Monday, June 12, 2017

Heat

Yes, I've changed the look of my blog again. Purple and black together is my favorite color combination, and they've become my signature colors as an author. I wear mostly those two colors too, I even have purple laces and black sneakers, as well as the black hoodie with my pen name embroidered on it - which was a gift from my husband's mother and youngest brother.

ANYWAY...............

Summer is officially here! The lupines and lilacs are in bloom, the black flies are fading into mosquitoes, and the humidity is through the roof. The air conditioner in the bedroom has been running all night too, and the fans around the house are set up and running full time.

Despite the heat and humidity, I've been plodding along in the first round of edits in "Dream On". It's not going that well. It needs a *lot* of work, from areas that are too wordy, to others that are so bare bones, one doesn't know what's really going on. My writing itself is inconsistent, it's all over the place. I know I can do better than this - think Stricken - so it's really annoying me.

It may need a full overhaul before my betas even see it.

If they ever see it. I have to finish this once over, and see how I feel after the next round of edits later this summer.

Fourteen is still on the "shelf" right now. I haven't opened that one in a couple of weeks, it's been determined that I am still burned out somewhat. I'm not allowed writing until I either figure out how to fix that one, or I have a new idea hit me. Hopefully I'll be able to start making notes in a couple of weeks.

We have this week and next week of regular classes for my son. This is the last year he'll be going every day right up till the end. Next year is the start of exams... Which I am not looking forward to. He hates tests, and does better if the questions are given to him one at a time unless it's math. Then he excels and really shows off.

I'm still going to the track, although things kind of went sideways for a bit. I wound up in the ER recently, due to food poisoning. I don't remember much of the first three hours or so after the intake and getting an IV put in (I was dehydrated) but the last two and a half hours are clearer. It was the sickest I had ever been in my life. Not even chicken pox topped that, and I had a horrible case of it when I was twelve.

I am back to my normal, silly self, after a full week of recovering. I wound up sleeping the entire day after coming home from the hospital (they didn't admit me) and rested a lot after that.

I am still doing a full kilometre (2/3 mile - four laps of 250 each) when I go to the track. I will be upping the distance slowly over time, once I don't get winded from what I'm doing now, or any weight loss has become noticeable. My clothing is starting to loosen a bit, but that could be me losing a lot of water weight too. I've cut out a lot of salt again, and that's always a huge help.

I'm also on a new medication for my lifelong condition. It's helping so far! I'm feeling a lot more like my old self on it, which is awesome... And things are finally starting to balance out again. I love that stuff.

My plans for the summer? I hope to get "Dream On" completely cleaned up at some point, and maybe with a little luck, figure out how to fix Fourteen. There is a solution to both, I haven't found them yet, that's all.

I will also be going to the track at least two or three times a week, either with the guys or on my own, and with a little luck, Son and I may go swimming at the lifestyle centre's pool a few times. Swimming is a great cardio exercise, but for me it's also fun. If I had a choice, it would be all swimming or bowling for an exercise regime. Since I can't do it all of the time, walking at the track it is.

Have a lovely week everyone!

I leave you with one of my favorite songs by LIVE, "I Alone". Enjoy!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Journeys

It's been a weird couple of weeks at the Allison residence...

Saturday was "ROAD TRIP!" day... Hubby, Son and I drove along the shore toward the more westerly parts of the province, and finally wound up in Barrington Passage, and Cape Sable Island - one of the most southern parts of Nova Scotia, and therefore Canada, second only to Ontario's peninsula that is nestled between Lakes Ontario and Erie to the east and Lake Huron to the west.

I got a lot of great pictures, including the new profile photo here... That one was taken at Hunt's Point Beach in Queens County. I'll share a few in a bit.

I've been getting out of the house more. A lot more. I've started going to the local lifestyle centre, to use their walk track. I've been doing a full four laps of 250 metres - 1 full kilometre (2/3 mile) - in one session. It goes around the top of the skating/hockey arena in the complex, which is awesome. It's climate controlled, and cool even in the summertime. Best of all? NO BUGS. I can do as many laps as I please without getting bitten or stung by some bug that decided I was in their way. I can do my kilometre in about 13 minutes walking normally, 11 if I really rush it.

