Almost to the halfway point!


What does this mean, the halfway point?

Well, simply put, I’m almost halfway to my goal of having enough money to buy ISBNs to publish Portal to Gaming, The King and Queen of Wands, and The Sons of Thor in print and audio versions. Granted, things at work are not so grand on the work front, but they’re starting to pick up. I’m hoping to have everything underway in time for the Christmas season. If not, well, I’ll still get the process going. In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing, keep promoting, and keep working. I may even apply to work at Barnes and Noble. Wouldn’t that be a hoot!

Also, I’m going to do what I can to start my convention circuit for next year. I know where I hope to go, but some of this is up in the air and for some, the registration deadlines are closing in fast. For some, I definitely would like to have booth space, which is where having a traditional publishing house backing me would be nice. However, I will also be content to be an attendee and speak with people that way. I even have plans to cosplay as my own creations and established creations from various favorite fandoms. Which characters will be the surprise. I enjoy the idea of being a fan as well as an author and being approachable. For those I can’t attend in 2016, there will always be 2017. We’ll see how things go in terms of dates, selling out (for tickets), and finances.

In the meantime, I want to organize an informal meet-and-greet here in Tulsa for Friday, November 13 from 3-8 pm. Nothing fancy, nothing spectacular, just a way to meet people and to talk about my books. I’ll even read excerpts from all three of my publications. Location will be announced in the next couple of days.

That’s it for now. Ravensrealm will not write itself!


Portal to Gaming promo entry – Kindle, NOOK, and Smashwords


Portal to Gaming:

“Welcome to Portal to Gaming, the largest company in the gaming and entertainment industries. Here, we pride ourselves on offering our clients and players once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We offer a wide range of options, from fame and fortune to epic, high fantasy adventures, and at prices anyone can afford. Whatever you wish for, we can make it happen so stop on by today and talk to one of our friendly staff members to see how we can serve you. We can turn your dreams into reality.”

Fen Willows has everything going for him – the only child of two universally renowned alien archaeologists, Farold and Victorie Amie Willows, the chance to join them in their field, and two of the greatest friends in twin brothers Daniel and Wolfgang Evans.

However, for Fen, life isn’t challenging. On the heels of a break-up with his boyfriend, he turns to the gaming simulators of Portal to Gaming, one of the planet’s largest entertainment and gaming companies. It’s all for fun, anyway, right?

Fen’s life is turned upside the moment a stranger approaches him and challenges him to a fight. From there, strange phenomena follow him, haunt him, and turning everything he knows to be true inside out. Desperate to keep people from thinking he’s crazy, Fen keeps the truth to himself, suffering in silence.

Add into this, unknown to him, is the threat of the Salmorians, an alien race at war with Earth and her allies, to his life. His parents have been harboring secrets, ones the Salmorians know about, and they’re about to change the course of the war, and Fen’s life, forever.

Portal to Gaming is a science-fiction/fantasy blend novella set in a distant future. It is the first story in the Arc of Fantasy series and available on Kindle, NOOK, and Smashwords for $3.99

New: About the Stories/Social Media Links – Updated with New Blurbs


Portal to Gaming
“Welcome to Portal to Gaming, the largest company in the gaming and entertainment industries. Here, we pride ourselves on offering our clients and players once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We offer a wide range of options, from fame and fortune to epic, high fantasy adventures, and at prices anyone can afford. Whatever you wish for, we can make it happen so stop on by today and talk to one of our friendly staff members to see how we can serve you. We can turn your dreams into reality.”

For Fen Willows, his current dream is to not have such a boring life or a broken heart. On the heels of a break-up with his boyfriend, Fen takes to the virtual reality simulators of gaming giant, Portal to Gaming. There, he tries to forget his troubles and loneliness until a mysterious swordsman shows up and turns his life upside down. The lines between fantasy and reality start to blur for Fen, but there is more. Feelings of unease hound him after his encounter, sensations he can’t explain. Unsure of who he can really tell, Fen keeps his thoughts and emotions to himself.

Not all is as it seems, though, and the new twists in Fen’s life are the only hints of what’s to come. Greater powers are at work, and Fen is only one of several people in the heart of the conflict.

Book One in my Arc of Fantasy series. Available for $3.99

The King and Queen of Wands

For the Gods of Asgard, their twilight is drawing near. Loki and his son Fenris have broken free of their bonds and will lead their Jotun enemies to them in one final glorious battle.

Only Loki never shows.

Disturbed by the Trickster’s lack of appearance, Odin and Thor set out to find out why.

Zeus is living the good life. His reign as the King of the Gods is flourishing. Warm weather, an abundance of food, a beautiful Goddess as his Queen – life is good.

Until Hermes announces there are trespassers in the sacred groves of Olympus, and they’ve stolen from the Gods. A man, a woman, and a wolf, and the two are not mortals. Curious and determined to bring them to justice for trespassing and thievery, Zeus goes after them with Artemis and Athena.

Loki is hungry.

