Friday, December 27, 2013

A Pirate's Life for Me

What do you get when you combine a young man's angst-ridden childhood, secrets from the past, magic, a family of street thieves who have hearts of gold, and seafaring pirates? You get the makings of the world of Jim Morgan, and his world can be as tempestuous as the Seven Seas. In James Raney's series, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves and Jim Morgan and the Pirates of the Black Skull, you can't help but feel empathy for young Jim as he learns about who he is and what his life holds for him.

I don't want to give spoilers to these novels, but I will say that following the creative adventure of Jim makes me yearn for more adventure in my own life. He befriends a group of street thieves who become his family, and his connection to them makes the reader yearn to find those friends, those best friends, in his or her own life who will always be there, no matter what. There's something about watching this young man encounter the obstacles he must overcome as well as the people who comprise his inner circle that warm your heart when you see just how resilient Jim truly is. You can't help but feel the hope—hope that he will succeed in his quest(s), hope that he will find his family, and hope that he will be that hero that he needs to be, not just for him, but for those closest to him. He brings out the adventurer in all of us.

Being a pirate always seemed like being a part of a family or a fraternity, and this familial bond between members gets cemented through trust. Throughout these novels, Jim finds support through a variety of unique individuals, some of whom you would not expect. Young and old will enjoy the twists and turns both of these novels have to offer, and the magic within the pages not only enables the plot to move where it needs to, but also ensorcells the reader, like mythical Sirens can, luring each person into this tapestry of events. You can't help but feel like you're one of Jim's cohorts. "Dread Pirate" Raney (as I have come to call him) spins a true sailor's yarn—with the allure and intrigue of the sea. I'm along for the adventure, and you should come on board as well. You get all the benefits of being a pirate, and none of the sea sickness!

Available at Amazon, these novels should be a part of anyone's library. When you have a chance, check out and "like" James' Facebook page or follow him on Twitter or Goodreads for the latest news about upcoming signings and information about the next installment of Jim Morgan's adventure. 
James Matlack Raney

James Raney is a former high school teacher who has grown up all over the world, in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Now he calls southern California home, writing adventures and occasionally living a few of his own. Find out more about Jim Morgan's books at

Sunday, November 24, 2013

So, what's happening, you ask? Well!

• I'm holding a Giveaway at Goodreads for ten copies of Memory's Curse. Enter now before you can't (last day is Dec. 15).

• The film treatment for Finding Balance is in the works, and I have a screenwriter looking it over for me as we speak. I want it the best it can be before giving it to 490 Entertainment.

• Book two of the Task Force: Gaea series, Memory's Curse, is now available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. This homage to Lovecraft incorporates Greek mythology with elements of horror.

• I'm working with Jezza Smiles on a project that involves illustrating a short story that highlights the romantic relationship between Dan Fairmont (Aegis) and his boyfriend, Ari, from Memory's Curse. The story will be a stand alone piece. More news on that as it becomes available!

• Mike Hamlett, the tremendously talented artist who did the covers for Finding Balance and Memory's Curse is working on some other artistic ideas for me. Revealed soon!

• I will be attending DitterCon, Alt*Con, MegaCon, and RainbowCon (in that order). More about each here.

• And, last, but certainly not least is a project I can't talk about yet, but I will as soon as I can. It's HUGE.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Patience is Bitter...

But, its fruit is sweet... at least according to Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

I can be creative. I can even be whimsical. I can be many things, but, right now, being patient isn't my strength. Waiting is not something I handle well, and it's no one's fault by my own. When I want something to happen, I realize there has to be a certain time frame when it will come to pass, but I tend to want things to happen sooner. Right now, I'm waiting to see:
  • A contract for a film treatment for Finding Balance.
  • A drawing for the cover of Memory's Curse.
  • Feedback from my beta readers on Memory's Curse.
I don't place any blame on the production company, the artist, or the readers—the blame is mine. I'm just not doing well with waiting. Too bad, right? Yes. I just need to tell myself that when things happen, they happen. Other people are in charge of these things, so I need to let go.

