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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book recommendations (no, not my own!)

I've read several good books lately that I wanted to share. First is a novel by Charlie Homberg called Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet. When I began this book I was reminded of The mistress of Spices, one of my all time favorite books by Chitra Banergee Divakaruni. (if you haven't read her books try them out!) Both of them have to do with magical baking skills and much more! And Charlie, a woman by the way, has written others that I plan to try!

The one I'm reading now is The Wretched of Muirwood, by Jeff Wheeler. It is part of a series and I will read on because of how much I'm enjoying this one. It's a tale about a young girl cast out from her family, and because of this she is known as a 'wretched'. It takes place in a fictional world in a fictional abbey with fictional practices that have a lot to do with magic. (surprise surprise) I must admit I am attracted to such stories. (And write them too)

Another series I recommend is the Caledonia Fae series by India Drummond--Good and bad Faeries, a love story and parallel worlds! I've read three in the series of five books. Another one that I HIGHLY recommend is Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor, the first of three of the most unusual and wonderful stories I've read in an age! Unique, quirky and completely engrossing. Unfortunately they are published by Hatchett and the kindle prices are ridiculous--better to get used copies of the paperbacks. Every time I see $10 for kindles it makes me fume.

So happy reading everyone. And I hope you pick up one or two of these books and enjoy them as much as I did! I have zillions of books to recommend but this is enough for today.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Giveaway! This means FREE!

I have a book on my website, www.nikkibroadwell.com, that I'm offering free in exchange for signing up for my newsletter, but a week has gone by and so far I've had only two takers, and one was the person at Godaddy helping me sort out the submit button! (but she did say she's excited to read it) Is this because of Bookbub and other places where people are able to download free books? A friend of mine says she never pays for books--amazing.

At first I thought it was due to the lack of security on my site and made sure I purchased SSL. When I set up my website on Godaddy there was no discussion about what I needed and have found out these things in a round-about way. To move on, I purchased the SSL but found out that I had to jump through some other hoop to have it work. I wrote a complaint to Godaddy about this, saying that they really should tell people what they need to do AFTER they purchase one of the many things needed in order to have a viable site. Same thing has happened with SEO. I added that right away and only found out recently that it only applied to 2 of my 7 pages. What? Yesterday I spent some time getting 2 more pages 'optimized' but I have more to do, and from what I understand I will have to pay if I want to optimize more than 5 pages. I've been warned about Godaddy and the nickel and dimeing, but the site was an easy one for me to set up and I do like it. And I have to say that when I call, (which has been nearly every day of late)  the tech people have been easy to work with and very pleasant and helpful.

Back to why no one is availing themselves of my offer--I have posted on FB, I have tweeted, I have done an askDavid promo--(if you don't know about this site you should check it out.) So I really have no idea what's going on unless people are so tired of being spammed on a daily basis that they refuse to share their e-mail addresses!

If you have any interest in checking out my website or getting a free book, go to the web address listed above, and click on the contact page. The Bridge is a young adult/new adult fantasy about two young people destined for something great. But life intervenes, separating them and bringing all sorts of problems. I'm working on a sequel called Time Gap which should be out by the end of the year. (I hope)

I love comments so if you have any insight or just want to say something, please do!!! And thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Diets be damned

  1. the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.
    "I sometimes feel like screaming with frustration"
    • an event or circumstance that causes one to have a feeling of frustration.
      plural noun: frustrations
      "the inherent frustrations of assembly line work"
    • the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something.
      "the frustration of their wishes"

More unwelcome news from a friend whose doctor has told her that cognitive function can be effected by alcohol and that she should stop drinking. My God! Help me! Do I buy into this or do I continue with my one glass of wine a night? My friend used the word 'poison' to describe alcohol. AARGH! Sometimes I wish I knew nothing about anything.

Life is narrowing down to a list of of should's and should-nots. And to go along with this I say we should do our own research or simply ignore it depending on what our own intuition and bodies tell us. Yes, I freaked out when other friends decided to go vegan because of the China study. I looked into that tome and found that I didn't agree with their premise and also read that their research was done with casein. My naturopath, a man I highly respect, has told me I need red meat. Without enough protein I get ocular migraines and low-blood sugar. I know, I know--just because someone else decides to follow a stringent, and to my mind, overly restricted diet, doesn't mean I have to. I don't believe that fat isn't good for us and I don't believe we were meant to go without meat. I know also that it would be better for the planet if we didn't eat meat, but my body says an emphatic NO to this idea. I wish I could say yes to it just as I wish  could stop all the fighting and everything bad happening around the world. We would much better off if we didn't use masses of land and water to raise beef cattle. But...

