Novella Cover Reveal

New addition to the Final Formula Series! Update!  The Element of Death is available everywhere ebooks are sold–or it will be shortly.  Some sites are a little slower than others, so keep checking.  If you’d like to read an excerpt, visit my books page. The Element of Death is a short novella told from James’s point of view that fills a gap of time within the first novel, The Final Formula. This story is more of a buddy flick between the guys, and offers some insight into how they became friends. Addie and her sharp tongue will return in the (as yet untitled) second novel, due to release later this spring.  From time to time, I share snippets from that one on my Facebook page. The stories in my Final Formula Series are intended to be read in order.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out The Final Formula, read the first three chapters here.  Or pick up a copy anywhere ebooks are sold.  It’s only $0.99!...

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The Rock Cycle – A Story

I mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago that my son had written a story for his sixth grade science class.  The assignment was to write a narrative and do character sketches to illustrate the rock cycle.  You know, when an igneous rock becomes a sedimentary rock, etc.  Some readers expressed an interest in seeing his story, so here it is. This tale is my son’s, but I might have helped with sentence structure and punctuation. 😉  Also, if you enjoyed the story, please leave a comment.  He’ll be thrilled. (The picture of “Maggie” was done by my daughter.  Both kids really got into this assignment.  We had a blast!) The Rock Cycle Iggy Obsidian was president of the Extrusive Igneous Rock Club. He’d been president for tens of thousands of years, and to be honest, he was tired of it. His fellow rock club members were so smooth and polished. Never a mineral out of place. They sat on their mountain and watched the world change around them. “I’m bored,” Iggy complained to Grandpa Granite one day. Grandpa Grant was president of the Intrusive Igneous Rock Club. He’d been around so long that he now lived on the surface instead of where he was born inside the mountain. “You need to go on a rock cycle,” Grandpa Grant said. “What’s a rock cycle?” Iggy asked. “It’s like a tour of the rock world. You see how the other rocks live.” “Sound like fun!” “Start at Cousin Bobby Sandstone’s. He runs the Country Brothers’ Sedimentary Rock Spa.” So Iggy went to visit Cousin Bobby. “Hi, Cousin Bobby. I want to see how sedimentary rocks live.” “It’s all about spa treatment, little bro. Erosion, deposition, compaction and cementation.” “Sounds complicated.” “Not at all, little bro.” So Iggy hung out at the spa for tens of thousands of years. His hard edges wore away and he relaxed in the riverbed, his minerals settling into layers. It was relaxing, but nothing ever happened. “I’m bored,” Iggy complained. “Have you tried the glacier rub?” Cousin Bobby asked. “It’s a great way to chill, little bro.” “I’m tired of just laying around. I want change.” “Change?” a new voice...

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Zombie Girl

Contrary to common belief, I don’t like zombies.  Really.  I mean, what’s to like?  They’re mindless, rotting hunks of nastiness.  But if you throw a few in your novel, or sit up all night slaying them on the Xbox, suddenly everyone thinks you like them. I blame my son. From a young age, the boy has always gravitated toward the spooky and the creepy.  I can’t fault him there; I enjoy those things myself.  But he takes it a step further into the gross.  (Judging by the interests of his friends, I suspect it’s a boy thing.) It’s his fault I ended up an Xbox addict.  When he bought a copy of Left For Dead, I had to do the parental guidance thing and play along.  (I guided him to the safe house and he kept the zombies off my back.)  After that, we moved on to Call of Duty Zombies, then Dead Island.  We’ve even played the zombie modes on games such as Red Dead Redemption and Borderlands.  If the undead ever shuffle our way, the boy and I are ready! So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that zombies ended up in my story.  They were just what I was looking for.  Not only are they nasty, but dead things creep me out.  Perfect, right?  Story wise, sure.  In real life?  Well, I do seem to get quite a lot of zombie-themed goodies from friends and family.  (Now I’m glad I didn’t go with spiders. *shiver*) In the end, I’m left laughing at the irony.  But I have no regrets—it’s not everyday a 12-year-old boy brags to his buddies that his mom just had the most kills.  Speaking of…anyone up for game?  I haven’t played in awhile, so I’m a little rusty.  I might need you to watch my...

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Goodreads Giveaway

I got a big box in the mail today.  It contained the paperbacks for my Goodreads giveaway! If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s a link in the sidebar. Giveaway closes Novemeber 5th.  Good...

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Science and Magic

I’ve always loved fantasy.  I was the little girl in the unicorn t-shirt drawing fantastical pictures when she should have been paying attention in class.  I frequently got in trouble for daydreaming—until I learned to stare at the chalkboard and not out the window when my mind was elsewhere.  Yet through it all, I somehow became a scientist.  I feel like my interests rest on opposite ends of the spectrum.  At one end there’s hard science with its laws and absolutes, and at the other end there’s fantasy, which is anything but.  In The Final Formula, I think I found some middle ground. The alchemy in my story isn’t the boiling cauldron of magic brew encountered in a lot of fantasy fiction, though it has the trappings of it.  My alchemy is closer to modern chemistry.  After all, Addie was a chemist before magic returned.  This setup left me trying to explain magic with science.  (Which isn’t the first time.  I have an unpublished series where I actually turned to math in an attempt to puzzle out the magic.  Yeah, I’m a geek.)  While writing this story, I researched the ingredients Addie might use and discovered that science could come into play. One such example is in the opening scene where Addie is preparing some Remembrance Dust.  While searching for a plausible ingredient, I learned that rosemary was once believed to improve memory.  Digging deeper, I discovered that rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that’s even been used in Alzheimer’s research.  Perfect!  Over the course of writing this book, I found that a lot of herb lore has some basis in fact.  Granted, I took a few liberties with what Addie can do, but there are underlying reasons why she uses the ingredients she does. I had a lot of fun coming up with some crazy alchemy applications to solve Addie’s problems.  Homemade napalm to blow up zombies (and cars).  Magic bullets.  A compass to find the lost.  And as I dig into the next book, the fun continues.  Addie’s modern alchemy is a versatile medium that allows me to combine my interests.  I just wish I actually knew the Final Formula.  😉 How...

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