Scifi Roundtable Auction

A brilliant author and her family falling on hard times and our community of creatives stand up to help. Angelique and your husband can always count on us! Keep the #passioninspirecreate alive.

The Occasional Ramblings of an Author Mom

This is running from January 7th to January 11th 7PM – 8PM

If you are looking for an awesome new read, incredible artwork, promotional images and more, you’re going to want to take a look at everything there is to be offered!

Sci-fi Roundtable Auction

Enjoy Sci-fi or fantasy, or are you an author looking for an incredible group to join and be a part of? This group is incredible and has helped me grow so much as an author. So seriously.. click the link!   Sci-fi Roundtable


Now down to the real reason you’re here, why an auction?

I’ll tell you, but first I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to the people who have donated to this event, the amount of generosity displayed has been genuinely moving, and I am forever thankful to you all. Secondly, a massive debt of gratitude to Layla Pinkett for organizing and putting…

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Time for a Coffee Break?

Just love how creative my sister is!


Stampin’ Up!® Demonstrator Karen Robinson | Time for a Coffee Break?

I know my very first project for 2018 isn’t from the *new* Occasions Catalogue – horrified gasps – but I like to make sure I still use my other favourites from the AnnualCataloguejustwhile I’m waiting for my Occasions goodies to arrive 😉

While I am waiting though, I thought I’d play along with a sketch challenge at Freshly Made Sketches (FMS318).  I love it when a card comes to mind straight away when I see a design and this one worked out just as I’d imagined 🙂

Little Paper Party, Coffee Break Suite, Labeler Alphabet, FMS318, #1.jpg

Valentine’s Day is not too far away and I thought this design was perfect for a clean and simple masculine card and as both my husband and I are avid coffee lovers, the Coffee BreakSuite seemed the perfect fit.

I used the Coffee Café DSP for…

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Half Bound Release Day Blitz

Title: Half Bound (A Helheim Wolf Pack Tale)
Series: Half Blood Series #5
Author: Lauren Dawes
Publisher: Vixen Publishing
Date of Release: November 30, 2017
Genre: Dark urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Audience: Adult
Page Count: 288 pages
Format: e-book and paperback

An accident. An abduction. A choice.
Casey is no stranger to double standards. Her whole life has been filled with them, and as the only daughter of a werewolf alpha she has been fighting an uphill battle since birth. She’s determined to become an enforcer—a soldier for the pack—and even more determined to prove to everyone that she is more than capable of looking after herself…that is until she takes a phone call that could end not just her dreams, but also her life. She is faced with a decision that will not only test her loyalties, but also her own inner-strength.
Crippled by obsession. Resuscitated by love.
Broken and barely healed, Andrea has finally escaped the man who instead of loving, honoring and obeying her, beat, tortured and terrorized her. Uninterested in anything other than finding herself again, she is blindsided by Brax who holds the power to heal her shattered and distrusting heart. 
Half Bound is the electrifying conclusion to the Half Blood Series. 
Book Links
Screaming. High. Keening. Agonized.
Saxon recognized the emotions because he had had them too. He’d screamed until his throat was raw and his mouth was dry. He had suffered unbearable pain, blanketed over by drug-induced hallucinations or vivid dreams. He preferred the dreams to this reality he was now living in. Another scream. It caused him to grit his teeth.
The poor bastard.
It was probably just another one of Vivian’s attempted converts. He had heard enough drips of conversation about what she was doing here; she was biting people, trying to bring them through the Change, but what Saxon couldn’t figure out was, for what purpose? Was she trying to create her own pack?
A scream that chilled the marrow in his bones echoed through the walls. Another followed and Saxon stopped breathing completely. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to clear the drug cloud fogging his brain. He recognized that voice.
Casey was here.
“No,” he rasped. He strained his neck, trying to turn around to look at the wall—as if there was suddenly a window he could look through to see her there. But there wouldn’t be a window. He would just have to use his imagination to come up with the ways she was being tortured. Hearing her distorted voice over the phone had given him hope even though he didn’t deserve it. That hope crumbled, though, when she’d agreed to come…
For him.
He’d had a lot of time to think about whatever this was between him and Casey. She was the most infuriating female he’d ever met. She was nothing like the refined woman he thought he would eventually settle down with. He didn’t think he’d get the privilege of getting mated to a female wolf. He would have been content with a human, but…then there was Casey.
Casey, who had blown into his life like a breath of fresh air. She challenged him, antagonized him, battled with him. And she was here now, protecting him when the roles should have been reversed. He couldn’t let her sacrifice herself. Despite the leaden feeling in his body, Saxon tried to break the ties on his wrists and ankles again. He struggled for a brief moment before fatigue took over. Whatever they’d been giving him, and whatever they continued to give him, was keeping him weak.
“I knew her mewling would rouse you.”
That voice, that vicious purring made Saxon’s blood pressure spike. He flared his nostrils, confirming it was only Vivian in the room with him. That meant…
“Kade is with her,” Vivian taunted. “He is with her and he is not being a very good host.”
About Lauren:
Born in South Africa and raised in Sydney, Lauren Dawes is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance writer and the author of the Dark Trilogy and the Half Blood Series. In 2009, she quit her full-time job teaching English as a Second Language to finally begin writing “that book”, letting her overactive imagination pour out onto the digital pages.
She currently lives with her husband and daughter in whatever city the army happens to posted them to.

