript has been slow but steady. I have managed to average around 4,000 words per week, in addition to blogging and attempting to create my vision of Cadáin, the warrior angel, in photoshop.

    I had the image of the warrior in my mind and set about finding him somewhere on the internet. I looked all over Deviant Art to find artwork that I could lease or buy, but I had no luck to speak of, so I decided to make my own angel. He’s in progress and the going is slow. Still, I’m learning a new skill.

    If my artwork is acceptable to me when the book is ready to be published, it will be on the back cover of the paperback, and if I find that I’m not happy with my creation, it will never be seen by anyone but me. (And the few trusted family members and friends who gave me their honest opinion that it stunk.)

    Now, back to the manuscript. Today I outlined the last few chapters of the book, and after months of planning and outlining, and a year of writing during every spare minute, it’s getting close to being finished.

    As I said in the post linked above, I have learned not to set deadlines. They are counterproductive, and my use of them most likely made the writing of this book take longer than it it would have without them, because I get too stressed. At the thought of a deadline I freeze like a deer in the headlights, and sit with my fingers poised above my laptop, worrying about whether or not I will finish on time.

    Without a deadline, I sit down to enjoy writing and end up with finished chapters. So I can’t say when the first draft will be finished, but I will say it’s getting close.

    It will be a great day when I finally finish this book, but also a little sad. It’s the final book in the Storms Series, and I’ll miss writing about Michelle, Jason, Brad and all the other characters. Still, the time is fitting for this series to end.

    My characters have been through a lot over the past seven years since I began writing my vision of a fundamentally transformed America. I have also been through a lot, since some of the scenarios I have written seem to be on the verge of becoming reality, or close to it.

    Writing a near future dystopia during this particular period of time is not something I would recommend to everyone. You need to be calm when news stories appear that mimic what you wrote a few years earlier. Sometimes it’s not easy to remain calm, and I end up in a puddle, trying to drag myself back to my computer so I can finish this series before America becomes something it was never intended to be.

    But lately I have a little hope. Maybe things are getting a bit brighter. My characters have survived, and America, though demoralized, tired, battered and bruised, has also survived this transformation that some of us didn’t ask for. We can never go back, but perhaps we can learn from our experiences.

    Cadáin’s Watch will be finished and ready to be published sometime before the November elections, unless another family crisis occurs. The grace of God was responsible for the entire project, since I never set out with firm plans to write such a series. Though I did have dreams of writing as a child, I never pursued them until the idea for Michelle came to me in the summer of 2009.

    So, I think I’ll keep working as hard as I can, and readers will have the book when the time is right.

    I will write another update when the first draft is finished. And then… the revisions begin.

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  • Photo-Blog ~ Running as Therapy and Inspiration

    I began running 7 years ago. It’s therapy for me, and also a source of inspiration for my writing. Yesterday’s run was exceptionally beautiful, so here it is, captured in photos.

    When I began running 7 years ago, I usually went to nearby parks and ran laps. This was because I was a beginner, and I needed to develop stamina. But running the same laps over and over quickly became boring, no matter how pretty the parks were. I needed a change and a challenge, so I began running in White Clay Creek Preserve, 5 minutes from my home by car. Actually, I can, and have, run to the park from my home. This occurred while I was training for the Delaware Half-Marathon, when I had to run 8, 9 and10 milers on weekends.But I’m training this year. I’m too busy writing the last book in The Storms Series to train, though once the book is published (I’m shooting for May), I may decide to train for a fall race.

    The linked article has the history and a map of the area. The park is huge, and encompasses acres of Pennsylvania and Delaware. There is quite a bit of history. I grew up in the area, and sometimes I take it for granted. However, it must have been hiding in the back of my mind, since the park is featured in the Storms Series.

    Yesterday’s run began at parking lot one, the closest to my house. I clipped on my old iPod shuffle and began running on the Penn-Del trail, listening to Bruce Springsteen. The trail runs along an old railroad bed. The trains stopped running back in the 1940s. To my left was the White Clay, running slowly, and to my right was a swampy place, with cattails and other stalky grasses. Beaver are building a dam here. Again, it’s strange the way this park figures into my writing. The railroad bed and the beaver are mentioned in book 2 of my series, The Notice.

    About half a mile down, the trail takes a turn to the left, leaving the swamp behind, and continues next to the White Clay. For the next mile or so I ran along the trail, stopping at intervals to take photos.

