Friday, August 30, 2013

Amazon rankings, a shot in the spine, and two weeks of school already?

First thing first. I am currently running a promotion: Download Future Past for FREE on Amazon Kindle today and tomorrow. The promotion began yesterday and let me tell ya, I was not expecting what happened next. I had one download when I went for school yesterday morning. By the time I went to bed last night, my downloads were well over a thousand and my rankings had me in the top ten in two different fantasy categories. I'm also sitting in the top 200 over all (*small update: I just ranked below #200- Woot!) and let me tell you, with thousands of free ebooks from Amazon every day, THAT is something I'm very proud of.

click the image to enlarge

I don't have time to sit around today and watch my rankings. I hope I hit a #1 somewhere but I can't keep tabs on it today. I have school work to do, a client edit to work on, and somewhere in there, I have to work a shift at my store.

My Shot... Heaven help me

I had a steroid injection in my spine yesterday. Those who have been keeping up with this blog because of my back pain chronicles, you've probably had an inkling this was coming. Physical therapy is wonderful and has decreased my pain level. I'm not going currently but I'm keeping up with the exercises and walking. But the pain was still there. It's coming from my discs, making my back swell and hurt, my hips, legs and feet hurt, and it's all I can do many days (especially the days I'm pulling shifts at the store) to keep from being in tears.

I had some people tell me that I'd feel like Superwoman after the shot but I didn't. There was some immediate decreased pain in my hips and legs that I noticed but the pure pain in my back was at its worst. I think I cried a little more than normal. I had this doomsday outlook, I suppose. The doc said that it might take two shots to really make a difference in my average pain level. So I was thinking about what I would do if none of it worked. There isn't much more of this pain I can take. This morning, though, there was a noticeable difference in pain. When I woke, I wasn't in pain at all which is very unusual. After an hour or so, some pain started creeping back in but I'm trying to keep in mind that it's been less than 24 hours since the shot and I'm still having to take things one step at a time. My back is swollen and I've been battling a small fever (I'm suppose to call if it gets above 100), but I'm not certain the fever has anything to do with my shot; I've been battling a bit of congestion, which most often turns into a full-fledged sinus infection within a week. I get these infections about 4 times a year usually at the start of a new school semester. It's right on time!

It is a waiting game and it doesn't help that I have to sit and do homework most of the morning then go work a shift at the store. Guess that shot will really be put to the test.

My babies are off to school

Last week, the last of my babies took off for school for the first time. I cried some on the days leading up to the big day, but since I had school myself on his first day, I was too occupied, I guess, to dwell on days gone forever. I've managed to make it since then without overwhelming sadness.

The kids are liking school, just not liking the early days (who does, right?) and are so far doing very well. My little one has adjusted far easier than I could have hoped for. I was worried because he's been in my care since day 1 but he's doing just fine and not much missing Momma when he has, "Twenty-two new friends to play with," though he couldn't tell you a single one of their names. LOL.

Thanks for reading my update. I'm about to go pour my nose into the weirdest math I've ever seen in my life. Please don't forget to go download my book while it's free!

Peace, love, and work, work, work,


Thursday, August 29, 2013

FREE Kindle Download of "Future Past"

A quick post before I go get a shot put into my spine...

Future Past is free today, tomorrow, and Saturday in the Kindle Store on Amazon. I hope you go download your copy! Click here to get to the book page on Amazon.

Thanks and have a good weekend!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Low, low price on "Future Past" for Kindle

Did you know that you can download Future Past for your Kindle from Amazon for only 99 cents? Well, now you do. This is only for a limited time so act fast! Click here to purchase and download from Amazon.

If you want a chance to catch a free download of Future Past from Amazon for your Kindle, you'll need to keep a check on this blog over the next week (or you can enter your email address in the box on the right sidebar to subscribe to my posts) or keep up with my posts on Facebook (check the Facebook tab above).

If you're a fantasy fan at all or if you just appreciate a good, character driven story, I think you'll like everything this book has to offer. I've had such a great time writing it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Honestly, I swear I'm a writer.

I'm reading this wonderful little book right now called You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins. Even seasoned writers need inspiration, pick-me-ups, and the occasional pep talk. In the book, Goins talks about how you need to embrace the title of writer for yourself before you can expect anyone to take you seriously.

I feel like a writer. I have no problem announcing on Facebook that I'm a writer. But there are still times, even as long as I've been in this line of work, that I seem to fold in on myself and I purposely withdraw from face to face opportunities to talk about my writing.