Other titles by Lauren Dawes

Half Blood Series
Half Blood (Half Blood #1):
Half Truths (Half Blood #2):
Half Life (Half Blood #3):
Half Cast ((Half Blood #4):
Dark Trilogy

Dark Deceit (Dark Trilogy #1):

Dark Desire (Dark Trilogy #2):
Dark Devotion (Dark Trilogy #3):

What you can learn from Conventions

Last weekend I attended Supanova Comic-con in Brisbane, it a great learning experience with each convention I attend. How it can help promote yourself, to network with some fantastic creatives or just introducing someone into the world of writing and publishing. Then there are cons being at a Con, being ignored or laughed at, periods of times of boredom and desperation and can sometimes affect your manner of how you interact with new readers. Here are some observations I gathered from the Nova.


Next, to me was Clive Johnson, an experienced non-fiction writer who is now cracking into the fiction side of writing, in the genre historical fantasy. His first and second books in the series Eye of Egypt are The Pharaoh’s Greatest Gift and The Mirror Chamber; soon his third will be coming out, which will be called All will be Black. As this his first convention I was surprised in his understanding how these things work. I could assume that his past experiences in the field of writing gave him an edge. Having book bundles, a television having your book trailers playing also offering a prize through an email entry. Marvelous ideas. I am going to borrow some of these for April’s Cons.

Across the way was Avril Sabine, a speculative author with over fifty titles to her name. That wasn’t the most impressive part, the attention to detail of the booth she set up in Artist Alley. Solid pine desk, cupboard, bookcase, table and chairs. Also, the whole group were dressed up in steampunk costumes. It was an incredible sight; I felt like I was transported to her books and could relive them in this reality. During the weekend she had a least two interviews and a large number of pictures. As it isn’t right to ask how people go, I would assume that this would have benefited sales.


Then to my booth, it had one pull-up banner, one book also was my fellow author’s book Caligation by Brhi Stokes. I had posters of my ebook covers, designed by Julia Raymond of ShootingStarShooter, and had new flyers to help promote my books. This no means a horrible set up, as there were others set up similarly to me. As there is a lot to take in, you need that edge for people to come over and interact with you.

Looking forward, I can still improve, costumes, book trailers, new banners and more books. This Supanova is my third convention and each one I take something away so I can develop the next.

Conventions are an essential step for any author who writes in the speculative genre. It allows you to connect with new readers and expand your connections. You do also need to walk into this with an open mind; you might not break even or feel depressed by how people ignore you. Just remember this is a journey and you have taken the first steps, believe in yourself and great things will follow.


I am taking orders for my book Lake Merrin, head to

The Protagonist is a half-human, an average guy looking for work and a roof over his head and food on the table. And of course, something happens that could rock the Duchy. As there are Adventurers/heroes everywhere, he has to ask ‘should he stand up to be a hero? And would it matter?’

Lake Merrin is a city in the North-Western part of Western Duchy, Favinonia. It is also known as Iron Dukedom. Duke Trahern Isenhart III is the ruler of Iron Dukedom, and his third cousin Count Darel Isenhart is the ruler of Lake Merrin, and it’s county.

Lake Merrin is home to twenty thousand people, and it has the second oldest Adventuring Hall in Favinonia; nearly nine hundred years old.


The Plot Snob Review of Stranger Things Season 2

Good evening everyone, this will be the first of many reviews that will be done by the Plot Snob. This week, I would like to go over the exciting series Stranger Things. There will be some spoilers from season one, but I will try and keep down them for season two.

Let us begin…

The thing I do love about this show is the continuity of the plot throughout the season, you are going on a journey with these characters. You sometimes scream at the screen wondering why they are not communicating with each other. This happened regularly in the first season, but there is a dynamic change with the second.

