22 August 2020

Influenced Release Day

Happy Saturday, everyone! Today's a special day because it's the release day for Patricia Josephine's new book, Influenced! Read all about the book and check out an excerpt below! 

There is no Light without Dark.

Influencers are the voices that whisper in our ears. Tiny Angels and Devil sitting on our shoulders and guiding our choices. They are sworn to thwart the other. It is their duty.

Or so they thought…

Nothing is as it seems and questions are piling up. Do Kale and Ariel have the strength to face the truth? Will Antonia and Landon be forced to choose a side? Can Soleil break through to Kemuel? Three tales, three choices: Light. Dark. Or the shades of gray between.

Which one will win?

*  *  *
“Hey, Dad?” Jimmy dropped his backpack by the front door and bounded through the house. He paused in the empty living room. The kitchen was vacant as well. A note pinned to the refrigerator let him know his dad had gone to his aunt’s, so he had the house to himself. He could play his music as loud as he wanted and not get yelled at. He pumped his fist in the air.

“No, you are to respect your father’s wishes,” Tony scolded. God, she sounded like her siblings. A white sheep following the pack blindly.

But doing her job was the best way to keep Landon off her mind. As long as she focused on what Jimmy did, her mind wouldn’t stray to the devilish blond hiding out of sight.

Jealousy aimed at Jimmy gathered in her stomach. It must be nice to be a mortal. Oblivious to the war raging around them. No cares in the world. Letting the little voices in their heads help them make decisions. Tony wished an Influencer would whisper in her ear to to make her stop thinking about Landon.

As if on cue, Landon appeared. “Hey, Tony.”

The way Landon rolled her name around his mouth made Tony tremble. She hunched her shoulders and brought her knees up to her chest. “What do you want?”

Landon sat next to Tony. His long legs dangled over Jimmy’s shoulder. “I can’t come over and say hi?” Innocence dripped from his voice.

Tony eyed him. “We’re supposed to be enemies. Not besties.”

Landon slung his arm around Tony. The warmth of his skin seared her.

He snorted. “Who is going to know? The angels and demons don’t care about us. We’re pawns in their silly, little war.”

Tony blinked. “You think the war is silly?”

“Don’t you?”

Tony opened her mouth but then shut it. Before she could answer, music began playing. The Influencers looked at Jimmy.

Headphones covered his ears snugly, and music blasted in them. The sound was muffled, though, despite how loudly Jimmy had it. He played his guitar along to the tune, but the amp wasn’t on.

Tony turned back to Landon to see the Dark Influencer frowning.

“What?” she asked.

The frown morphed into a smile. “What?”

Now, Tony scowled. “What are you doing over here?”

“Nothing. I’m bored on my side.”

“Riiiiiight. You’re not doing your duty?” The last word came out acidic.

Landon stared at Tony with wide eyes. “Come on. Why would I lie to you about being bored?”
Tony fell silent a moment. Then laughter burst from her. Landon laughed at well. The grin on his face said he was pleased with her reaction.

“You’re funny,” Tony said, shaking her head.

Landon waggled his eyebrows. “I’m being my charming, devilish self.”

Charming wasn’t the word Tony would pick. She cocked her head. Her heart thumped nervously. She had never met someone who doubted the war. “Do you believe the war is pointless?”

Landon dropped his gaze to his hands. His voice softened. “Honestly, I’m not sure. I was told never to question it and to just do my job.”

“I know that feeling.” Tony sighed. “The angels wouldn’t give me a straight answer, or they’d get mad at me for asking questions. Sometimes I’m not even sure they know why they’re fighting.”

Landon nudged Tony with his shoulder. “Our friendship could convince them to stop.”
Friendship… The word echoed in Tony’s head.

Was that what Landon wanted? All she wanted? Disappointment stung Tony. As much as she knew she shouldn’t, something pulled her toward Landon. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to resist it.

