Dreams are Stranger than Fiction

Several months ago, I was privileged to be a part of an anthology with twelve other authors called Dreams are Stranger than Fiction. The idea was to take a dream we’d had and turn it into a story.

Here’s the link on Amazon.

And also, the Prologue from my story, It Brings the Wind:

Old man Jefferies reclined on his front porch and filled a pipe with tobacco. He didn’t smoke often, but when he did, it was usually during the summer before September’s harvest. To say he was anxious would be an understatement. The season had been unusually dry and the impending rain was much needed. After lighting the pipe, he inhaled and closed his eyes. The breath was deep enough to make him cough, but when the smoke circulated through his lungs, he relaxed.

Today had been a hard one. Most of them were, but today’s work was grueling. He’d been in the field at sun-up, cutting a water furrow in preparation for the inclement weather. The afternoon was spent in another field, loading and unloading hay for his cattle. Though it was back-breaking and tedious, that was a job he enjoyed. Had bovine farming been a lucrative business in the little town of Rouler, he’d sell all his tractors and combines and trade them in for another five-hundred head of cattle. But in Rouler and throughout the entire South, cotton was King as was sugarcane, soybeans, and corn.

As usual, his wife had prepared an outstanding meal. Pork chops, squash and butter beans they’d grown themselves, and a pan of cornbread. Mrs. Jefferies was known throughout four parishes for her home cooking. They’d met and married as high school sweethearts, had four daughters, and at least a dozen grandchildren. Three or four great-grands too. Their life wasn’t without hardships, mostly financial, but overall, Jefferies thought it had been a good run.

“Want a cup of coffee?” Mrs. Jefferies’ head poked through the screen door.

Beads of sweat lined his forehead, but he couldn’t refuse the bitter chicory flavor he’d grown accustomed to having every night. “Only if you’ll join me, hon.”

“I’d love to.”

Seconds later, she kicked open the screen with her foot and passed the cups to him. Closing the wooden door was not an option. Not if they wanted to sleep cool tonight. The sun had been down for hours, but the temperature and humidity remained high. Having lived Rouler their entire lives, they should’ve adapted to it, but both still complained daily.

“This heat, I swanee to the Good Lord it gets hotter every summer.”

“Don’t I know it,” he agreed. “Supper was exceptional tonight, hon. I don’t know how much better you’re gonna get at makin’ that stewed squash.”

“You flatter me.”

In the pasture in front of the house, the cows bellowed and snorted, indicating their irritation. At first, their displeasure was limited to only a few, but soon, the entire herd seemed to be bawling at the same time.

“Wonder what’s got them stirred up?” Mrs. Jefferies asked, her head tilted to one side as if she could hear the culprit over the cattle’s distress.

“Not a damn clue, but I swear if it’s those kids comin’ to tip ‘em over, I’m gonna pump ‘em full of lead.” He stood and went inside, his footfalls heavy enough to be heard on the porch.

“They’re kids,” she called out. “Don’t you remember what it was like to be fifteen?”

After he returned with his shotgun, he clicked off the safety and tramped down the steps. “Barely. Have the phone ready to call the police. If I can’t shoot their asses, you can bet I’m havin’ them hauled off to jail.”

“I’ll be waitin’.”

Trudging through the gate, Mr. Jefferies entered the pasture, certain the herd was closer to the fence. He hadn’t brought a flashlight because the full moon had been enough illumination, but a dark cloud appeared in what he thought was a cloudless sky. The cattle’s grunts and groans grew louder. So loud that he wondered if they were in pain.

Mr. Jefferies started to call out for his wife, but as soon as he opened his mouth, the bellowing stopped.


Complete silence.

Dead silence.

With uneasy steps, he edged back towards the dim light of home, still unable to see his surroundings until he felt something warm and wet pool around his feet. Had he stepped in manure? The cloud disintegrated above him, and offered the full glow of the moon. Mr. Jefferies glanced down and his voice caught in his throat. He hadn’t stepped in manure, but the intestines of a cow, and around him lay the herd. The entire herd. Five thousand dead, disemboweled cows.

A bitter wind blew through the dry grass and froze it solid. Mr. Jefferies had never experienced air this bone-chilling cold in his entire seventy-seven-years, not even when he went elk hunting in Alaska and especially not in Louisiana in the summertime. His boots stiffened and when he tried to move, he couldn’t. Desperate, he fired off a warning shot, but it was too late. A grey mass hurled towards him, leaving nothing but a pool of blood and the gun.