Since I sprained my ankle last Tuesday, I'm not allowed doing my laps around the track until it's better, and that's taking a while. *SIGH* So the alternative is swimming, which involves the whole body, not just the legs. It won't bother my ankle either - it will probably strengthen it, if memory serves.

I'm just going nuts not being able to go. I'm starting to enjoy it and seeing if I can beat my record. Blah.

At least the ankle isn't broken. That's a silver lining.

As for the writing, I've been given strict orders to take a break from it. I've been told I'm starting to burn out... Plus I'm also agitated that it's not being written as fast as I want it to be, so it's either take a break or lose it completely.

I didn't even open Word the last two Fridays. I went to the track one writing day, spent part of the day in town, and spent last Friday upstairs reading in front of the air conditioner with my foot propped up with ice packs.

I'm over halfway through my goal of reading 25 books this year. At this rate, I may have that beaten by the time August rolls around......

Since I want to keep my brain into writing somewhat, I've been looking through the rough draft I finished back in February. I'm thinking I can get a jump on getting that one's revisions started so I can get it to the betas sooner rather than later.

Photos from our trip to Barrington Passage...

Hunt's Point Beach, Queens County, NS.

Summerville Beach Provincial Park, Queens County, NS.

Lockeport Beach, Shelburne County, NS.

Path along the dunes at North East Point Beach, Cape Sable Island, NS.

Cape Islander fishing boat on its way toward Barrington Passage, NS.
Taken on the Causeway between Barrigton Passage and Cape Sable Island.

White sand glistens in the sun on North East Point Beach, Cape Sable Island, NS.
Barrington Passage, Shelburne County, NS.
The crazy, vertically challenged geeky rocker chick with a dirty mind.
Taken on Hunt's Point Beach, Queens County, NS.
As you can see, we had a great trip. I was exhausted by the time we were on the highway for home, and slept most of the way, but it was worth it. I had forgotten just how gorgeous the scenery is along that part of our amazing little province, and I can't wait to go that way again.

I hope everyone has a great week... I leave y'all with one of my favorite Aerosmith songs of all time, "DREAM ON". Enjoy!


Monday, May 8, 2017

The Best Thing With Fries?

I used the title because it's something that's currently happening on my Facebook author profile right now - we're discussing what's best on French fries. I'm seeing a lot of the regular stuff - ketchup, mayonnaise, gravy, salt, pepper, and vinegar - but I'm also seeing a few things like honey-garlic sauce, sweet and sour sauce (my son loves that), ranch dressing and mustard, to name a few of the more exotic condiments. I'm considering trying a few of them sometime. I can have some fries, just not a lot. Too many carbs in them... Moderation is the key. ;)

I've been busy again - writing, editing, debating revisions, and promoting STRICKEN - so that's why I didn't post a blog entry last week. No new banners were created, although I'm starting to think I should make a few more, both with the paperback version and the e-book version visible... Possible photo shoot? I'm not sure.

Fourteen is coming along, even if the progress slowed down a bit. I think I have to do a few more revisions, like stretch out the time between things again... It's moving too fast, and I think I did something a little too EARLY... If y'all know what I mean. So I'll be looking at that this week or next week.

Things are going good. Word about Stricken is getting around, and people are showing more and more interest. I've noticed a lot of my local pals are getting the print on demand paperback version of it, and that makes me feel good... Even if they never read it. Just buying a copy to show their support is more than I can ask for... Thank you everyone!

Since Stricken is showing up on Goodreads, I finally broke down and signed up - as an author. I thought I may as well do it, it's another way to be more accessible to my readers and possible readers, plus it also helps promote the book, and any more I get published in the future. 

If you want to follow me on Goodreads, my author profile is here:


I've already answered a few of the general questions asked to all authors, but I'm also open to new questions from fans and followers at the moment... So if you're on there, feel free to ask me a question related to Stricken or one of my future books. 

I hope everyone's having a great May, and not getting eaten alive by bugs... It's not exactly nice out there in my area of Canada right now despite the sunshine and warm temps. Too many bugs in my opinion!

I leave y'all with "IMMORTALIZED", the title track from Disturbed's 2015 album... Enjoy!


Have a great week everyone! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

"She May Be Evil", STRICKEN on GoodReads and More!

It's been another one of "those" kind of weeks when you don't think your drunken squirrels are going to line up, but they actually do.