For centuries, he’s lain bound to three rocks, a poisonous snake hanging over his head. For centuries, he’s watched his wife, devoted Sigyn, stand vigil over him, holding a small wooden bowl to catch the poison and keep the pain away. And she’s told him something that changes the course of his fate, something that’s more important than revenge on Asgard for slights and insults and the deaths of his sons.

Available for $2.99

The Sons of Thor
They were supposed to be having the time of their lives on the biggest gaming adventure ever. After all, nineteen-year-olds Daniel and Wolfgang have just received the best news imaginable. They’ve been chosen to be among the only five players to participate in Portal to Gaming’s Arc of Fantasy pre-game launch, something they’ve wanted since the epic gaming adventure was announced.

Only something’s gone wrong. The twins are now stuck in their virtual reality where the situation has gone from fun and make-believe to very real, very quick, and dangerously so. The only way they can go home is to embark on the very real quest of facing King Lopt’s twin-headed fire wyvern, a creature no one has ever slain. The Salmorians, the alien race at war with Earth and her allies, chase after them, intent on killing them, and they’re not the only enemies hot on the twins’ trail.

Little do the twins know they’re undertaking a journey of great and dangerous significance, one that will change their lives forever or kill them in the process. The race to the fire wyvern is on!

Book 2 in the Arc of Fantasy series. Available for $3.99

Social Media Links (Arc of Fantasy page)

Call me quirky


Today is the day I admit to a writing dislike. Today I voice my displeasure over the marketing label of “New Adult”.

Now some people might read those first lines and wonder why. After all, to them, New Adult is a legitimate label and geared towards the twenty-somethings of this reading world. It’s needed, much like the labels of Middle-Grade and Young Adult.

I have to say I am not convinced by such an argument. I don’t usually like to rain on other people’s parades, but, in my eyes, “New Adult” is a marketing gimmick, one designed to try and target twenty-somethings who don’t really need to be targeted at all. Coming of age stories are nothing new in the world of story-telling. Such stories have been around since mankind developed coming of age rituals designed to take a person from childhood into adulthood. Over the centuries, the rituals have changed, as is to be expected with the expansion of knowledge and technology. People in “civilized” societies no longer marry at the age of twelve nor do they send out fifteen-year-old boys to slay some mighty creature like a bear or a wild ox. Childhood has expanded to the age of 18, where nearly every person struggles with an idenity crisis as they transition from moving out of Mom and Dad’s and finding themselves in a more liberating and yet constricting lifestyle. Free to make your own choices, free to make your own mistakes, but bound by responsibility to actually take care of yourself.

My childhood was in the 1980s, my teen years in the 1990s. In the 80s, the “New Adult” label didn’t even exist. It was simply college students gone wild and done mainly in film. Otherwise, there were no books marketed towards the twenty-somethings because, by the time they reach their twenties, the twenty-somethings are already established in their reading habits based on books they read as children and teens. By the time I was 16, I had already read authors like Dumas, Asimov, Bradbury, Eddings, and Tolkien. I was getting into authors like McCaffrey and King. Heck, by the time I was 12, I’d already read Poe and loved his work. I loved ghost stories as a child. I find me a good one, and I’ll read it. Thanks to Tolkien, King, and McCaffrey, I really adore well-written fantasy novels. When I started to buy books for myself, as a teenager, I sought out the fantasy novels. In my twenties, I was no different (but had expanded to non-fiction, spiritual works). I didn’t need an area in the bookstore with the label “New Adult”. I already knew what I liked to read and went to those sections. And, yes, I had also read middle-grade series like the Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, and the Baby-Sitters Club, but had moved on by the time I was 13.

Some of my likes, as a reader, are definitely influenced by what I was exposed to as a child. I’ve mentioned before I grew up watching the original Star Trek series, the Star Wars and Star Trek movies, Battlestar Galactica, Clash of the Titans, the Never-Ending Story, the Superman and Batman movies, and the Transformers cartoon series. An ex-boyfriend of my mother’s introduced my brother and me to The Lord of the Rings while my stepdad told me about Asimov and a work of Bradbury’s that I enjoy.

All of this has influenced me in what I choose to read and what I chose to read by the time I hit my twenties. My sister, who just turned 19 at the beginning of September, is established in what she likes to read. She and I may not have the same exact tastes when it comes to reading, but she does know what she likes and she goes out to buy it. She, too, does not need the marketing label of “New Adult”.

And here’s one other thing about the “New Adult” label that I really don’t like: They’re also characterized by the main genre the author has chosen. A romance story is still a romance story, no matter what the age of the characters happens to be, no matter what obstacles they face are, be it in their twenties or in their thirties. A detecticve story is still a detective story, despite the age of the protagonist. Substance abuse problems transcend age. Slapping the marketing label of “New Adult” makes no difference.

Also, I’d like to point out this, much to my chagrin.