How do we function in a world where studies are thrust upon us one after the other? Where friends we love suddenly decide to give up this food or that based on something they read? I have seen too often how these new fads are debunked a year later. But when we hear about them we are immediately faced with what we're doing wrong--OMG I've been eating bacon! At least it's the kind without nitrates or nitrites I say, consoling myself.

I try really hard to steer clear of the newest dietary no no. I ask help from the universe in sorting through it all. I think of the people in Europe who eat what they want, drink at lunch and dinner and for the most part lead happy lives free of health concerns. Does anyone else think that our country's constant harping on cholesterol numbers are leading to neurosis?

But despite my efforts I do find myself lying in bed at night worrying...life is too short for all this nonsense! Can't we just LIVE and enjoy what time we have left on this planet?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

End of the world part 2

What is it they say? There's no such thing as being too rich or too thin? Really? How about too fat because you don't have the money to buy proper food or so poor that you don't have a roof over your head?

We are in the beginning stages of what happened in Germany, folks, just before Hitler came into power. This isn't a depression, per se, but the economy for poorer people has not improved. Wages are stagnant and have been for over twenty years, there has been no cost of living increases to wages nor has there been a lessening in the lending institutions--not since they fucked us over. Poor people in this country are basically screwed. No wonder they are geared up to listen to someone like Trump. They don't trust the government and he's the only one who isn't tied into it.

I wish I could impress upon them what will happen if Trump becomes our president, especially if the congress is still Republican. The first thing is the end of Obamacare. I agree that this health care system is majorly flawed, but without it things will only get worse. And the people who are screaming about abolishing it are the ones who can afford health care. (Congress gets the best health care there is) What happens to the ones who can't? And the idea that Paul Ryan put forth the other day of getting insurance companies to again ban those with preexisting conditions? What do they think will happen to these people? Or don't they care? Is that the problem--that they care about no one but themselves?

It seems that fear is running the world, or at least our country. Fear of a terrorist attack ranks high despite the lack of evidence to support the possibility. The news is full of it. And Muslins--be very very afraid of them. And blacks, of course. The color of their skin proves it. Oh yes, and Mexicans--they're coming for your jobs. But don't be afraid of guns in the wrong hands, the police who keep killing blacks, or constant war that is killing and maiming our young men and women.

When the Republicans talk about lowering taxes, please realize what this means. If you are not one of the wealthy in this country it means that you will have no services. This includes health care and good roads and bridges, schools that are safe and an educational system that actually teaches something. Privatizing these things would only put money in the hands of the ones I'm talking about. It seems that the only thing they want to spend money on is war. War is profitable.

So read everything you can get your hands on regarding these issues and the candidates we are being asked to choose between--don't believe Fox news--find out for yourself! Think critically! Or is that even possible anymore? I am hoping it is...because we as a people need to be thinking about what we really need, not listening to the rhetoric.

Thanks for reading!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The end of the world

This is an off the wall blog post for me considering that most of my posts have to do with writing. But. The world is turning into a very weird place--have you noticed?

1. WAR--what I thought was the beginning of a peaceful era during the Clinton administration was immediately turned on its head when Bush got in. Right off I'll admit that I am a democrat, or I should say, an independent. But lately I hate both parties and congress and everyone who has anything to do with politics or running our country, including Mr. Obama who has been pushing the insanely flawed TPP. (Trans-Pacific Partnership)
 According to reports I've read when Bush took us into war in Iraq there were only 100 Taliban--and look at what happened as result of destabilization.  Continents are being flooded with people fleeing the war zones, young people are being swayed to join Isis and doing all sorts of crazy violent acts to prove themselves. Countries are turning in on themselves and becoming isolationist at a time when we need cooperation more than ever.

