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Friday, July 20, 2012

You plan, God laughs. This is the story of my life.

 You plan, God laughs.  This is the story of my life.

Guest Post by Marrissa Carmel, author of iFeel

There are ideals and expectations I assume everyone has; whom you will marry, what your career will be like, where you will raise your kids. And yes, I had all those ideologies in my head, except were more like, have a career, don't get marry and absolutely no kids.  Boy was I wrong. Today I am married with two kids, and living in a state I only passed through on occasion. And my career? Well let’s just say, I have more than one, and I never saw that coming.  Who needs more than one career? Apparently me. To make a long story short, I started my first career as a logistician, yawn, I won’t bore you with the details. The second career came shortly after.

I've always loved to write. Always. My imagination constantly runs away with itself, and I am without doubt following it. My best subject was creative writing. So when I would write, it was primarily for me (or a good grade). As time went on though, I found myself imagining more and more and wanting to create, but my life was so busy, and what would it get me anyway? Until one day my mother- in- law dropped a bomb that would change my life. She was talking to one of my husband’s cousins who were complaining about getting her college degree (she was already married with 4 kids. Yikes. I’d be complaining too.) And my MIL, the wise woman that she is simply said, honey, and time is going to go by anyway, so you might as well do it. Well, it felt like the sky fell on me. The advice wasn’t even directed at me, but it resonated. I started writing that night. And never stopped.

My husband once asked where my creativity comes from, and in return I asked him if he ever heard voices in his head.  His reply, I needed to see a shrink. I told him a keyboard and a curser is the best therapy. I have always loved the supernatural, thanks in part to my mom; Charmed was one of our favorite shows to watch together and still is.  So when I started writing, it only felt natural that it took on a paranormal feel. But I didn't want to write about vampires or werewolves or really anything that had been done. I'm like that; I always tend to steer towards the opposite of popular and then proceed to make fun of it. So I started researching, and brainstorming, and concocting my mix of love, humor and emotion. Liv was already an entity in my head, festering. I'd often imagine a dark haired girl with amethyst eyes, suffering and alone. When I finally established who she really was, and what kind of supernatural elements she would possess, (an Empath-someone who can feel the emotions of others- with active abilities) I asked myself, what would it be like for someone like that to carry the world's emotions?

Torrential I thought. What would it be like for her to fall in love? Even worse than torrential.  The story evolved rather quickly after that, but I didn't rush it.  It took me a little over a year to write, over two years to edit. I learned a lot about my writing style during that time, developed my voice and really tried to give it a life-like feel.

So here I am almost four years later, a husband, 2 kids, and a home in what feels like a foreign country; a daytime career and a nighttime career, all jumbling together, fighting for a piece of my time. Go hard or go home, my husband and I always joke, if we have a story, it needs a theme and that is it.  I wouldn't change it though, not for anything. Life is nothing, if not a venture - (I have no idea who said that).

 About the Author:

Marissa Carmel has been writing since a young age and although it has always been for personal enjoyment, she finally decided breakout and share her imagination with the world. She hopes that her universe is as fun and intriguing to her readers as it is to her. Marissa Carmel is originally from NJ but moved to Maryland several years ago, she enjoys reading, writing, and catching up on her DVR library. She is currently working on the sequel to iFeel, Gravitational Pull, which she hopes to release sometime in 2012.

Book Blurb for iFeel:

Lust. Anger. Hate. Desire. Love. Happiness. Joy. iFeel.

Liv Christianni is isolated, alone, tortured and withdrawn, saddled with the torrential downpour of the world’s emotions. Accepting of her providence Liv has lost all hope, until one day fate steps in and spins the course of her life like a spiraling top. Hunted by a Spirit Stalker, Liv is forced to gain control of herself and her surroundings, threatened by the touch of her immortal love; she must find a way to survive both physically and emotionally as her reality is shaken up like dice on a Craps table. Can she find the courage to accept her true self? Can she love unconditionally cognizant of the condemning consequences? Can she rise from the ashes to become the person she was always meant to be?

Funny, witty, real, and poignant, iFeel rips into your soul, and sets your emotions on fire.

If you are a fan of Charmed or Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries or The Secret Circle this series is for you! 