First of all, I would like to thank my favorite hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, for a phenomenal season, and an amazing run in the playoffs. They may have been knocked out in the first round, but at least they made it this year... A year or two ahead of schedule. That's fine. I was so happy to see them do it, and prove they have the firepower to make it in... Washington was a tough team this year, and I think my boys did a wonderful job getting two games out of the six they played, one in Washington.

Enjoy the off season guys, you deserve it!

Writing update...

Last week wasn't a good week for me. My lifelong conditions acted up big time... But I still managed to get another 3K added to the current WIP. I'm now into Chapter Nine, and closing in on not one but *two* huge key scenes for the mains.

It's still almost writing itself. I'm also having a lot of fun finding out what flies out of my fingers as I type, because sometimes I don't plan on the "filler"... I just write. If it's crap, it's crap. I can always revise it!

STRICKEN is now available pretty much everywhere you can purchase e-books. It's available for Kindle, Nook, Mobipocket, Kobo, and a lot of other e-book formats.

Here's where I know it's available - other than Amazons around the world and eXtasy Books' site.....

Apple iTunes (iPad/iPhone)
Barnes and Noble (NOOK)
Google Books (various formats)
Google Play (various formats)
Kobo (Indigo Books' ebook format)
Smashwords (various formats)

It's also listed on Maniac Readers and finally Goodreads, which I thought was really, really cool!

Don't forget it's still available as a print on demand paperback from Amazon.com!

Thank you so much to all who have purchased a copy so far!

Here's the updated banner for my Facebook author page...


I also made this poster just for something to do.


I'm getting more and more proficient with GIMP each time I use it.

Lastly... We finally have *news* from Whom Gods Destroy about their upcoming (and highly anticipated) new album, FAR REACHES... It IS coming out sometime soon, they are finally finished the producing, etc, and have sent it off to be printed. I will alert everyone when I get word it's available, and I will tell everyone where to get it.

The guys also released their third official video today, for "SHE MAY BE EVIL". I watched it and it's pretty cool. Lots of fire. It suits the song.

Have a great week everyone. I leave you with the official video of SHE MAY BE EVIL by Whom Gods Destroy, from their upcoming album, FAR REACHES...

Enjoy!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Promise of Spring

Another week has passed... And it was a pretty good one.

I reread the "updated" version of the parts where I removed the flotsam and it looks great for a rough draft. So much better with things cleaned up and back to focusing on the mains instead of that bloody tangent.

I've more than made up for that 6K of flotsam that was removed from it too... This week saw me hitting 3700 words, and that was in less than four hours of writing on one day. 

I'm now back in the middle of chapter eight, and we're seeing another huge turning point for the mains. Several have happened in the last half chapter or so... More than I anticipated. That's what happens when I write by the seat of my jeans instead of plan... 

But that's when some of the best scenes come out too. Stricken has one particular character that was written in on a whim, and they turned out to be a huge catalyst for the mains in that story... I'm not saying who it is publicly. Anyone who wants to know will just have to purchase a copy of Stricken to find out... And then guess which supporting character I'm talking about. 

I know, I'm evil. 

I've given up on setting word count goals for now... If I get any writing done in a week, I'm happy. My best friend thinks I'm pushing myself again, which is making me sick and she's worried I'll burn out if I keep pushing myself to get this manuscript's first draft done by the end of June. 

So even though I do not like it, I'm not setting a deadline to have it finished. That way I don't panic and stress myself out if I don't have it done by the time school gets out for the summer. It'll be done when it gets done. I'd prefer to have it finished so I can set it aside all summer and not worry about it while I look over "Fugitive Dreams", and see if that one is okay as is with a ton of edits, or I need to do a full rewrite on it. (I hate rewrites for the record!)

It's either do that or get hit with a virtual frying pan. I'd rather not be knocked silly, thanks... 

I hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend... Don't overdose on chocolate!

I leave you with "She May Be Evil" by Whom Gods Destroy, which is going to be on their upcoming album, "FAR REACHES", due out later this year. 


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Well, That Was Different!

It's been another wild week at the Allison residence...

We had another snowstorm Tuesday night into Wednesday, and although schools were open in my county, I decided to keep our son home to be safe. I had been getting reports from local pals on Facebook about how slippery things were even close to town, and that was the final straw.