                                                                          *  *  *

About the Author
Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 

05 August 2020

IWSG and Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

What am I insecure about this month? Well, I've just recently (like the past two days) been getting back into working on my flat character arc for Jordan, and it's led me to the conclusion that the third act of my book is WAY too long. I know I'm going to have to cut some things, and I do have a few ideas that immediately jump out at me, but I know it's still going to be a grueling process. But I'll just take it one step at a time. 

Today is also the day for the Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Chrys Fey's new book! We're supposed to share a story about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout, and how we overcame it or what we are currently doing to heal. 

If I'm being totally honest, I think I'm experiencing some form of writer's block or burnout right now. I've kind of had to force myself to do anything writing related. None of my ideas have excited me lately. I've just had no desire to write. 

It's tough because I've been working on one book for so long and it's taken so much to figure things out, and I'm still not done (see above!). Plus I constantly think about how when I actually DO finish this book, no one will want to read it. I don't think an agent or publisher would touch it with a ten foot pole. So why do I keep going? Maybe because I've come this far, I can't just give up. I have to see it through to the end, no matter what that end may be. 

My strategy with pretty much everything, like I said above, is to take it one step at a time. If you try to pile on too much or think too far ahead, it can get overwhelming. I just like to focus on one thing at a time. Right now, it's to make myself work on something writing related every day. This can be working on my character arc, brainstorming, or editing. If I don't want to actually write, it's ok. I just want to be able to say I did SOMETHING. 

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!


When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:


·        Writer's block

·        Depression

·        Writer's burnout

·        What a writer doesn’t need to succeed

·        Finding creativity boosts


With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.





Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo / Goodreads


Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

01 July 2020

Falling Flat

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

I mentioned in my last post that I was having some health issues, but I got everything checked out and it's all good. Not really sure what was causing my head pain but it seems to have gotten better on its own. I have a few theories, including having to wear a mask for eight hours in a hot kitchen or maybe my hair is just too long. But I digress...

Getting back in to writing is still pretty difficult. I was doing a lot of editing just to be doing SOMETHING. Mostly getting rid of unnecessary and overused words. I know a big project is to rewrite Chapter 27, so I'll probably get to that soon. But the ending of the book still doesn't feel quite right. 

I've been trying to figure out character arcs. As I've learned more about them (thanks to a book we read for the IWSG book club!) I've felt that UL has more of a flat arc. I say "more of" because, well...it still doesn't feel quite right. Maybe that's part of my problem? But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

One of the main aspects of the flat arc is that the main character doesn't change, but changes the world and other people around him. This is where I think UL fits in the most (with some exceptions, but more on that in a bit). By the end of the book, Jordan is pretty much in the same spot he was in the beginning. The last line of the book really hammers that home. 

The only exception would be one of the subplots, which definitely has its own arc, and this one's positive. I guess the discord is partly coming from the idea that in the subplot, Jordan does go through changes and ends up in a better spot than the beginning of the book. I think this can still work even with a flat arc in the main plot. He's changed in some ways, ways he actually always knew he needed to change. But in some ways, he hasn't changed at all. 

I guess where I'm struggling is the idea of a character's "truth." In a flat arc, the main character already believes a truth and uses that to overcome the world's lie. My problem here is that all I can really come up with is that Jordan's truth is, "I can get whatever I want if I try hard enough/manipulate people in just the right way." The "lie" would be something like, "society has rules that need to be followed." Which isn't really a "lie," right? Or maybe in the context of this book, it is, because Jordan knows he can get around rules to get what he wants. He's a bit of an antihero, so his truth isn't going to be some righteous quest that's going to change the world, after all. 

Am I answering my own questions? Maybe I just want someone else to tell me that this actually does work. I'm going to try to map it out, either way, and see if that sparks any ideas or changes. 