    White Clay Creek Preserve creekbank White Clay Creek, Pennsylvania Fall in Pennsylvania Landenberg, PA

    IMO, this Fall has been exceptionally beautiful. The foliage is bright and clean and colorful, without a hint of drabness. 

    Running next to the creek is soothing and therapeutic. The iPod’s volume is on low, so the running water filters through, along with the sounds of birds, squirrels and the leaves crunching under my feet. It smells good there. I lose myself in visions of scenes I want to write. The music also inspires. If I get tired I shuffle the iPod until Santana begins playing, making me run faster. (IMO, no running playlist is complete without Santana’s Jingo).

    Finally I emerged from the trail onto Sharpless Road, an isolated country lane. Nearby is London Tract Meeting House, also known as Ticking Tomb Church, because of the legend of the  Ticking Tomb. Please click the link for the legend, and a possible connection to “The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. The area was  the home of Native Americans of the Lenni Lenape tribe until it was sold to William Penn in 1683. (The church and the plaque commemorating the sale of the Indian lands to Billy Penn is featured in another scene in The Notice).

    Once on Sharpless Road I turned right, away from the church. I hadn’t run up the following hill since last spring, so I decided to try it.

    uphill

    I didn’t make it. I slacked all summer long, and I didn’t have the stamina to run to the top, so I power walked. My goal is to run up this hill the way I used to by the end of the month.

    Here’s the view from the top. It’s always worth the pain of the hill.

    Landenberg, PA

    I continued on this isolated road, one of the prettiest in Landenberg. Cornfields were here until recently.

    Country Cornfield

    Landenberg, PA

    At the bottom of the first hill two hunters had parked. Deer hunting is permitted in the park, both archery and shotgun. My husband still gets his hunting license every year, however, he doesn’t go out like he used to. When my children were young I felt like a single mom at times, due to his habit of spending every late afternoon deer hunting. He’s a pretty good shot with bow and arrow. We always eat the deer he shoots.

    These days there seems to be an outcry against hunting, and sometimes, hunters. It’s rather frustrating. I’ve seen comments online referring to people like my husband, son and brother-in-law as “rednecks.” People seem to believe the hunters are dangerous. Um… excuse me? This is country life. If you don’t like country ways, move back to where you came from. In the seven years that I’ve been running regularly in the park, never once have I been scared by a hunter. Not once. I’ve seen plenty of hunters of course, but I’ve never felt threatened in the least. The only people who have ever frightened me are dog owners who ignore the leash rule. I was even bitten once by an unleashed dog. Unlike some dog owners who seem to think rules are for other people, the hunters are considerate of others. I trust the hunters much more than the dog owners.

    After passing the spot where the hunters had left their trucks, I came to the smaller hill on Sharpless Rd, and began running up it.

    Landenberg, PA

    This is one of my favorite stretches of road, since this is the place where the idea for the book that would ultimately become a trilogy came to me while running in July of 2009.

    While running along after praying the Rosary I was at a loss as to what would become of America. I felt terrible sense of fear and dread at the thought of Socialized medicine and other such threats to freedom. Again, this was in July, and the fields were full of corn.

    White Clay Creek, Landenberg, PA

    It was here that the idea exploded, just as I crested the hill. The tops of the corn blades were visible through the trees at the top of the bank, and by the time I was on the other side of the hill the idea was firmly planted in my mind. I went home that day and began writing about a young pregnant woman hiding in the corn, and my life was never the same.

    Sharpless Rd. Landenberg, PA

    Above are more fields which will, most likely, be sprouting corn next April. Then I came to the end of Sharpless Road and turned right.

    The Flats,Broad Run Rd., Landenberg, PA

    The Flats, Broad Run Rd.

    Above is the last stretch of road, nicknamed The Flats. I have a vague memory of hearing that it was once used for drag racing, way back when.

    Of course, like so many landmarks near my home, the Flats also made it into the Storms Series. By the time I got there I was feeling tired but also renewed. Like I said, running is therapeutic, especially with so much beauty to gaze upon while doing it. And it’s also inspiring. The combination of running, music and the White Clay Creek just do it for me. I feel like the words will come bubbling to the top when I sit down with my laptop.

    My run ended back at parking lot one, below. I’ll be going back tomorrow for more therapy and inspiration.

    White Clay4


  • Title for Book Three Announced!

    The title for book three in the Storms Series has been long in coming.

    I have never found it easy to assign titles or names to projects, large or small.  This has been going on all my life. It was difficult to choose titles for term papers and other schoolwork. It was hard to choose names for my children (in fact, my husband and I simply couldn’t agree on ANY names. We were lucky to have finally compromised, and even luckier that our children, though they may not exactly love their names, at least do not actively hate them).