Son didn't mind. The laptop is set up in the living room and he has his gaming console as well as portable gaming systems, plus tons of books. He was happy he didn't have to go out in the cold.

This past week saw a major change in things regarding the current manuscript in progress. I was going to try writing on Monday but was stalled in a spot, and couldn't figure out why.

I took a long look at it, and realized I was adding too much flotsam, and was going in a zillion tangents. I talked it over with my best friend and a couple of others, and decided to remove all of the passive areas, or spots where I wasn't focusing on the two mains and their journey.

Close to 6K was removed, over a full chapter. Instead of showing certain things, I only mentioned them briefly, and decided to go with a single two page, 1100 word scene, as well as a quick, three or four paragraph update later on for that particular "line". 

It looks and reads so much better! Yeah, I went from being in the middle of chapter 8 to in Chapter 6, but it's worth losing that much junk to get things right. It's better that I caught it now instead of having a beta reader catch it, right? 

I made up for it... Yesterday was a 3100 word day. I wrote up the "certain things" part, which was a catalyst for a *huge* breakthrough for the mains. The breakthrough scene went a lot easier than the catalyst one - I have my reasons for that, but I'd rather wait to say anything publicly. My beta readers and a few select others know, and they're sworn to secrecy. 

I know exactly how the "aftermath" scene is going to play out, from the POV to everything else. I just have to find the time to write it...

WHOM GODS DESTROY has revealed the cover art for their upcoming album, "FAR REACHES". It is gorgeous! They have also produced a few posters for promotional purposes, and you can enter a draw to win a signed one... Go to the link to their Facebook fan page (listed in my links area to the left of the blog body) and comment on the photo of the poster. Your name is entered. 

Here's what the posters look like. Eli and Tim did an amazing job designing them. 


I love it. 

Another thing that happened was a gorgeous rainbow last night... 


It was fading by the time I snapped this photo but I thought it was a cool shot due to the moon being in it as well. It was a really strong and pretty one, the perfect end to a great day.

Lastly, something arrived in the mail yesterday...


Yes, that is a PAPERBACK copy of STRICKEN! It's available as a print on demand option on the American Amazon, as well as the UK one. 

It is SO PRETTY! I can't stop looking at it! 

Even though I have it in paperback as well as the versions for e-books my publisher puts out, it still hasn't sunk in that I am finally published. It feels like a dream, one that I'm going to wake up from at any time. 

If it is a dream, I hope I never wake up. This one is way too good to lose.

Where you can purchase STRICKEN:

Extasy Books (my amazing publisher!) - ebook formats only.
Amazon.com - Kindle/e-book format, will direct you to your nation's site, and print on demand paperback.

Don't forget, there is an excerpt on my website, www.vjallison.com!

Have an amazing weekend everyone. I leave you with "THE HAUNTED" by WHOM GODS DESTROY. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Promoting, Ice Storms and More...

It's been a wild week. We had not one but *two* ice storms this week - everything was covered in ice for a couple of days, photos to follow - three days worth of power outages, schools canceled for two days in a row, and so many other wacky things happening... I honestly thought I wouldn't get much work done on anything writing or promotional wise this week.

I'm now into the third week of being published, and word has gotten around a little. So far, a few friends of mine have read Stricken, and they loved it. I haven't had any public reviews yet but I'm hoping that will change now that it's out on Amazon.

I'm still going crazy promoting it. In fact, I decided to make some banners for Stricken - something I should have done a month ago. Better late than never I suppose, lesson learned! I've also run a few Facebook ads, and they have really gotten the word out. One ad got over 1500 views, which isn't bad!

Even with everything going crazy, I managed to squeeze in a full day of writing on Friday, and I more than made up for missing work earlier that week. I finished Chapter Seven of the MS in progress, and started Chapter Eight... I'm in the buildup to a *huge* key scene - not a sex scene, but a mammoth breakthrough for the main characters.

I hope to get more written this week. I have maybe six or seven days left before the end of the school year, and I want it done ASAP so I don't have to worry about it over the summer.

I'm happy this one is almost writing itself, when my brain is working.

Here's two of the promotional banners I've created for Stricken. One is a quote from the book.

Banner with quote from Stricken.

Banner for Facebook author page.

Here's a couple of shots from the ice storm. Note how heavy the trees were with it....






I leave y'all with a photo of Amber. She was showing me what she thought of a scene that wasn't exactly well written...