Things You Don’t Know When You Decide to Self-publish Your Book

Hey y’all… I’m starting a new 5 part series about things I didn’t know when I set out on this writing journey three years ago. I’m making the assumption that unless you already know someone in the business or were born into a literary family – you don’t either. For my author friends, feel free to add in your experiences or elaborate in the comments. 

A bit about my experience: I.Had.None. Aside from being gifted with words and arranging them (i.e. a good writer) I knew NOTHING about writing a book. 

I seriously took three novels (I’ll elaborate more in future weeks) and highlighted dialogue tags and studied structure. It was totally uncharted territory, and I was more than scared about my ability to tell a tale. I’d tried before (not in earnest) and failed but this time, it was different. I was different. The day I wrote the opening lines for my first book The Waiting, I knew I had something special and worth fighting for. 

There’s no way to prepare yourself for all that comes along with self-publishing, but hopefully this will show you rookie mistakes to avoid and ways to get a step ahead. So without further adieu, here’s the first thing you don’t know when you decide to self-publish. 

1) You will step out of your comfort zone. 

I’m an introvert. Like, bad. Plus, most of the time, I’m socially awkward as hell. I feel things, express things that most normal people walking around don’t, and this can lead to them getting very overwhelmed by me and my personality. For the most part, becoming a nurse (and the natural extrovert qualities you MUST possess to do that job) helped me overcome this or rather, tone myself down, because let’s just be honest, no one wants a teary nurse who may or may not be crying because she’s 1) angry 2) sad or 3) happy. 

Kristen Bell (of Frozen fame for those of you who’ve lived in a box for the past three years) said if she’s not within a 3-7 on the emotional scale, she’s crying. Seriously, this is me. If I am even a half step past those numbers, I’m weeping – or trying not to. Btw, if you’ve never seen her sloth video, it’s a must watch! (Kristen Bell on Ellen)

All this to say, it’s not easy for me to step out of my cocoon and put myself and my books (essentially my children) out for the world to see and scrutinize. I’ll admit, I’ve received more praise and acceptance than critical comments, but even positive accolades take me to an uncomfortable place where I have to talk about myself and what I do. But I believe in order to grow as a person and as a writer, we have to be willing to put ourselves in situations where we are totally and completely uncomfortable. I liken it to fight or flight. Sinking or swimming. How do we hold up under pressure? Do we shy away? Or do we meet the challenge head on?

Yesterday, I took part in my very first video interview. I was asked the evening before by J.A. Allen of Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins as a prize for winning her weekly challenge (check them out on her blog under #SSC) and though I was hesitant, I said yes. Now that I think about it, having to decide in less than five minutes was probably for the best. I’m a planner with extremely sudden burst of impulsiveness and I’m glad (for once) my spontaneous side took over. 

J.A. is a co-host on a weekly show on YouTube (Writers off Task with Friends) along with Dan Alatorre and Allison Maruska. And even though, I was nervous, those three were a blast and made me feel comfortable from the start. That’s not to say I didn’t have my moments of super weird wandering eyes, over-exaggerated Southern accent, and general overall awkwardness, but that’s okay. Vulnerable is beautiful. It’s authentic and it stretches you to become a better version of yourself. So take the chance and get out of the comfort zone! You never know what’s on the other side.

Vulnerable is Beautiful artwork by my supremely talented Sister of the Moon, Sierrah. She is also Starling Hopewell. 

Book Sale for L.A. Remenicky!!!!!

Hey y’all!

One of my author friends is having a GREAT sale on not one, but TWO of her books from the Fairfield Corners series. On Monday, I’ll post my review of Ragan’s Song, but let me just say if you like a romance with a paranormal twist, then these books are for you. Below you’ll find the blurb and buy links. Take advantage of this deal NOW!!!!!!!!

Saving Cassie New Cover

Saving Cassie Free 12/12/14 – 12/16/14

Amazon US

Everyone has secrets. Sometimes secrets can get you killed.

After ten years in the big city, Cassie Holt is moving back to her hometown to take over the bookstore left to her by her beloved Gram, vowing to live her life alone. To her best friend, Sheriff James Marsten, Cassie seems to be the same girl that left Fairfield Corners to go to college but Cassie has secrets and one of those secrets could get her killed. When one of her secrets becomes a threat to her life, James turns to his new deputy to help him keep Cassie safe.

Deputy Logan Miller has been burned by love and is not looking to get involved with anyone anytime soon. When he is thrown into close quarters with Cassie, the sparks begin to fly and he begins to see through the walls Cassie has built around her heart. As the threat gets closer, can Logan protect Cassie and protect his heart?

1A Ragans Song Ebook Cover

Ragan’s Song $.99 12/12/14 – 12/16/14

Amazon US

It only took one look into his eyes for her to know she was in trouble.