Though I know better, there are still times when I feel like I'm fooling myself with all this writer rig-a-ma-row, that I don't deserve the title. That anxiety is never more prominent then when I'm standing with someone and have to talk about what I do.

For example, I was working a shift at my store and one of my regular customers came in with his daughter who was home from college for the week. My coworker had been very vocal about my latest book and had been trying to sell some for me so my customer knew about my "side job". "She wrote a book," he told his daughter and the girl looked at me with a big smile that said she enjoyed the written word. She was curious and it would've been the perfect time to give her my pitch, or if nothing else, bring the book trailer up on my phone or give her my business card. But I clammed up, said little, and I was thankful for the pouring in of customers so her attention could be diverted elsewhere.

So why do I do stuff like that? I know exactly why. I'm afraid of the reaction I'd get. I'm afraid that they will think I'm just a dreamer. I'm afraid they'll see my occupation as a store clerk, see that I'm a college student, and think, What right does she have to claim herself a writer?

For another example, a few months ago, I was talking with a police officer in my town. He's a fill-in officer who comes in as a last resort. He was telling me about his farming business, as if it was important that I knew his part-time protect and serve wasn't all he did in this life. In turn, I revealed my reason for my love of life; writing.

And you know what he did? He laughed at me.

I didn't have my business cards with me to help validate this for him or I might have been more confident about it. Instead, I shrugged it off and steered our conversation toward its end.

He's not the first person to react that way and it is doubtful he'll be the last. Some people just have a natural way of bringing down others, whether they mean to or not. I think it was just a natural reaction of, You? A store clerk claiming to be a writer? But it's crushing, nonetheless. You can believe in yourself all you want, but still, as part of the human race, there's a need to be validated by others, to know that people still believe that no matter your station in life, you can do anything with hard work.

How can I improve this? My audience is growing and for that, I'm thankful. But most of the growth is local and while I'm thankful for that, it fills me with fear to know that I can be approached by any number of people here to talk about my writing.

It's going to take practice; practice in being confident, practice in pitching my book to face-to-face potential readers, practice in fully accepting that I am, and should act like, a writer. I'll get there.

"Everything is practice. Every word you write and action you take is a chance to get better. This is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Pros are always looking for a chance to get better, to improve their craft just a little more." - Jeff Goins, You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)


Peace, love, and yes, I am a writer,


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Future Past" by Pamela Caves Excerpt

Purchase on Amazon - Print version or Kindle
Print version available on CreateSpace

From Chapter 11 -

When Nafre and Dayel boarded the ship that would sail them all the way to a port near Borsta, Dayel had to stop and catch her breath. There was something off about the ship, though she wasn't sure what it was. There was the feeling that something - or someone - was there that shouldn't be.

"Something wrong, girlie?" Nafre asked and Dayel decided to shake it off since she couldn't explain it even to herself.

Her agitation grew as they made their way to a cabin within the bowels of the ship.  It was small and windowless which reminded Dayel of her accommodations in Niraz.  And for the first time ever, Dayel began to experience a bit of sea sickness as the ship set sail.

"It helps if you go up on deck for some fresh air," Nafre commented but Dayel refused, still with the overwhelming notion that she was better off out of public sight.

The beds were lined up one after the other against the wall and, of course, wasn't very accommodating for Togwas. Dayel had to choose between spreading the blankets out on the floor or risk being pummeled by Nafre's humongous (and quite smelly) feet. It didn't take her very long to reach a decision.

Over the next several days, Dayel's daily activities consisted of reading, eating, and sleeping. After her initial agitation, Dayel decided she was just fine, and probably safer, being a recluse.  Nafre, who usually stayed out most of the day, brought food, candlesticks, and even bathwater. Nafre never spoke about where he went or what he did all day aboard the ship and Dayel didn't ask. In fact most days, Dayel didn't even know it was night until Nafre stumbled through the door and collapsed across the beds.

On the third night, one of the beds broke but Nafre continued to sleep on it anyway.

On the sixth day, he came through the door carrying a bag of coins, a silver and jeweled serpent bracelet, a wheel of cheese, and a bottle of vintage drink, all of which he’d won in a card game.  They stuffed themselves, drank until they were silly, and laughed until they cried about things that didn’t make sense the next morning.

On the twelfth day, Dayel read until she was bored, ate leftover bread slices, and finally fell to sleep wondering when Nafre would be back. When she woke, presumably hours later, he still wasn't there. That uneasy feeling came back and intensified.