This is the aftermath of the first season of Stranger things, a year has gone by, Will is still be affected by the Upside-down, and his friends are trying to put what happened behind them, except for Mike who wants to see Eleven again.
My favourite character of this season would have to be Dustin, he realises that there is more, and he wants it. The buddying up with Steve was fantastic to see. He has more confidence, but the references to dungeons and dragons was brilliant (and I like the boy’s reaction of the adults dismissing the use of d&d references)


The ‘villain’ of the show was again something from the upside-down, very creepy but I loved the interaction between it and Will.

Like all shows, as the first season gains traction and hype, the screenwriters and directors want to build something there. This can be distracting for the series itself as the norm is to create a cinematic world, like the MCU or DCEU. This can become problematic with how you tell your story. Only one episode this season had that issue, skipping it would not affect the plot of season 2 but is apparent that they are trying to set up season 3.

Overall, I loved the first and now the second and look forward to the third season of Stranger Things. I would highly recommend this show for anyone who likes a little strange.

Becoming a Plot Snob.

The thing about becoming more experienced in writing is that you start to notice things in other books or media. Some authors can spot grammatical errors from a mile away or be very forward in pointing out spelling mistakes. I have been finding, that I am not a Grammar ‘Nazis’ but a Plot Snob.


Most of my life, I have been a roleplayer, either pen and paper or computer games and I love watching movies and exciting television programs. Lately, I started to see plot holes in the premise of said work, and when beta-reading, I can see a loose thread quite quickly. Which brings me to my next dilemma, how to ignore it.

When I realised that I was becoming this snob of plots, was when someone in my gaming group was pitching ideas for upcoming games. I can understand that it is just the foundation but wow they were all boring, and I could see the direction the ‘story’ would have gone. Of course, I said no, I am not interested, but I like hanging out with my mates.


My issue is that I start to think, how can I improve this story or can I tell it differently to make it enjoyable. I haven’t found too many writers that I have that opinion, some are not my cup of tea while others are marvellous. Seeing substantial plot holes in a television show, especially police or crime shows. I use to love watching these shows, but now they are just so by the formula.

So at beginning of the show, crime happens, police or investigators question people to the point that they might push their civil rights, but as long as they find the ‘bad’ guy, it is all good. Then some very obvious clue takes them to a bad guy, and then the interrogation happens. After a few threats/questions with no lawyer present, they confess to everything! Boring!

If you keep walking down that well-trodden road, you’ll find that people become bored. I’m not saying I am perfect, but due to this train of thought, I will always try to improve my storylines to make sure they are not formulaic.

Becoming a Quality Quantity Author

A post just went up in a group I am a part of, and the question was, are you a Quality or Quantity Author? After my disaster at the beginning of the year for my debut novel, Lake Merrin (and many weeks of depression) I realised that you need to become more than just a four-novel a year author, you have to produce four books but at high quality as well. Hence, becoming a Quality Quantity Author.

There were two articles for each argument to this, one by Lorraine Devon Wilke and the other by Dean Wesley Smith. Each has good points (links below), but being a fantasy writer and also talking to successful published authors like Kimberley Clark and Nick Earls, I came up with a different approach.

Producing four full-length novels (around 100k) would be hard, and yes the quality will drop but what about short stories or novellas?

By the end of this year, I will have published seven ebooks and three paperbacks, two of which are novellas. These short stories/novellas range between four thousand to 21 k each, some taking a week to write and others a couple of months. What this does is create a reputation as an author.

Each short story ebook cost me around $200, that is a cover artist and editor.  The novella cost me another $150 for formatting and my new cover for the book $120. So three months of releases, 200 a month (600 in total) and in the fourth month a paperback another 270. The grand total (excluding printing) $870!

How much will it cost me to produce a novel, that could fluctuate between people? So far (minus my lousy choice of editor at the beginning of the year) it has cost me 4 to 5 thousand dollars.

I am not a rich man, but I do have an imagination that can think and produce many different story arcs, so if I produce one novel and at least twelve short read ebooks which will make around 4 novellas a year, why not?

At Oz Comic-Con, an author of four books commented on my novella; FableLands: Interrogation Part One, as breaking all the rules. It because in one book, I have three short serial reads in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person and the first three chapters of my book Lake Merrin coming out in December. I responded ‘I became a writer, so I didn’t have to follow any rules except for the ones I deem important to my own creativity.’

The argument with taking your time with your writing will produce a good book, that is determined by your readers. I have raving reviews for my short reads, but if it all was based on one novel, I am not sure that I would have a similar following.

The more you write, the better you become. The more you push your boundaries, the more you can be creative. In the end, do what you want to do, not what the creative industry dictates you should do.



FableLands: Interrogation Part One, Website or Amazon

Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year by Lorraine Devon Wilke.

Don’t Be a Wuss, Write Four Novels a Year by Dean Wesley Smith.