03 June 2020

Real Life Gets in the Way

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

I don't *think* I have any real secrets. If they were reading Jordan's book, they may be surprised that I am literally his polar opposite. No idea how that guy came out of a shy nervous wreck's brain. Actually, I think this works more in reverse. If a lot of the people I know in real life read what I wrote, they wouldn't believe I wrote it. Plot, characters, genre, language--all of it. They never would have guessed this was what I was writing.

Well, I gotta be honest, I haven't been doing much writing lately. I really was on a roll for a while, mostly with editing UL (since I still haven't quite figured out those last two chapters...). But real life kinda slapped me in the face and I've got some health issues to deal with now. I started having pain in my head, right where I had a shunt put in when I was an infant. It's never hurt me my whole life so I knew something was wrong. And trying to get to a doctor right now is a PROCESS, let me tell you. The good news was that it got me to get a physical for the first time since I was a teenager (yeah, I'm one of those people who avoids the doctor until absolutely necessary). I have a virtual appointment with a neurosurgeon on Friday. I'm just really worried because I'm sure if something is wrong, I'll most likely need surgery. But one thing at a time, right?

I've just been really exhausted lately between being in pain and my anxiety going through the roof pretty much nonstop, plus still working at a hospital full time. So my writing hasn't even been on my mind. I kinda wish it was because I could use the distraction, but I just don't think my brain works that way. When I'm worried or dreading something, that's all I can think about.

This afternoon I'm getting together with some coworkers for some kind of social-distancing-around-the-pool-party, so that should be fun, at least. I may be late getting around to other blogs (unless your post is up at 4 AM EST because I try to read some before work like the psycho that I am). Hope everyone is doing well!

06 May 2020

Just Keep Writing...or Editing...or Brainstorming...

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

Has it been a month already? March felt like it took six years but April took about three days. So which plague comes after the murder hornets? Don't remember that part in the Bible...

This month's optional question from the IWSG is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

I've probably mentioned this before, but I've always been very in tune with my characters, and my routines to get into the WRITING ZONE, if you will, usually have to do with them. Listening to music has always been a way to get in the zone for me, but even moreso now because Jordan is a musician. I actually realized that lately I haven't been listening to music (since that happened mostly at the gym and the gym is closed), and my desire to write was pretty much zero. I started listening again and my urge to write has slowly been creeping back. The muse is fickle. 

Anyhoo, I've been trying really hard to at least WORK on writing, if not ACTUAL writing. I'll probably have to explain that. I've added to my daily checklist of goals to work on writing for at least a half hour. But this doesn't necessarily mean I have to be writing. It could be editing, making lists of things to eventually fix, brainstorming ideas in my journal. It just has to be writing related. So far I've been sticking to it every day. 

This past weekend I spent a lot of time writing in my journal. I really like taking a basic idea that I feel I haven't gotten quite right or needs more exploration and just letting my thoughts run free until I've figured it all out. I kid you not, I wrote NINE pages exploring the symbolism of Jordan's phone. You'd think, well, all teens have phones, right? Haha WRONG. It's actually symbolic of not only his secret keeping, but also the isolation he forces on himself.

Literally titled "phone stuff"

It's ok, you can tell me I'm insane. 

All this brainstorming has also read to some mini-revelations. Basically certain parts in the story where I think I can do better. Every time I think of something, I jot it down in a separate journal where I've basically laid out (or am in the process of laying out) all of my editing and rewriting goals. I've already got HUGE lists for rewriting Chapter 1 (because is a first chapter ever really finished?) and Chapter 27 (because it's a trash fire).

And maybe at some point I will actually write the last two chapters of the book. But I'm hoping that by getting all of this other stuff done, not only will I feel more accomplished, but maybe the ending will become clearer.

01 April 2020

Keep Calm and Purell

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

Since I am pretty much a giant ball of stress, I will just skip to this month's optional question:

The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

Boy, oh boy! Did I mention that I was a giant stress ball? Well, I work in a hospital kitchen, and things are CRAZY right now, as you can imagine. While our overall patient count has dropped significantly (because no one is going to be there if they don't absolutely have to), and the days are really long and slow, there are also a TON of precautions in place and things seem to be changing every day. It's a lot to keep up with and my anxiety is probably at an all time high.