The Twilight Saga is a series geared towards teen girls. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. The author intended for the book to be read by a very select audience when she chose a teenaged female protagonist caught in a war of vampires and werewolves/animagi. And yet, I know women in their twenties, thirties, and forities who have read these books, read them and went completely gaga over these books. I know teenage boys who have read these books and enjoyed them. To me, this is proof that a story can transcend a marketing label. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson have done the same thing. One of my classmates from high school reads a lot of junior/middle-grade/young adult fiction so she can help such readers find the right books.(She has a cool job. She’s a librarian.)

To the person who finds a story to be good, the age of the characters, the targeted audience does not matter. That person, irregardless of his or her age, will pick that book up and read it anyway. This, to me, makes the label of “New Adult” completely irrelevant. If I want to write about twenty-somethings, I will write about twenty-somethings, but I will not market it as “New Adult”. I’ll market it as the genres the story is supposed to be, be it Romance, Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Science-fiction, or any combination that the story truly encompasses. If I have a specific target audience, like the middle-grade and young adult audiences, I will label the stories as such so people know that such stories are meant for a specific age group and thus are potentially safe for such readers.

But themes . . . they transcend age, and they transcend genre. You don’t need to be labeled as a “New Adult” reader or writer to enjoy a story about twenty-somethings.

And that’s my two cents.

A recent facebook post


Yesterday, I posted about the one character I’ve had the most fun with in writing. That character has been Loki Laufeyson.

For some of my closest friends, I am certain this does not come as a surprise. I started my research into the Norse God of Mischief shortly after catching myself up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2012. Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki, along with some of the fantasy SyFy movies, prompted me to start Frost Giants for a NaNoWriMo project.

Here is the original post from facebook:

“The character I’ve had the most fun with in terms of writing is . . . Loki Laufeyson.

For some people, this might not come as a surprise. Thanks to the Marvel movies, I’ve been in complete adoration of the God of Mischief, have even done some profiling on him and why he would do the things he did to bring about Ragnarok.

As a fictional character, Loki certainly is NOT two-dimensional. He does have his own agenda, and he will lie to your face about something. However, I have discovered he lies for a variety of reasons. Either the characters he’s encountering are not being honest with themselves, or he’s taken an oath of some kind and been sworn to secrecy. Loki is quite serious about the oaths he takes. He may disagree with the reasons for secrecy, but that also doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand the reasons. He just doesn’t have to like them.

Of course, he will find wiggle room, push the boundaries of his oaths, so long as the oaths have loopholes. Loki will not do what you expect him to do. You can’t pigeonhole him. He doesn’t like it. If he needs to be a villain, he will be the villain. If he needs to be the good guy, he will be the good guy. He is certainly devoted to his wife, Sigyn, as much as she’s devoted to him. He is a deity, a character who is honorable for the sake of honor itself. He has his own brand of wisdom that could rival Odin if he weren’t so playful in nature. And there is a certain amount of camaraderie between the Allfather and the God of Mischief when they get together. Remove the layers of anger, hurt, and betrayal, and you have a duo that is near unstoppable.

Love him or hate him or be indifferent to him. Just remember he’s not meant to be a two-dimensional character. Respect him as a character, and you will have loads of fun and enjoy the ride he takes you on.

Now, I have had fun with other characters in various stories of original and fanfiction material, but Loki deserves the spotlight for today.”

Part of this has been brought on by the release of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, which I reviewed a week ago. Some other things that had bothered me was the ages of Loki’s children with Angrboda – for those who don’t know, Fenris is the oldest, not the youngest. The couple’s daughter, Hel (or Hela) is. My brother pointed it out to me the oldest stayed in Asgard (Fenris), the middle child was sent to Midgard (Jorgmungandr), and the youngest to Niflheim, or Helheim (Hel). The easiest way to remember this is where these realms stand on the World Tree of Yggdrasil.

Anyway, I admit that the biggest disappointment (but not entirely shocked by this, either) is the two-dimesional aspect Rick is applying to Loki, to all of the Norse deities, really. And I’m sure that’s going to sound odd considering how much I have enjoyed the Percy Jackson books. (As most fans know, Athena has children, which actually goes against her nature of being a virginal Goddess. Granted, she isn’t conventional in how she conceives her children, she remains a virgin the entire time, but some people have taken offense on Athena’s behalf that Rick has done this whereas, considering how he explained her having children, I had no issue with. However, that’s just me.) My biggest thing is I had already anticipated Rick’s move with Loki.

Of course, my feelings about a chaotic, unreliable character is that they be unpredictable, even to the author.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy where Loki as a character takes me. I will also say this: Reading Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard has helped me to define and solidify some rules I’m establishing for my own Norse YA series. I look forward to that particular endeavor!

Until the next time, my friends!

Book Review: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – The Sword of Summer


Some people might be thinking it’s way too soon for me to be writing a book review a few days after the book was released.Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan hit bookstores on Tuesday, October 6 of this year. I can guarantee you that, yes, it’s entirely possible for me to be writing this review now. I munch on Rick’s books in about eight to twelve hours, based on the number of distractions. His latest offering was no different.

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