Excerpt from iFeel:

I direct my anger towards the mocking bottles of crazy pills settled in the cabinet. I attack them; clearing all the glass shelves in one angered fit. Tiny orange bottles fly all around my white tiled bathroom, exploding an array of colored pills against the walls and floor. It feels like I am bombing my past; liberating my future and releasing myself from whatever binds me. I want to be free, and if that means destroying my whole apartment in the process to get there, I am willing to do that.
I can feel the rage course through my veins; my head throbs and my throat burns as I thrash at my tiny bathroom. All I can hear are the voices of people who mean the most to me, those who encourage me, those who support me. To my surprise, the loudest voice is the one who is farthest away. Justice’s words echo against the tiled surface, telling me to let go, to accept my fate, to be magical and not mental. It makes me miss him all the more, but what he said finally makes sense.
My breaths pulse quickly in my lungs, as if the air is thinning. I have worked myself up into a crazed frenzy to expel my true self. My enraged fit has resulted in a bathroom bloodbath, me versus myself.
And I won.

Reviews for iFeel:

I Feel great, on fire, changed, content about this book. This book is indeed a different kind of writing. I enjoyed the story very much. Extreme beings combust with contact. One that hides from all public life simply to keep from feeling every emotion from everyone around her. Destined to spend her life in lock up inside her own apartment. The other one an angel sent to protect all that is good and to keep evil from harming this "feeler". Seraphs and empaths ignite and paint the town in flames in this story. Characters that will open your heart can make you laugh, show anger in large amounts and also open your eyes on things we take for granted. Good read for sure. Loved the flow and design of details.
Great for all YA, Angels & Demons, and Fantasy fans alike. Will recommend to all. KUDOS AUTHOR Marissa Carmel. Happy Reading

This author finds a way to make this story relatable to the reader, suspending your disbelief and extracting your empathy for what the characters endure.
An absolute page turner. The character of Liv has been through so much in her short years. Her friends and family attribute her strange and overtly keen behavior as having a mental imbalance. Depressed and loaded on a colossal cocktail of mood stabilizers, her friends stage an intervention and drag her to one of the many clubs at the shore. Lost in a sea of bodies, music pounding, she dances with fate and comes face to face with her destiny. As if awaking from a hazy dream, Liv finds herself without her rose color classes. Now confronted with a sudden life and death situation, she must find a way to tap into her strength and new found power.
When this book was finished you can't help but to feel enveloped in the tail so much you don't want it to end. I hope this author produces a sequel. This literary journey is just simply too good to be finished! -
This book is available at Createspace and on As a reviewer I highly recommend it because it is unique and pleasurably entertaining to read. As a reader it tugs at the heart as the author explores the human heart and soul from the highs to the lows of forever love and has charming mysterious Justice protecting her against all evil, it has endearing qualities of bonding and breaking down the barriers of truth and the unknown discovering a powerful bond between a man and a woman that comes once in a lifetime. -

If you wish to contact Marissa:
Twitter- @MarissaCarmel
Facebook- Marissa Carmel

THe Moon Dwellers Review

The Moon Dwellers Book 1
David Estes
3 stars
 Available on Amazon

This is an interesting story set in a future world where human beings no longer live on the surface of the planet.  Centuries from now a cataclysmic event destroys the surface of the planet forcing people to go underground. There are three realms: the sun realm, the richest and more privileged realm; the moon realm, miners and more poverty ridden; and the Star Realm, the poorest of all the realms.

The story focuses on Adele, a prisoner in the Moon Realm, and Tristan, the son of the president of the realms.  Tristan runs away from home to find Adele, a girl he noticed while negotiating a treaty with the Moon Realm.  Adele breaks out from prison and embarks on a quest to find her family. With the the help of friends they just mind find each other and change their world forever. 

This is an easy read and enjoyable.  I liked the book and would recommend to others.  Being the first in a series, it does leave you hanging at the end; the only thing I hate about series. The concept is an intriguing one as people now live underground, but are worse off than they were before the catastrophe hit. If you want something different, give this one a try.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Writing is Terrible!

My Writing is Terrible!

We’ve all had this happen to us: the moment when we realize that what we wrote is not as great as we thought.  Most of us as writers like to believe that our writing is superb.  We hate criticism and it is hard to not take it personally.  But sometimes we have to step back and ask ourselves: did I write this to the best of my ability?

I work as a freelance editor as well as an Independent author. I have edited many manuscripts that left something to be desired, as far as the writing went.  Most of these came from those in their teens or early twenties.  With the rise in self-publishing I have noticed many books being published by teenagers the moment they finish writing them.  The problem with this is it gives credence to the idea that self-published work is garbage; it also means that a story was published that people will not remember years later.