We are being very safe. We have to wear masks everywhere we go in the hospital (except in the kitchen, which is good because it's hot in there and those things already make it hard to breathe!), we don't have contact with a lot of patients who are under certain precautions, we can't even go in certain sections of the hospital. The newest change is that right when we get to work, we're asked if we have any of the coronavirus symptoms. They're not checking our temperatures yet (unless maybe you have the symptoms? I'm not sure because luckily I don't), but I'm sure that will be next. My hands are also very raw from all the Purell and hand washing.

Besides the added stress level at work, though, honestly, things don't feel that different. Probably because I'm a hermit who never leaves my apartment anyway, and I also still have to go to work every day. I'm definitely grateful to still have a job.

How's the writing going? you might ask. Yeah, that's not happening right now (kind of like my diet...). I pretty much just want to decompress and watch Netflix (got one episode left of Tiger King!). Since my schedule hasn't changed at all, and my stress level is high, I don't see any writing happening in the near future unless I'm really struck by an idea.

I am still trying to actively think about Chapter 28. So you never know...

04 March 2020

Multiple Projects, Multiple Options

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up! This month's awesome co-hosts are Jacqui MurrayLisa Buie-CollardNatalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence! Wait a second! I missed one...hold on...need my glasses...Sarah Foster? Never heard of her...

Hi! Welcome! If you've never been here before...sorry, I'm weird. 

This month's optional question is: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories? 

Not really. I've definitely never inserted any of my own traditions or customs into my stories. The closest thing I can think of is in Uneven Lines, it's kind of a periodic ritual for Jordan and his mom to eat ice cream together. It's something that happened a lot more when he was little, but as he gets older and their relationship gets more strained, it happens less often (and not until Chapter 14!). But I think it helps to show they can have their moments of a normal mother/son relationship. 

Now I want some ice cream...

I'm a little scatterbrained lately. Kind of all over the place. I keep jumping from one story idea to another, letting my thoughts (and fingers, when I actually sit down to write) fly free. And you know what? I kinda like it. 

Ok, so I KNOW my main focus should be Chapter 28 of Uneven Lines. I'm so so close to finishing that third draft. However, it's probably the most difficult chapter to write, for more reasons than I can count. And the words are not coming easily to me. I'm chipping away at it very slowly, but at least at this point it is no longer a blank page with nothing but "Twenty-Eight" at the top. 

But I also have other projects I want to work on. There's my NaNo win from last November, Sexy Fluff #1 (I'll come up with a title eventually...), then there's the exciting, action packed, although not quite as sexy but I'm still calling it Sexy Fluff #2 (see above), and how could I forget Shiny New Story (what's a title?)?? Although it isn't really shiny OR new at this point. 

The thing is, I want to write all of these books, too. And I figure, if I can't make the words happen with UL, it's better to be writing SOMETHING than nothing at all. So I've been doing a bit of story hopping lately, just trying to get my ideas down whenever they strike me. I completed an unfinished chapter in SF#1, outlined SF#2, and lately a lot has been coming to me with SNS, so I've been writing that for the past few days. I've been keeping track of my word counts in my fancy planner, really just trying to up the word counts for everything every week, even if it's just a little bit. 

Look, it even worked the first week! 

Did it work the next week? Well...sort of...two of them went up...but one was UL! So yay! 

I think I just like having the options. If I'm stuck on one story, I can work on a different one. If a particular scene pops into my head, it's ok to write it, no matter what story it is. Also having some first draft freedom with my other stories is nice since UL is in its third draft and I want everything to be PERFECT. It's nice to change to something with less pressure. 

In the end, aren't some words better than no words? 

Do you work on multiple stories at once? What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?