Against her better judgment, Dayel made the decision to venture outside their cabin in search of him. Almost two weeks cramped inside four bare walls might've driven a normal person slightly mad but to Dayel, it was familiar and familiar held a semblance of safety. Stepping only two paces outside the door made her feel a bit apprehensive, as if she'd suddenly been exposed.

Deep breaths.  Two more steps.  Slowly now.  Her senses were only a little panicked but it was enough to distract the rational part of her brain that reached out naturally to her surroundings. Even if she'd wanted to prevent what was coming, she could've only done so by calming down.

One step at a time led Dayel down the long hallway to a set of stairs. Having only been down them once, she wasn't sure if this was the correct stairwell to take her above deck.  She had to start somewhere though.

As she climbed, she mindlessly scratched at her back, an action which was becoming all too familiar.  Something back there suddenly pierced her fingers and she hissed in pain. She stopped her ascent and blinked several times at the red liquid oozing through the skin.

What the hell?

Gingerly, she reached back again and lightly ran her fingers over her scars.  Between the lines of rough, mangled skin, sharp points had broken through.  She couldn’t believe that she’d scratched them hard enough to cause scabs.  But a scab wouldn't be hard enough to cut skin, would it?  She decided she couldn't possibly know the answer to that, as she never remembered having scabs before.  The first thing she needed to do once they docked was see a physician or apothecary.

Within the distraction of her scars, her senses had forgotten her earlier panic. A dark mass invaded her mind.  Without realizing the physical proximity of it, she turned in haste to run back to the cabin. The sconces along the wall didn't properly illuminate the doorway to the hall. Dayel could only make out a shadow before something seemed to pinch her chest.

But it wasn't a pinch at all. The back half of an arrow protruded from above her right breast. The pain wasn't immediate. In fact, it didn't much register at all. Dayel tried to take a breath but gurgled blood instead. Blackness swirled and the stairway bent over itself. Something slammed against her face, over and over.  Stairs, she thought, as she tumbled down them.

A simple arrow wouldn't have had that effect on her. Poison. The arrow had most certainly been laced with poison.

They said she couldn't be killed. Dayel thought that was funny, considering she was dying.
Purchase on Amazon - Print version or Kindle
Print version available on CreateSpace

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Future Past" Promo Video

Only mere days until the release of "Future Past". I'm very excited to share this story!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Map for "Future Past"

In the book, you'll see a black and white version of the map used for Future Past. If you want a closer look, here's an online one for future reference. Click to enlarge it. Then you can take a look at how it was put together in the video below it. Enjoy! Not long now! :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I love you, Moxie. RIP, sweet kitty. :(

This was Moxie the day after we brought her home. She was barely able to toddle around on her tiny legs. My boys were really small then. With her guidance over the last three years, I was able to teach them how to respect and love animals. She was a part of our family.

Sleeping and fiercely protecting the magazine.
Last week, I came home from work late one night and couldn't find her. My husband said they'd looked for her too and couldn't find her. I knew something was wrong. She'd never, never been gone that long. You see, there was no keeping Moxie in the house. I don't like it when cats wander outside but she had always been determined to escape and she did so repeatedly. She always returned, though, but that night, I felt sick at my stomach and couldn't sleep.

Ever get the feeling you're being watched while you work?
I found my furbaby laying dead in the yard, and it was all I could do to keep myself composed in front of the kids as I retrieved an old baby blanket from upstairs and went to collect her body. There wasn't a mark on her so she either got sick and died quickly or got into something that she shouldn't have. She looked like she'd been trying to make it back to us when she collapsed and gave up. I had to tell the boys after breakfast that our beloved cat was gone and it is an experience that I have no desire to relive, ever.

We've been grieving heavily over our loss. I've tried to write this a few times but couldn't manage it without breaking down. Even as I sit here now, tears are rolling down my face.

Losing a furbaby is hard but I don't have to tell loving pet owners that. We buried her in the back of the yard and I'm comforted that I can put a little cat toy on her grave when I want. I also took the above picture and made a memorial with her collar and tag on it because the boys wanted a picture in their room to remember her by.

We also made the hard decision that we should honor her memory by going to the animal shelter and adopting a kitty that needed a loving forever-home. We already had the home set up for a cat and we still have lots of love to give. We brought home a kitty yesterday and I'll share the story on my Facebook page (and maybe here if I have the time) at some point later. We're still adjusting to a new kitty personality and the kitty is still adjusting to us, so I'll wait to snap the pictures until we've settled some.

It's been a rough couple of weeks, but it's comforting to know that we've done a little good in the world and that Moxie's passing wasn't for nothing.

Peace, love, and RIP Moxie,

Pamela :(