Ironically, as a teacher, I am incredibly patient. I work with teenagers every day whose perception of time doesn't always mesh with mine, so I can work with that, because I expect it and know these students. Interestingly enough, the worlds of both being a teacher and being an author don't usually overlap.

Well, once I get the signed contract, I will begin work on a film treatment (a 5 - 10 summary of the novel, sort of scene-by-scene). When the cover art is finished, I will be able to design the cover itself. Lastly, once I have feedback on the novel, I can tweak things so I can formalize the manuscript for publishing. These are all realistic, easily managed, tangible goals.

So, I sit on my hands and wait. Perhaps you can relate...

I'll just be waitin' on the sweet fruit here... whenever it shows up.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New site, new focus!


Is this the end of Hardly. But, the official name is now: Mythmaking—Task Force: Gaea and Beyond.

This is the beginning of rebranding what I do. I basically wear two hats—teacher and author. As far as my writing, this site will continue to provide insight into the process of being a writer and getting that work published. I'll want to share progress and obstacles in working on a novel series, hopefully making it easier for you to pursue your own writing goals. Maybe you can learn from me... we'll see. But, I also want to share ideas that relate to writing in general, as well as tools that will help other writers grow.

For the public persona, I now have Here you will find more information about the books I write, specifically the Task Force: Gaea series as well as the other writing I do, with links to blog posts and other books of which I am a part. You can even purchase copies of the works through this new site.

I feel as if this site has become bogged down in too much "stuff," and I want to clear away the things that don't work for me anymore. Parts of this site may appear on, and parts may remain here. I want you to have access to the information you want.

As the new title says, I want this site to focus on the writing process—mine and yours—and hopefully give you insight into creating something on the page. Work with me.

I'd love feedback, too. If you like what you see here, please comment beneath the posts. If you want to ask me questions, email me here. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook!

Stay tuned. Much more will come!

- DB

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Tool for Writers—Organizing Your Thoughts!

I'm a techie, so when I find something that works for me to help organize my ideas, I not only use it, but also share with my friends. It's an easy free tool, and it is basically a mind map called Mindmeister. Here's a picture of one of mine I made. It's extremely easy to use, and you can use a limited free version or pay as little as $4.99/month:

If you'd use it regularly, it's worth it. I'll probably upgrade since I do like it. If you're interested in signing up for free, click here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Events Schedule for 2013/2014

This Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, I am planning on being at the following events, so please come out and say hello, get a book or two (or get them signed!), and enjoy!:

NECRONOMICON (Tampa, FL): Oct. 18 - 20, 2013.

BENT-CON (Burbank, CA): Nov. 8 - 10, 2013.

DITTERCON* (Orlando, FL): Jan. 18 - 19, 2014.

MEGACON (Orlando, FL): Mar. 21 - 23, 2014.

*Facebook link

Saturday, June 22, 2013

You MUST read this book—and it's not mine!

I just got off the phone with my very dear friend Randy, and we spent about an hour talking about Neil Gaiman's latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. We both are tremendous Gaiman-ites (is that a word?) and have read other works of his like Neverwhere, American Gods, and Anansi Boys. But, we both had agreed to read this latest novel as soon as it came out, and I read it in one sitting. Mind you, it's only 182 pages, but it's a read that could take you a few days to digest once you've finished it. The word that I keep using over and over when I talk about this book is that it resonates with me. My conversation with Randy simply solidified that idea as we both come from similar backgrounds in reading. I need to explain a little.

I have been a child of storytelling ever since I was a child, starting with my mother telling me stories of her childhood with my grandparents (her parents), and moving through my paternal grandmother's stories of her life in the 1920s and beyond. There's always someone telling stories to me, and I even have a good friend Kathy who has regaled me time and time again with stories about teachers and students that have left me crying from laughter. Aside from the real life stories, I'm also a child brought up with mythology and fictional characters. I've been a fan of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Celtic, and Norse mythologies since I left the womb, and that got me interested in comic books (and my interest in Wonder Woman, which is another blog post or more to be sure). But, getting back to storytelling...
The story is a frame narrative, beginning with the return of an adult man who goes back home for a funeral. While he's there, he sits by a pond (ocean?), and the past unravels like skein of yarn. This is a children's story, but it's for adults. It's an archetype wrapped in diaphanous folds of language. I would love to meet other people who have read this novel and just talk to them about their reactions to it. I'd love to find out who their favorite characters are, too. Mine are the Hempstocks. Read the novel and find out why.