Cats do have a wacky way of showing their humans when they're disgusted, I swear.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

STRICKEN - Get it on Amazon!

Mark this on your calendars everyone:

STRICKEN will be released on Amazons around the world on SUNDAY MARCH 26, 2017! It is now up for preorder on their sites. 

This is it on the CANADIAN Amazon.

The AMERICAN Amazon.

I know it's available in the United Kingdom and Australia as well, but I haven't checked more than those four. If it's not available on your nation's Amazon, it IS up for free international delivery on the Canadian site. The price listed is in our dollar, of course. 

If you preorder now, it will show up in your Kindle, Kindle app, or Kindle compatible app tomorrow morning. Or you can order it whenever you like. 

Thank you eXtasy Books, and everyone I've met there, for giving me this chance. 

Excerpt available on www.vjallison.com!





Ewan Campbell once thought he had it all – he was a rising star in the real estate field, popular with his peers, and engaged to his employer’s cousin, the shy and quiet little Marti Marlowe.

A heartbeat later, he was alone – shattered, confused and suicidal. Why had Marti walked away from him?

Years later, in another place, and a new chapter of Ewan’s life, fate brings them face to face again. 

They start building a friendship, but Ewan wants more. He wants Marti as his wife, and she seems to prefer their current status as friends.


Can he convince her that taking another chance at their failed future will be the start of the best part of their lives?

***********

Quick update:

I'm still writing on the new manuscript in progress. So far, it's coming along nicely. I'm almost finished chapter six, and have surpassed the 20K mark. My only complaint is that I'm not getting as much writing time as I'd like - Husband is only working one day shift a week right now. Hopefully that will change soon, I want this one DONE, ASAP! I won't sleep until it's finished, it won't leave me alone. 

"Fugitive Dreams" is still in stasis... I won't look at that until this current WIP is finished and goes into its first stasis cycle. 

Have a great weekend everyone! Don't forget to get a copy of STRICKEN if you haven't already. Thank you! ♥ ♫ 

Much love. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

STRICKEN is Now LIVE on Extasy Books!

Release day has finally arrived!

I am so excited to see my first book, STRICKEN, finally hit the shelves at my publisher, Extasy Books!

It has been one HECK of a long road to get here... Five years from the time I started the first draft of Incarnation #1 to the publish date. Five years of working my tush off with writing, editing, revisions, a full rewrite, two title changes, tons of compressing, and so much other stuff.

Despite a last minute bout of technical difficulties, STRICKEN went live at 4 a.m. my time, or Midnight Pacific Time. 

A myriad of emotions are rolling through me right now... I'm excited because I'm now published, kind of sad to know that Ewan and Marti's story is finally out there, and most of all, so freaking happy it's out there that I'm in tears!

Thank you to everyone at Extasy Books for giving me this amazing opportunity... Y'all rock! 

COVER PHOTO: Done by Syneca Firestone. She is one amazing artist. PLEASE go check her out at Original Syn... She's also a sweet person, I loved working with her. It was an honor to have someone as talented as her do the cover for my first book.

Namaste, and love to all of you!

STRICKEN...


Ewan Campbell once thought he had it all – he was a rising star in the real estate field, popular with his peers, and engaged to his employer’s cousin, the shy and quiet little Marti Marlowe.

A heartbeat later, he was alone – shattered, confused and suicidal. Why had Marti walked away from him?

Years later, in another place, and a new chapter of Ewan’s life, fate brings them face to face again. 

They start building a friendship, but Ewan wants more. He wants Marti as his wife, and she seems to prefer their current status as friends.

Can he convince her that taking another chance at their failed future will be the start of the best part of their lives?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cover Reveal: STRICKEN

Here's the gorgeous cover for Stricken, done by Syneca of ORIGINAL SYN Graphic Art and Design. 

I am completely in love with it... To see Ewan and Marti in "real life" finally made me cry. The cover has them depicted almost identically to how I always saw them in my mind. 

Thank you Syneca, and thank you eXtasy Books for having such an amazing digital artist do my first book cover. 

It's gorgeous!!


Don't forget, Stricken is now on preorder at eXtasy Books, and is being released this FRIDAY, MARCH 17th... There is an excerpt from Stricken on my website, www.vjallison.com! Feel free to check it out if you haven't already. 

So excited!