So, how as an author do you turn your work into something that shines?  Before you send that manuscript off to be published you want to:
·         take a writing course or two.
·         put your story away for a few weeks or months before going back through it. This will give you a fresh perspective.
·         send it off to a professional editor

Hone your craft.  Take writing courses at the local university.  Many colleges offer online courses that you can sign up for to fit your busy schedule.  Learn the basics of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  Everything starts with the basics so learn them well. 

Take creative writing classes.  These not only help you improve your writing, but will also help with brainstorming ideas for your stories.  In my creative writing classes the students critiqued each other’s writing.  This is of great assistance.  Critiques from fellow students are more constructive and of better use than any negative review of your book. 

Learn how to write fiction as well as nonfiction.  I majored in History in college.  In my classes I had to learn how to research topic and then turn all of those facts into a comprehensive paper that people could read and easily understand.  My creative writing classes taught me how to write fiction.  I’m sure you have heard the old adage show, don’t tell.  This holds true for fiction.  Most of the manuscripts I receive for editing, the author tells the story.  In a world of visual media, this style of writing proves boring.  You’ll lose your reader’s attention.

Show the story.  Use descriptive voice.  Use sounds, adjectives.  Think about the setting for your scenes.  What are the colors, the landscape, buildings?  Are there any smells?  Sounds?  Incorporate as much as you can into the narrative of you novel.  Make the reader feel as though they are in your story.

Get a thesaurus.  Thesauruses are your best friend as a writer.  A lot of us get stuck in finding words to describe the setting of our novels.  A thesaurus will help find words that mean the same thing, but are different enough to break up any repetitiveness in your writing.  For instance, instead of using the word hit in the same paragraph five times try: smacked, kneed, punched, or struck.  Not only are these verbs stronger, but they make your writing more interesting.

Don’t be a hurry to publish your work.  Too many new authors are in such a hurry to get published, that they put their work on sale without even considering that it might not be worth a person’s time purchasing it.  Comb through your writing.  Get a third party to read it; not your friends or family.  You need someone who will be brutally honest about the quality of your writing to read your manuscript. 

Always remember that your first draft is going to be terrible.  That is the nature of first drafts.  Some of the most well-known authors rewrote their work several times before getting it just right.

Another thing to keep in mind: there will always be those who do not like your books.  Even after all the work you put into your novel to get every sentence and every word perfect, there is going to be someone who does not like it.  It’s inevitable.  Even J.K. Rowling got negative reviews for Harry Potter.  So if you get a negative review, thank the reviewer and do not take his opinion personally. 

Just remember: writing is a skill as well as a craft.  Learn it well.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trailer for the final book in my Legends Lost Trilogy.

Read the first two while you wait for Galdin.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

52 Ways to Sell Your Book

This is a very insightful and helpful book if you are self-published and are looking for a way to promote your books.  Chocked full of information, the author presents so many different ways to promote a book that you do not need to do them all.  Choose the ones that work for you and then ease into the others.

I found this book very insightful and helpful.  As an author myself, I will be incorporating some of the tips in this book for my own books.  If you are an independent author, you will find this book helpful  Give it a try. It could pay off in the end.

Monday, July 9, 2012




Unicorns have been around since pagan times, at least the myth has.  They look like horses, are typically white or silver, and have a single horn protruding from their head.

Unicorns are believed to be fiercely independent and wild.  Supposedly, they refused to follow Noah onto the ark because of their independence and that is why they are extinct.  Of course, that is just one story.  Some claim that the desire for the power of their horn led to their extinction at the hands of hunters.  Others believe that the mythical beast never existed.  Whether it did or not doesn’t matter.  Unicorns are as much a part of our lore and stories today as they were three thousand years ago. 

The ancient Egyptians and Greeks believed in unicorns.  Their legend was seen all throughout Europe even before the rise of the Roman Empire.  The Hebrews had their own version of the myth.  Eventually, Christianity adopted the idea of unicorns using it as an allegory for the Virgin Mary and rebirth.

The unicorn is believed to be a pure creature.  That is why they are believed to only appear to female virgins because of their innocence.  For centuries, cultures have believed that women become corrupted when they participate in intercourse.  Some stories talk about how hunters would use virgins to trap unicorns for their horn. 

The horn of the unicorn is said to have healing properties.  Its power is supposed to ward off disease and illness.  In one story, a man stopped himself from dying by drinking from the horn of the unicorn.  Some equate Zeus’ Horn of Plenty with that of a unicorn.

Today the unicorn symbolizes purity and peace.  This is largely due to the influence of Christianity as the religion values those attributes greatly.  But before its rise, the unicorn was a symbol of strength and chivalry.  Either way, it is considered a noble beast that should be respected. 