Gaiman is the consummate storyteller; he doesn't just write novels. He engages his reader with glimpses of the past, of ancient archetypal ideas that ebb and flow like a literary tide. The Ocean at the End of the Lane has a firm grasp on my psyche, and it's because of my love of ancient mythologies. You see characters who embody the maiden-mother-crone archetype, and the moon/mother goddess, as well as primordial beings who have no discernible shape or substance beyond that which we ascribe to them. Gaiman's descriptions of certain predatory creatures that the reader encounters instill a fear of the dark (more of darkness incarnate, i.e. Erebus), but at the same time, a deep respect for the ancient powers that built the world. He masterfully grabs us by the throat long enough for us to feel the same trepidation of the narrator (who is unnamed), but yet, he allows us the ability of putting the book down and walking away from the images (as if we would!).

One of the things Randy and I talked about was the way this novel connected with us, and I explained that I brought other stories with me in my mind that helped fill in the nooks and gaps, the stories of ancient goddesses who mind destiny or the simple control a child can have over the natural world. Those who don't have a background reading mythology will certainly enjoy this novel as Gaiman doesn't weigh it down with specific names of entities; rather, he uses more everyday, common appellations that give the feeling of familiarity or simplicity. He puts the reader at ease. Sort of.

To think of this novel as a hero/villain novel would deprive it of the idea that in the grand scheme of the cosmos, true heroes and villains are more like adversaries vying for control, toying with humanity. This isn't a superhero comic book; it's Ovid or Hesiod, but through modern lens.

If you've never read anything by Neil Gaiman, this novel would be a great starting off point for his style and subject matter. Then, once you've become familiar with how he thinks, move on to American Gods or Anansi Boys. I'll most assuredly read The Ocean at the End of the Lane again some time soon.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Indie Writers Summer Solstice Sale—6/21 to 6/23

From Jun. 21 - 23, at Incandescent Phoenix Books, a select group of Indie authors will be selling their novels on Kindle for $.99! Whether you're interested in FantasyContemporary, Epic, Erotic, or Historical, or Magical Realism, Memoirs, Paranormal Romance, Steampunk, or Science Fiction, you'll find 22 authors whose novels are at this reduced price just for this weekend!

For this weekend only, Task Force: Gaea will be $.99! Get it now before the Memory's Curse comes out in the Fall!

You can visit the promotion page here and purchase directly through the site. Take advantage of this great savings while it lasts!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why New-Adult Fiction?

I had a few choices to make when I was writing Task Force: Gaea (TFG, henceforth)—I could tailor it to the Young Adult audience, or I could write to the type of reader I am. I have a pretty strong vocabulary and use what I would consider a sophisticated sentence structure. I'm not afraid to use polysyllabic words (see what I did there?) when I know a simpler word would do. If I happen to like the word 'tenebrous' to the word 'dark', then so be it. I like the mouth-feel of the word 'tenebrous'. It almost feels like 'tentacle' and wraps itself around your tongue.

I know that plenty of YA readers enjoyed books like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and I did, too. The thing of it is, I didn't want to add to what I perceive is a saturated market. I wanted my story (and, now, stories) to reach readers whose vocabulary and appreciation of some more mature themes would resonate. As I have said in the past, I write to tell stories, not to retire on my royalties. If people enjoy reading my novel(s), then that's all that matters.

As a teacher, I see nothing wrong with challenging my readers with a few vocabulary words or perhaps some mythological references that require Google. Having active readers means people pay attention to the story; I don't want to write books that people can skim and enjoy as much as if they read it in depth. I leave "gems" throughout the novel so some people will pick up on them and say to themselves, "Clever, Mr. Berger, very clever." Well, at least I try. For those whose knowledge of Greek mythology is extensive, some of the gems shine a bit brighter. I have learned a few lessons, though, and I'll be including a pronunciation key and glossary (of a sort) in the sequel, Memory's Curse.