    I even found it hard to give names to my quilts. And make no mistake, some quilts, such as the Broken Lone Star quilt on my bed, are very difficult to make. The seams must match, the fabrics and their placement must be chosen with care in order to  showcase the various rows that make up the stars, and a quilting design must be chosen to showcase the masterpiece. Most quilters choose names for their quilts and make special labels that are sewn on the back, so their descendants will know who made the quilt, the year, etc. But not me. The Lone Star quilt took me over a year to piece and hand quilt with a fancy feather design, yet it doesn’t have a name. Someday one of my grandkids may inherit it. Maybe whoever it is will give it a name and sew on a label. But I was just too lazy, or maybe I just didn’t care at the time. (I still may name the quilt. It’s not too late).

    Lone Star Quilt

    But books are different, and not only because they can’t exactly be published without a title. I must admit that with the exception of my children and family, my books are what I’m most proud of. I am still marveling that they exist, and that they were created by me, with God’s grace and help, of course. (And the help and support of friends, family and gracious professionals in the independent author/publishing community).

    So the title of book 3 was long in coming. It needed to be just right, in keeping with the themes of the Storms Series and building on the previous two books. But the title finally showed itself, and I am excited. It’s perfect for the final volume in the Storms Series.

    So here it is, everyone. The title of volume three of the Storms of Transformation Series is: Cadáin’s Watch.

    Cadáin is an angel. 

    Readers may remember Cadáin from books one and two, though back then he didn’t have a name. The first time his name appeared was in my blogpost detailing the music that inspired each of my characters.

     

    Above are Robert Plant and Alison Krauss performing The Battle Of Evermore (Led Zeppelin), which inspired the character.

    Also called the Battling Angel, Cadáin makes himself known to Jason with the appearance of flickering, ethereal light, light that always remains just out of Jason’s perception. With the light comes the voice of Cadáin, speaking to Jason in a voice only he can hear, warning him to stay on the right path, the narrow path, the path that will lead him to Christ.

    Meaning of Cadáin.

    As readers know, Catholicism is a big part of the Storms Series. The characters aren’t all Catholic, but the majority are. Prayer is something interwoven, just a part of each day. Jason’s prayers, the formal ones, include the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Michael is a warrior. He is the patron of firefighters, police, and soldiers, among others. Cadáin is under the command of Michael.

     

    St. Michael the Archangel on Horseback
    Icon ~  THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL “VOYEVODA”  by an anonymous Russian icon painter. Public domain image.

    There are different images of the Archangel Michael. Some are not to my taste, simply because they don’t communicate the image of battle in my mind. They show a blond St. Michael driving a sword into Satan, who is always underneath. Of course this is perfectly acceptable, however, I like to think of a more fierce warrior. 

    The name Cadáin can be roughly translated from Gaelic to mean son of a warrior, or little battle.

    1. CADEN: Irish surname transferred to forename use, from McCadden, an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cadáin “son of Cadán,” henc“little battle.” 

    Since the angel is under the command of Michael, (who is a being created to serve God, and who takes orders from God) he must follow Michael’s orders. And Michael follows God’s orders. In the Storms Series there is no attempt to hide spiritual warfare. As I see it, we are constantly engaged in spiritual warfare, and I believe battles for the souls of men and women are raging in the heavens as I write this. Cadáin (pronounced KAY-den) has been given orders to keep watch over certain men, namely Jason and his family, friends and others. The angel has a bigger presence in book three. He watches, waits and warns. He is a guardian, but even more than a personal guardian, he is a warrior.

    Archangel Michael Statue, Kiev, Ukraine
    Archangel Michael statue in Kiev, Maidan Nezalezhnosti square. Kiev, Ukraine, Eastern Europe.
    Photo Credit: Mstyslav Chernov

     

    Above is the only photo I could find with a Creative Commons usage that might possibly convey my image of the character Cadáin.

    Even the statue above is not quite my vision of the character. But readers will form their own vision of Cadáin, a being who chooses, always, to do the will of God. The angels in my books do exactly what God commands, unlike human beings who sometimes defy Him, whether we mean to or not.

    A fierce and protective warrior is what I’m imagining. A sword wielding guardian, a sentinel, a being who keeps watch, and a warrior. The first  draft of Cadáin’s Watch is halfway written. It has an element of fantasy more pronounced than the previous two books, in the character of the Battling Angel. Stay tuned.

     

    St-Michael-the-Archangel-framed