2. And what is this absolute obsession with money? We can't stop fracking, which is causing earthquakes, using up billions of gallons of water, a natural resource that is dwindling, and could very well be the end of us. Why? Because too many people are getting rich. It is also why we can't get anyone in congress interested in funding natural energy sources. We can't do anything about gun control because of the NRA? How many horrible shootings does it take? And I'm not going to mention the insurance companies and the health care problems--Obama tried, but I'm sure all his good work will slowly dwindle away because of the one thing he didn't address: Insurance companies. If we had a universal system like Medicare we'd be set--but oh no--don't throw me in that briar patch. And pull-eeze keep lowering taxes so that we will have NO services whatsoever! Oh, except the war machine which continues to grow. Beware the military industrial complex. (Eisenhower) The corporations are in charge, folks--get a clue. If we want to take our country back we have to demand it. Not sure what this entails other than voting people in who don't want to line their own pockets or be seen as the greatest man or woman on earth. Good luck finding them.

3. Global warming? --oh heavens, there is no such thing! We don't want to stop our use of fossil fuels until there is not one more drop of oil to be had. And don't do anything about the massive island of trash that's floating around our oceans, the navy doing sonar tests that's killing whales, the plastic that whales are eating and dying because of, the oil slicks that people don't even pay attention to anymore, except the fisherman who have lost their livelihoods.

I am no expert, believe me, but seeing a congress that cannot agree on anything and spends most of their time campaigning for their next election, a country divided in a election for president between a man who is a narcissistic sociopath and a woman who is a career politician? Give me a break! It is all about money--ALL OF IT. And until we really see this fact and begin to address it we are doomed. Frankly I hoped for Bernie Sanders, but with congress still at an impasse it probably wouldn't have done much good.

I will vote for Hillary because if Trump gets in things will get even worse--in my opinion the man is crazier than a bedbug. And spending millions to try and change people's minds?  Doesn't work folks. Anyone who supports Trump does not want to hear why he's crazy--they don't care. And Hillary running around and spouting her stuff? Doesn't matter. Those who are supporting her will support her and vote for her. That's the thing in this country--we have little choice, really. At least in the parliamentary system you can vote the wankers out! And if a new prime minister comes in, the house they are affiliated with comes in with them--they actually get something done! What a concept. We can't even get our infrastructure taken care of--maybe if some major bridges collapse it will get them to pay attention--oh wait--that's already happened.

This is just the tip of the iceburg and we are heading toward it at an alarming rate.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What to do when the book is finished...

Every time I finish a book I have varying states of what I might call depression, anxiety, or just plain grumpiness. And every time this happens I wonder what is going on with me! I have to be reminded by friends and family that, "You just finished a book, Nikki--this happens every time."

This time I even began another book, but sadly the story seems all over the place and I'm not sure I can trust my characters. I think they're playing with me in my vulnerable state. So today I have barely looked at it, instead buying things on Amazon. What is it they say?  When things get tough the tough go shopping? Well that's where I'm at (grammar, puleeze!)

And, I am planning on drinking wine as soon as the hour seems right--(I seem to be losing time in that department, making up excuses for why I'm starting an hour earlier than yesterday--oh well.)

I have several projects in the writing arena, none of which piques my interest at the moment--when this happens I have to take a few days off, even if it means binge watching television or reading, or as I said before, shopping.

To date I've bought a new black, supposedly, nourishing mascara, a couple of face products from Evan Healy, three T-shirts from Target, a black fitted button down shirt...all reasonably priced. (except for face products which are always high, but hey! I have to look my best, right?)

And now I'm faced with myself again and this sinking sensation in my stomach that is about--what? It must be empty nest syndrome or something similar--my baby just went off to college! But the book is at the formatters and what she is doing looks spectacular! I can't wait for people to see it! And if you missed the teaser I made on Animoto, here is the link: ' Faery teaser

Hopefully next post I'll be far into 'Time Gap'!

keep on reading!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Excerpt and existential angst

My newest book, Faery,  is about to be launched--a steamy tale of Maeve and Harold of Wolfmoon fame. In this book they get into a lot of trouble messing about with the Fae. Here's a tiny taste:

I had taken a different route through a hardwood forest when I heard a flute or a person singing. I brought Pooka to a stop to listen.
“Are you looking for me?”
I jumped in the saddle, nearly tumbling off the horse. When I looked down a man was standing by Pooka’s head, his hand on the bridle.  A mist lay around him, his golden eyes nearly the same color as Pooka’s eyes. Shiny black hair hung straight to his shoulders. His intense stare gave me a shiver. “Are you Gan Ceanach?” I asked, fearing the worst.
He smiled and inclined his head. “At your service.”
He held my gaze, and when I tried to speak I couldn’t utter a word. Finally he grabbed my hand and helped me off the horse. He was shorter than I, his head barely reaching my chin, and yet he held a power that I couldn’t deny.  His features were even and perfect, his smile beguiling as only a faery’s smile could be.
“You need a rest and the baby needs to eat,” he said, pulling Airy out of her papoose and handing her to me.
I’d never been shy about feeding her in public, but for some reason I didn’t want to bare my breasts in front of this man. “She’s fine right now,” I told him, reaching into my bag with one hand to grab a hunk of cheese. But of course as soon as those words were out of my mouth she began to howl, her face scrunching up as though someone was pinching her. I turned my back to him and fumbled around with my clothing. When she was settled I covered her with a blanket and lowered myself to the ground.
He sat next to me. “I hoped to catch up with you—did you see me at the dolmen? I have a proposition.”
“What proposition? I’ve been told to stay away from you.”
He laughed, his golden eyes twinkling in the dusky light of the forest. “I need you to align with me.”
“Align myself for what?”
“To go against the ravens.”
“The ravens.” I thought of my experience at the canyon. “I thought something might be going on with them.” When I turned, he caught my gaze with his own. I felt the sexual energy he exuded just as I had at the dolmen.
“Yes,” he said, answering my unasked question. “I saw you there. I followed you.”
“What’s going on with the ravens?” I asked, noticing that they were perched in several of the trees.
 “Morrighan has imbued the ravens with her evil intents and I have resolved to stop her—with your help of course.” He smiled.
 “But why would Morrighan do this? She was happy to be finished with the war and with Brandubh. At the end she cursed him.”
He raised his eyebrows. “You do know that Morrighan is the goddess of war? She has an agenda that I have not yet discovered; possibly she’s bored.”
When the baby’s head lolled to one side he lifted her out of my arms and placed her gently on the moss. He leaned toward me and took my face in his hands. What had MacCuill warned--something about not letting him…but it was too late, his mouth was on mine and I melted against him as the kiss grew deeper. He tasted like summer rain. When one of his hands moved to my exposed breast, his touch sizzled against my skin, creating little waves of desire. I told myself to stop him, to say no, but I felt like a starving animal that had just been given food. When he removed my clothes I didn’t feel the chill air, nor did the momentary thought of Harold remain in my mind. I was wholly Gan Ceanach’s to do with as he pleased. 
The next thing I knew I was lying naked on a bower of some soft material that hadn’t been there before, his hands roaming across my body. At some point he’d removed his clothes and now I viewed his strong chest, the narrow hips. His body was compact compared to Harold’s, narrower and more angular, but the part of him that I focused on was not in keeping with the rest of him. When I gasped he let out a delighted laugh.
As his fingers and lips played across my over-heated skin I drifted into a world I’d never been before, my body weightless and clinging to his as though he was the only thing keeping me from floating away. He was corporeal and at the same time ethereal, like an angel who had only lately discovered gravity. He was inventive and very thorough, and when it was over I lay panting, barely able to catch my breath.  I gazed up at his handsome features, caught again by his golden eyes. “I thought I dreamed you.”
He smiled, one finger tracing lightly along my collarbone. “You did dream me the other night, but having you here like this is a much better experience for both of us.”
“I’m pledged to another. Harold and I have a baby.”

His eyes flashed dark. “All that is superfluous—silly conventions that mean nothing in the real scheme of things. You will remain with Harold but your heart is mine now.”
Steamy enough? Now to the existential angst: "Existential Angst is the relation to one being aware of the possibility that life lacks meaning, causing an extreme form of anxiety, and a feeling of despair or hopelessness." urban dictionary.
The only reason I am not feeling this is because of writing. Writing provides a way to dig into the psyche and to bring up the subjects and the emotions that plague us, run our lives, and drive us crazy. What about you? Are you feeling the angst or taking it to your fingertips and typing it out? 
and thanks for reading....
if you want to look at my website it is: www.nikkibroadwell.com