Growing as a writer over the years, I've learned a bit about audience, and even just teaching English has taught me much as well. If you have an audience in mind, and the right people read your work, then they'll hopefully pass it on to like-minded readers. I just want people in the 18 - 30+ bracket to be able to enjoy a Greek mythology fantasy as much as the YA readers do.

I would love to know what you think. If you have comments or questions about this, please post them below!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I could use your help!

Above is a poll about how much Greek mythology you know and how that would affect your reading of Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance or Memory's Curse. PLEASE take a few seconds and click the choice that best fits you and share this with other readers of fantasy fiction.

Having read a number of fantasy novels, I can tell you that I like learning new things, especially if they're related to the novel's story. In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien uses names of people and places, as well as Elvish and other languages, to establish his world. I don't find them to be a hindrance to my reading; what I don't understand, I accept as new knowledge.

The problem I think people have with Greek mythology is that they miiiiiiiiight know some of the basic gods, but beyond that, not so much. They might know what a centaur is, or who Medusa is, but they wouldn't know Typhon or Ekhidna from anyone. I do try to give context within the novel, but I know some readers have told me they have had to Google some info (most actually liked learning more that way, too). My advice to new readers of TFG is: just treat the names as you would treat names in LotR or another fantasy book—as author created. Some of the elements in TFG are tweaked by me or made up entirely, but most are found in source material.

Thank you for responding to the poll. I really do appreciate it!


Monday, May 27, 2013

First Draft of Memory's Curse—FINISHED.

Not the real cover!
Late last summer, I put myself on the path to write a sequel to Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance, and I actually had quite a few ideas for it already in my head (many of them I have used). I just knew I had more of a story to tell (and a third book is in the works, too!). It has been a grueling almost-year making sure I had all of my ideas lined up properly, and I started the process writing blurbs or scenes that I had pictured in my head, rather than writing from Ch. 1, Ch. 2, etc. The ideas just flowed from my addled brain more so in an erratic fashion.

This could be a lengthy post about things you don't want to read about, but suffice to say, I have finished the first draft of Memory's Curse, and I eagerly want to dive into the editing, but I will leave the draft until work ends (I teach, and our school year ends June 6). That way, I'll have a little bit of a buffer between creativity and my mechanics.

Writing a book in less than a year when the first one took almost 25 to publish astounds me, but I'm glad I didn't need a few decades to make this one work.

Stay tuned. I hope you like it. Read the first one, if you haven't. ;)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The End is Near!

I'm currently writing one of the last chapters of Memory's Curse, and yes—I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel!

This is SO exciting.

As I write this, I have 4,075 4,572 words written, bringing my total to date to 94,807 95,304, and I'm not quite done yet. I've updated the meter above just because it's nearing the end, so you may yet see that number climb more frequently.

Right now, the last events of the novel are coming into clarity, and I will have this sequel finished probably within the next week or so.

Then, the editing process begins, but that's the stuff I LOVE.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dress United—Shirts that rock!

I just recently got a shirt from Dress United that would promote Task Force: Gaea, and it looked great! The novel cover image came out clear on the front, and the text, "Can mortals succeed where gods cannot go?", jumped off the shirt (gold ink on a purple shirt). On the back, the text (title and my name) also look fantastic. The quality of the shirt was top notch. I highly recommend their work. I'll post a picture of the shirt as soon as I can!

The people at Dress United have been nice enough to offer you, my readers, a discount when you order a shirt from them. All you have to do is go here to redeem the offer, and use the code: BLOG30OFF4U. This code will give you 30% off and free shipping in the US.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Check out Steve Smy's For the Sake of Mercy

In Smy's For the Sake of Mercy, Captain Henri Duschelle must lead his loyal crew on a seemingly impossible mission: to deliver a vital organ to one of the crew's son, across the longest part of the colonised worlds - to an insane deadline. He is convinced that only his ship, the stunningly beautiful Persephone can make such a journey. But problems lie in wait... A novelette.