In modern times the unicorn has seen resurgence from its appearance in Harry Potter where Voldemort drank its blood to stay alive.   It even appeared in The Chronicles of Narnia.  Both stories have helped the unicorn stay alive in people’s minds.
Other tales with unicorns:

Indica (400BC)
Hymn of Buddha
The Beasts of Never (1968)
The Last Unicorn (1968)
Julius Caesar (William Shakespeare)
Volksleid (German Folk Song)

Some scientists believed that the unicorn never existed.  Instead, they think that the stories came about because of the rhinoceros or the Oryx.  In the end, it does not matter how the myth began, all that matters is what you believe.  As for me, I will always find the unicorn to be a beautiful creature, real or not.

All photos came from:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=18c0442495b7bb15&biw=1366&bih=638

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Immortality/Eternal Life—Rebirth—Wisdom—Strength

The phoenix is a bird that is as old as time itself.  It is known worldwide. Almost every culture has a story about it.  Most believe that the legend stems from Arabia, but it is difficult to pin down where the story began as all the ancients believed in its existence.  From, Greece, Rome, Japan, China, Russia, Finland, Korea, Arabia, the Philippines, and Ancient Egypt the phoenix has been known.  Even the American Indians had their own version of the phoenix myth long before the Europeans entered the New World.  With all of these cultures believing in the bird’s existence, one must wonder if perhaps there is some truth to the legend.

So, who, or what, is the phoenix?   

Typically, the phoenix is red and gold, but it can also be other colors.  The phoenix is believed to be one of a kind.  Only one exists in the world.  Every 500 years the phoenix turns into flame and is reborn from the ashes.  Some stories have the phoenix spontaneously combusting, while others insist that the bird builds a pyre out of cinnamon and frankincense and sets itself on fire.   In Arabic tradition the phoenix lays a single egg; from that it is reborn.   Because of its constant rebirth, the phoenix has come to symbolize immortality, or eternal life.

The Egyptians equated the phoenix with the sun, even calling it the sun bird.  They believed that the majestic bird could fly into the sun and that was where it got it power.

The phoenix is said to possess immense strength to carry the burdens that many people cannot.  However, some believe that its strength pertains to emotional as well as physical.  You can lay burdens at the feet of the phoenix and it will give you the strength to move on.  

Many believe that the bird is very wise and its wisdom is often sought.  Many cultures believe that wisdom is far more valuable than gold or gems.
In literature the phoenix is constantly used to symbolize rebirth or the desire for wisdom.  In Harry Potter Dumbledore’s pet is a phoenix as he pursued magical knowledge for the reason of understanding it.  Of course, that was late in his life that he did that; his early years were wasted for selfish reasons.

The phoenix makes in appearance in the poems Romance of the Rose and The Rime Of Michelangelo.  Other poems include: The Exeter Book and Euphues of The Anatomy of Wit.  

The phoenix is older than time.  It has been with us since the ancients; I am confident that it will remain with us for millennia to come. 

All pictures came from 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This is the second book in a series and though I haven't read the first, I found this one easy to keep up with.  Some have complained that this book was too short, but I found it to be the perfect length. It is just over 100 pages and can easily be read in a few hours.  Perfect for my busy schedule.

The story focuses on Serrafina, a widow who lives with her grown children. They aren't rich. She works as a midwife and solves mysteries for a little extra money, and for the thrill. A man turns up dead; poisoned and stabbed. Serrafina finds the body and her curiosity leads her on an investigation to find the killer. Along the way, the reader is introduced to a variety of characters who make up the town. She eventually finds the killer, and I never would have believed that that person could have done it. Nice surprise at the end.

I liked this book. It moves right along and doesn't drag, or get caught up in overly done romance or descriptions.  The setting is a nice variation for a mystery story. Most are set modern day, but this one is set in Sicily in the mid 1800s.  Serrafina is not your typical female in the era. She is older and spunky and does not allow anyone to tell her what to do.

If you like short and sweet mysteries, give this one a try. You'll enjoy it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tell me what you Want!

I am interested in what my readers want me to write about.  If you have a topic you would love to see posted here that pertains to Books and Legends, let me know by commenting below. 

If you are interested in doing a guest blog on a topic of your choice (no explicit material) leave your name and email below and I will contact you.

I cannot gurantee I will get all of your topics, but I will do the best.

Please let me know what it is you want to read about.  This blog is for all of you.