Through The Gateway

I write. I draw. I geek. I conquer my own worlds.

Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (Part 3)

Night fell in Imagia, the moon shining brighter than the night before. The forest had been thinning early into the evening and the group of captors and their prisoner now sat just beyond the edges of the trees. As the sun was setting behind the trees, the shadows began to swallow up the hounds. By the time the last shreds of light from the day left, they disappeared into the trees behind them leaving Zantu as Keesa’s sole guard.

She could feel the warmth of his body as he sat near her. It made her nervous, but not in the way that she expected. Her fur, though still warm from the smoky binding, hadn’t been singed at all. But she felt as though something dark still lingered there. She kept trying to avoid looking at Zantu, but her eyes would slip in that direction frequently.

“I know why you look at me like that,” he said.

She blinked quickly and looked away but didn’t say anything.

“I have no choice but to obey my master and he wills me to find beasts for his bidding.” There was a long minute where neither said anything. Then he said, “Disobedience is rewarded with pain.”

“Rewarded?” Keesa finally spoke. “Pain isn’t a reward.” She felt the burn of the smoky ropes no longer there and wondered how much pain Zantu had suffered before he submitted to this master.

Continue reading “Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (Part 3)”

Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (part 2)


Keesa opened her eyes to bright sun. She groaned as she moved. Every single muscle in her body screamed and the cut she suffered was throbbing. She blinked, trying to focus to the light. When she finally adjusted, she gasped at what she saw. Her attacker was staring at her a few feet away. His tail was twitching and he was scowling. Unsure what to say or do, she decided to sit up. She managed to do so without wincing visibly. Then she looked around nervously, certain that the seeker hounds would be there as well.

Realizing that they were, in fact, still alone, she decided that she needed to speak. She cleared her throat, “Um…are you alright?”

He continued to stare ominously.

The silence was uncomfortable and frightened her. “I think you hit your head. You nearly drowned as well.” When he didn’t speak yet again, she took a hesitant step backwards. “I was sure that –“

“Why?” He snapped at her.

Taken aback, she shook her head and said, “Pardon me?”

This time in a deadly quiet voice, he asked, “Why did you save me?”

She hadn’t expected that. In fact, she didn’t have an answer. She couldn’t even explain her actions to herself if she wanted to, let alone try to explain to him. Her eyes wandered as she looked for an answer. In the end, she simply shook her head and said, “I don’t know.” She looked down at the green grass. There would be no running away. Even the simplest act of shaking her head was painful.

The answer seemed to agitate him even further. Instead of asking more questions, he moved towards her, but not without difficulty. He was limping badly on his back right leg, barely putting any pressure down on it.

Keesa noticed. In an act that must have surprised him even more than she surprised herself, she moved towards him. “You’re hurt.”

His ears went flat against his head and the hackles on his back were standing nearly straight up. He growled as she approached him and snarled, “Get back!”

Continue reading “Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (part 2)”

Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (Part 1)

Crystal Blue

This is set a few years before “The Gateway to Imagia: The Tale of Sam Little”.  As a mother figure for Sam, Keesa never shared much of her story to save him the pain. Though I didn’t realize she would have such an impact, she seems to be a bit of a fan favorite. So, why not give her the story she deserves?

The forest was a blur around her as she ran. She had reached her top speed some time ago and her lungs were burning. She’d grown up in the forests of Imagia. The very earth her claws dug into was almost one with her as she made her way through the wild paths. Any kupa cat could navigate the forest in their sleep on most days. Of course, most days they didn’t have to run for their lives.

* * * * * * * * *

Continue reading “Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (Part 1)”

A Little Something New

I’ve decided that I stink at blogging. Yep. I’d love to have countless hours to just do whatever I want, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t. I have to divide my highly precious ‘me time’ into categories of what I want to do, should do, and will most likely actually accomplish. I should write more, but in order to do so, I must kick the what I want to do to the curb. And as a busy mom (yes…it’s true…moms can be busy) if I get an hour to myself, I treasure it and ultimately do what I want to do instead of the other options.

So lately, I’ve chosen to write, illustrate, or binge watch whatever show I’m obsessed with at the time. As I want to not have a three year gap between my most recent book and the last in the trilogy, I’ve opted to use my free time (however little there is) to write and illustrate. I’m working on the third Imagia book, a children’s book about fire safety, some art for a friend, and then some short stories that I will eventually compile into a book called “Tales from Imagia”. I’ve never really done short stories so this is a trial and error type of thing. BUT…it keeps the characters strong and fresh in my mind when I can’t really sit down for a long haul of writing.

So…that brings me to my next post that will be published directly after this one. I’m going to do something that my aunts (who think I’ll one day be famous for writing) would be very upset at me for. I’m giving my stories away for free. Yep. Free. I’m going to post them (sometimes in sections) to this very blog you’re currently visiting for anyone to enjoy and read. I’m starting with a short story about Keesa. If you  haven’t read my books then you’ll have no idea who this is. Which only means that…well…you need to go read my books. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and read!

Great Book on Sale!

A good friend of mine, Mike Wolff, is having a sale on one of his books called “Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends”. It’s a really fun book that everyone should take a chance on and give a read! I’ve read it and can attest to it’s level of enjoyablness (is that a word?)…which is high. It’s about bigfoot and vampires and all the urban legends inbetween. It’s got wit and humor and…did I mention bigfoot? It even has a sequel that is even more so fun to read. Go get this book!