For the Sake of Mercy is available at Smashwords and all major online stores (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel, iTunes, etc.). In paperback, you can find it at Skoobeback. Buy from e-book: Search for B00BYAO7GS on any Amazon site.

"People should read For the Sake of Mercy because it's pure escapism while managing to look at a contemporary issue, where the problems involved are magnified by the spread of Humanity to new worlds."

 You can find Steve Smy on Facebook, his blog, Twitter (@SteveKSmyAuthor), and his author page on Amazon.

Novelette eBooks:
Shade of Evil (Smashwords, also available from all Amazon sites)
For the Sake of Mercy (Smashwords, also available from all Amazon sites)
The Ossilan Affair (Smashwords, also available from all Amazon sites)
Evil Under The Circle (Available from all Amazon sites - search ASIN B00CA74SX6)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Promote YOUR book (any genre) free on my blog. Here's how.
I feel like giving back to the authorial community by letting people promote their novel(s) right here. All you have to do is email me with:
  1. Your name.
  2. Your book title(s) and cover art.
  3. A picture of you.
  4. A brief synopsis of your novel.
  5. Fill in the blank in a few sentences: "People should read ______ because..."
  6. Links to where they can find your novels.
  7. A blog (and/or Facebook page) link.
No strings. I'm just looking to give back. I look forward to hearing from you!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

FREE E-Book of Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance!

In honor of Gaea, the Earth goddess, my first novel Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance will be free to download in ANY e-book format at on Earth Day, April 22, 2013. This offer ends at April 22 at midnight.

With Memory's Curse due to come out this fall, this would be fantastic opportunity to catch up on your reading. This first story of Dan, Aleta, Sarah, and Brandon sets the foundation for what comes next, and you won't believe what happens.

If you want more info on Earth Day, you can check out this link.

Smashwords link.  Use coupon code: EX82Q

Thank you! Spread this link around!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

***Updated Book Blurb for Memory's Curse***

Aegis, Zodiak, Aether, and Talon—modern-day champions of the Olympeian gods—restored the fragile cosmic balance that a reckless elder goddess shattered, and their world returned to normal… or did it. The Sacred Scales will need settling once more, re-aligning both the mortal and godly realms, when all the gods but Apollo suddenly vanish just before an ancient evil, the Nebulous One, emerges from Tartaros.

“What immortals have wrought, mortals must put right,” the Fates have again decreed. From the depths of the underworld to the heights of Olympos, with the vast Earth in between, leaving chaos and obliteration in her wake, this unspeakable primeval horror hunts the gods.

Apollo does not face this threat alone. The United Nations cadre, Task Force: Gaea, whose members can deal with metaphysical threats, must protect the only remaining Olympeian and defeat the primordial goddess set on erasing all knowledge of the gods, one in particular, from the world before they fall prey to her themselves.

Spanning history from antiquity to the modern day, this epic battle between good and evil leaves immortal and mortal alike wondering whether memory can be a blessing… or a curse."

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Land O' Lakes Local Author Fair—Apr. 13, 2013

On Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., come see me at The Land O' Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes, FL and have your copy of Task Force: Gaea signed. Or! Pick up a copy, and I will sign that, too. The Library will also be welcoming other local authors, including my friend Kat Heckenbach, author of Finding Angel and Seeking Unseen. Light snacks provided.

Cover Mock Up
Available at the signing will be excerpts of the sequel to Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance... Memory's Curse. 

Come chat with me about my work, my thought process, and what's in store for Dan, Brandon, Aleta, and Sarah in the next installment of the Task Force: Gaea saga, a darker, more Lovecraftian take on a Greek mythological tale.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Love, Sacrifice, and the Gods—The Song of Achilles

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having been a longtime fan of Greek mythology, and upon the recommendation of one of my best friends (an avid reader himself), I read Miller's The Song of Achilles that tells the story of Achilles and his relationship with Patroclus. Miller's story has a melodic quality, like one would expect from a myth, and its epic storyline unfolds in a way that she can explore the sensuality and subtle eroticism of this relationship without venturing into blatant sexual scenes. In fact, the first time Achilles and Patroclus have an intimate scene in the novel, Miller gives just enough detail to titillate the reader without being over the top. She also creates a staunch adversary for Patroclus in Thetis, Achilles' mother, a sea nymph. Her description, haunting and surreal, spotlights the austerity of the gods while giving her a maternal aspect, although a reserved one. I found myself enrapt throughout the reading, and I didn't want the story to end (although I know how the mythological tale does indeed finish). The Song of Achilles has complexities in relationships, yet it doesn't labor to read. I recommend this book to anyone who loves Greek mythology and those who want to read the story of two men whose love transcends all boundaries.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 18, 2013

Interview: No Rules Just Mics—3/26/13 8 p.m.

Thanks to Topher Cassidy and the folks at Uncensored Radio, I will be interviewed on No Rules Just Mics, the show with Topher and Christian Senger, next Tuesday, March 26, at 8 p.m.

I've known Topher for a long time. We met on AOL in Gay & Lesbian Chatroom back in the late 90s. We had lost touch over the years (after I left my ex- in 1999, I stopped using AOL). Just over a year ago, around January 2012, I came across Topher in an AOL LGBT Group on Facebook, and we rekindled our friendship. He's a very dear friend, and someone I admire and respect greatly.

After I published Task Force: Gaea, Topher got himself a copy of the book and has since re-read it. I'm flattered and humbled that he would do that. He's a good friend, a brother, and someone I love dearly.

Please tune in to No Rules Just Mics on March 26 at 8 p.m.!

Their website is, but I will post the show link as soon as I have it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Aleta Halston, Codename: Aetos, gets a change

As a Greek mythology fanatic, I choose names from Greek for people, places, and things on occasion to bring an ancient feel. I chose Aegis as a codename for Dan Fairmont because he's the protector of the task force, the 'shield' as it were; Zodiak takes name from the Zodiac signs, since they are the source of his power. Sarah uses the name Aether because aether is the fifth element, the one that enables the others to exist—spirit. As Sarah channels certain primordial and godly powers to manipulate the elements, she provides the anchor, the unifying spirit.

Aleta Halston took the name Aetos because she embodies the Aetos Dios, the eagle of Zeus (wings, talons, genetically altered bone structure that allows her to fly). After Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance came out, I received questions about her name (as well as why three members of the team had names beginning with "A"). Now, while I'm working on Task Force: Gaea—Memory's Curse, I have the ability (for reasons that become apparent in the novel) to alter some aspects of the story.

Recently, I posted a poll on Facebook, asking friends and fans to decide which codename might be best suited to replace 'Aetos':
  • Cloudsplitter
  • Eagle
  • Javelin
  • Thunderstrike
  • Talon
I had every intention to go with the popular choice of Cloudsplitter, seeing as that is the name of Aleta's weapon, Nephoskizetes. However, a few people commented that a one or two syllable name might be better because it would roll off the tongue more easily. I agreed. So, Cloudsplitter, Javelin, and Thunderstrike came off the list. I was left with Eagle and Talon.

So, I thought I would go back to the Greek language and see what the word for 'talon' was. It turned out that in Greek 'talon' is 'onyx'. I liked that name a lot. I thought I had finally found a replacement name, but then a friend told me that a black heroine named Onyx seemed not only cliché, but also a bit racist since (a) an onyx is black, and (b) no other teammate name reflected the color of his or her skin, even by coincidence.

After much reflection, I choose Talon. It reflects the eagle aspect of Aleta as well as the weapon that she is. So, in Memory's Curse, Aetos becomes Talon.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Attack...

When she finds you, the temperature drops around you to that of Tartaros, as if the air itself yields to her presence. Then, like a tidal wave, fear immobilizes you—not at once, though... slowly moving from your extremities, until you have no will. Noiselessly, a black, gelatinous cloud moves around, building up, tendrils of darkness meandering over all surfaces. One reaches out and encircles you, like a serpent. This fear, the one that touches your very soul, takes over, and your body goes limp, your bowels and bladder releasing their contents.