Go on over and check it out! You won’t regret it!

The Unremarkable Sequel

So it’s been almost three weeks since the grand release of my long awaited sequel. I’m going to do my best to keep it real on here so if another new author wants to read about a genuine self-publishing experience, they will see the ups and the downs as they come. And I’m afraid to say that this is most sadly a down.

In my head, I assumed that because I had given away a couple hundred free downloads of my first book and had sold a fair share of paperbacks locally (and given away many, many more) that I would get quite a first month worth of sales. At the very least, I was sure I’d have a good chunk of downloads. Heck, with the first book, even my massive family managed to each buy a digital copy of the book as mere support. So, in true obsessive form, I checked my stats daily to see how many copies of the book were being sold and how many free copies were downloaded of the first book.

I was unimpressed.

As a matter of fact, there was one digital copy bought of the new book…by I could see what it looked like. So you don’t have to ask anyone later, you should know that you don’t get a free copy of the book just because you wrote it yourself. Self-publishing doesn’t work that way. And if I am missing some secret out there that gets you a free copy, please feel free to share that with me here. As for the paperback copies, I sold a whopping five. Two to my favorite fan that the book is dedicated to (they are putting one in their library for me), two to my brother and sister-in-law, and one to someone I know in Europe. That’s it. Five.

It was the most unremarkable sequel release. Ever. Was I bummed? Yep. Did I question my entire life choice to write books? You betcha. Did I cry myself to sleep every night for the first week? Oh yeah. (Just kidding. I didn’t cry.) Am I going to give up? Not a chance.

What’s the lesson here? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If I was a blue tang fish swimming in the ocean, I’d be chanting, “Just keep writing! Just keep writing! Just keep writing, writing, writing!” As far as the free downloads of my first book…well…that was almost as unremarkable as the sales. After five days, I had 26 downloads, most of them on the first day. I hope that things pick up, but…I’m not optimistic. How were your big release days?

Why I’ll Never Make Money as a Writer

Before you run away from this post while rolling your eyes at yet another self-published writer who is complaining about not making any money, give me a moment to clarify.

Recently, someone asked if they should consider self-publishing rather than going down the traditional method of getting a publisher. I told them that after a year of getting 30+ rejections from traditional publishers that I chose to self-publish and that it was the best decision I ever made (regarding my writing). Sure, it would be awesome to see my book on every bookstore shelf and get thousands of readers. It would also be awesome to make enough money to buy more than a pack of gum. But even if I waited ten years and got picked up by a publisher, as far as making money goes, the odds are not in my favor.

Continue reading “Why I’ll Never Make Money as a Writer”

Release Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you out there! Today I’m not excited about chocolate or flowers (though I wouldn’t say no to the chocolate), I’m pumped because today is the official release day for The Gateway to Imagia: The Gathering. Woo-hoo!! This is where, were I to be a best-selling author, I would write: The highly anticipated sequel is finally here! Oh, what the hay. I have a couple of fans and I know they were itching for the next book so…


When you publish via KDP for the digital copy and then also on Createspace for the paperback copy, sometimes it can take a bit to combine them as one listing on Amazon. They (the powers that be at Amazon) usually combine them after a few days on the market so it’s all about patience. (Friendly tip from one indie to another!) So for now, I’ll post both the links. It’s an exciting day!

And even more exciting is that it already has its first review from my good buddy Mike Wolff. Five Stars, nonetheless! How did he finish it so soon, you ask? He was one of my beta-readers. Gotta love the beta-readers! You can read about it on his blog over here and while you’re at it, take a look around his site. He’s a fellow indie-writer who has written some pretty amazing books and is a HUGE supporter of indie authors.

For paperback: Snag a copy here!

For digital: Snag a copy here!


Big Week

This week proves to be a big one for me. I will officially be a series writer. That’s right – series.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment…

Okay. So it’s going to be a personal moment that I will be proud of. Honestly? I never really thought I’d make it past the first book, let alone moving on to the process of writing the third one. I also never thought I’d see my book in print. But…here we are! I’m very excited! Starting…oh…about a half an hour ago…my first book became available to download for free for the week in preparation for the sequel’s release on Tuesday. I hope to wake up tomorrow to a million downloads. Ha! Just joking. I’ve done the free download thing more times than I care to count and each time is never the same. I’ve had a five day promotion and gotten five downloads and then on the flip-side, I’ve had a two day promotion and gotten over a hundred. So let’s see where the freebie offering winds take us this week!

One of my favorite things about being a self-published author is the little burst of pride you have when you hit the “publish” button or order a few paperbacks just to keep on hand. You know? Just in case you run into someone who is super impressed and wants to buy it from you. If you’re on the same indie-boat as me, high-five! Isn’t it a fun ride? Whether three people read your book or three-thousand, it matters not. Be proud! You wrote a book!

If you have had no luck with free download days, then my best advice is to keep trying. KDP (whom I go through) has a lot of good choices for promotions. It’s a nice way to kill your day by consistently logging in and seeing if the little blips go up with sales every hour. (I’m not really that obsessed, but it is fun to see each day.)

If you’re interested in a freebie, give it a go! What have you got to lose?


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