Then, it happens.

A neck rises from the blackness in front of you, swaying back and forth as it grows, and you see her eyes, fiery red ones that peer into your soul. Once she has you in her gaze, she takes what she wants.

She uncurls herself from you, and you lay in your own excrement as she moves back into the shadows. Temperatures return to normal, and you awaken from your stupor.

When you resume your life, you then learn what she has taken...

Read Task Force: Gaea — Memory's Curse to see just who she is. Release date revealed soon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Author Lakisha Spletzer Three-Year Anniversary Celebration

My friend, Lakisha Spletzer, a cross-genre (science-fiction/fantasy/paranormal romance) indie author who writes for all ages is having a scavenger hunt! Details below!
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Task Force: Gaea movie—Dream Cast

If (and when) a movie could be made of Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance, I'd probably want certain people to play the main roles, or at least actors who look like this people. It has been some time since I had actors in mind to play the leading roles, and in another post, I showed them.

If I were to cast certain people now, I think I would choose the following:

Apollo (Paul Fairmont, in mortal form). An Olympian god who has spent time among mortals, I see him as a man who is a bit older, much wiser, and has a certain charm. For this reason, I see Daniel Craig, this picture, particularly. He's also a physically fit man, and that would be play well into the "Greek god" role as well. His character has complexities to it that go beyond the one dimensional Greek god of other stories. Having been a mortal man, he knows what life brings for humans, and Daniel Craig has the look of a man whose life experiences have taught him quite a bit.

For Apollo's wife, Alkinoë (Allison Fairmont, in mortal form), I could see Claudia Black. She's played stronger female characters before (Stargate, an Amazon on Xena, Aeryn Sun on Farscape). She's the embodiment of an Arkadeian warrior queen. I've enjoyed her strong characters, and she would be a believable royal yet maternal figure. Plus, she could go up against Ares, god of war, quite easily.

While searching for an actor who could play Apollo's son, Danelos Fairmont, known as Aegis in Task Force: Gaea, I stumbled upon a picture of Eduardo Verastegui, a Mexican actor, but he has a decidedly Mediterranean look. He could easily play the lead, if he grew his hair out a little and grew in a mustache and goatee. He's 38, but I think he could play a younger hero.

Now, I know she's had a good run with Harry Potter movies, but Emma Watson could easily play Sarah Jacobs, known as Aether. A slight red tint to her hair, and she could play the elemental. It would be an interesting change from a wizard to a woman who can manipulate earth, fire, air, and water. She'd have to lose the British accent, however, since Sarah's from Boston (not hardcore, "Pahk the cah in Hahvahd yahd"-Boston, though).

My original pick was Angela Bassett when I started thinking about this years ago, but now she'd be older than the character. Beyoncé Knowles has the figure for it, and I'm pretty sure she'd look amazing with a pair of wings. Aleta Halson, known as Aetos, whose power allows her access to Zeus' lightning, is a tough woman, and I definitely see Beyoncé being able to carry that role. The geneticist who becomes an eagle-like creature herself, Aleta has the grace of Beyoncé, although the latter would have to have a short haircut.

Brandon Jeffries, known as Zodiak, is Channing Tatum. He definitely has the build and the look for the man who can channel the powers of the zodiac signs. The character, who has a sort of military look, would come alive through Tatum, who has that powerful jawline and strong features. I could see him in centaur form (channeling Sagittarius), too. What's not to like about him, right?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Crafting my own Elder gods...

I'm drawing inspiration from Lovecraftian deities in the sequel, Memory's Curse. The unfathomable mixed with the mind-melting works for me:

Pleasant dreams :)

Monday, January 21, 2013


Thank you all so much for your support. As a writer, having people who are willing to read your work or just support your efforts means more than you know. I've been working on these ideas for about half my life, and this next book will allow me to spread my darker wings into a horror-like story, Memory's Curse. You're the muses who drive me forward.
Reaching this milestone helps me push on and be even more creative to live up to the expectations of those who anticipate the next installment of the Task Force: Gaea series.

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