Adam Bricklin has heard the melody in his head for years, the melody that told him if a decision was right or wrong. When he met Ragan Newlin the song told him she was the one. He was devastated when circumstances tore them apart. It has taken three years for Adam to finally move past the heartbreak he suffered when Ragan left town in the middle of the night. No note, no email, no text. She was just gone. Now he has a new girlfriend, a new album in the works, and his daughter is doing well in school. Until the day Ragan returned to Fairfield Corners.

Ragan came home to celebrate her parent’s anniversary hoping they would forgive her for not telling them about her marriage or her son. When she discovered that Adam was still living in Fairfield Corners she hoped her secrets were safe; secrets that drove her away three years ago, secrets that could change their lives forever.

About L.A.:

L.A. Remenicky ~ Love Stories With A Twist
An avid reader all her life, she finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) during NaNoWriMo in 2012 and has never looked back.
Paranormal romance, romantic suspense, no romance genre is out of bounds!

10 Random Things About L.A. Remenicky
1. I currently have 3 furkids but none of the human variety.
2. I have been married to my husband for 23 years.
3. I met my husband on a blind date.
4. I have never lived more than 30 miles from the city where I was born.
5. I give people money at my day job (I process payroll).
6. I have been friends with my bestie for more than 30 years.
7. There is not enough alcohol in the world to get me to sing karaoke – but I will sing loudly in the car.
8. I hate the snow and cold.
9. I love almost all genres of music.
10. I am addicted to entering Rafflecopter giveaways.

For Your Reading Pleasure…Kristine Kibbee


Today, Kristine Kibbee is with us. Last week, she released her newest book “Whole in the Clouds.” Let’s get some insight into her creative process.

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

I’m a Pacific Northwest native with a love of language, nature and animals. My passion for creative writing began in my early youth and led me to the doors of Washington State University, where I wrote for the Vancougar while earning a degree in Humanities, with a focus in Professional Writing. I’ve has since had works published in S/tick Literary Review and The Salal Review Literary Review and I’m a featured columnist for the nationally syndicated magazine, Just Frenchies.
My novella The Mischievous Misadventures of Dewey the Daring is available on and I anticipate following the release of my fantasy novel Whole in the Clouds with the comedic collection of dog stories, Frenchie ‘Tails’—which are short, cheeky and ripe with mischief!
Amazon Author Page:
Twitter: @K_Kibbee

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Truth told, I think the characters themselves choose! I’ll feel them out for a bit . . . let them find their feet and then before I know it –poof! A name reveals itself!

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

(Head bowed) I do! But now I’m feeling a bit less crazy about it since you wouldn’t have asked if it was a rarity among writers!

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Eeek–never! Music is far too distracting. I literally must have complete and total silence while I write or edit. Noise is maddening!

5. How long have you been writing?

At what point can a child hold a writing utensil? Perhaps three? If so, then put me down for three.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

My memory is shoddy at best so I’m sure I can’t recall the exact instant. It’s just always been in my blood. From a very young age I gravitated towards writing. While my friends were playing with Barbies I was clipping photos from magazines and making up stories about the people in the pictures. I’ve always loved the fantastic, the embellished, the enchanting and I’ve always wanted to share that with others.

7. Do you have a muse?

At times, yes. I would say that my wee dog has been a muse to me on the occasion that I’m writing comedic animal shorts.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

As uncomfortable as it’s been to receive, critique (from other competent writers) is what typically helps me to improve as a writer. It’s a delicate dance, ensuring that the critique doesn’t overwhelm me and shut me down but just the right smidge of critique paired with a sprinkle of encouragement can go a long way.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

Hmm . . . like baseball players wearing the same hat every day until it becomes so yellowed from sweat and grime that it threatens to grow feet and leap from their head? Can’t say I have any such peculiarities. Don’t get me wrong . . . I have plenty of oddities . . . but none of the superstitious sort.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I’m presently working on a couple of projects–a collection of comedic dog shorts and a YA fantasy series but since the dog shorts (‘Frenchie Tails’) have already been handed off to my editor, the focus has narrowed on my ‘Forests of the Fae’ series. The first book in the set, ‘Devlin’s Door,’ centers on an abandoned Victorian ghost town whose inhabitants mysteriously disappeared in the early 1920’s. So spooked by the legends surrounding the town, no one has ventured there in nearly a century and as I imagine the rows of crumbling relics, shrouded in curtains of ivy, it inspires me while I write about the brave young girl who ventures there and unearths a secret that no one could have imagined.

11. What book are you reading now?

My own! I’m a tireless editor and every time I pick ‘Devlin’s Door’ up I find myself trying to perfect it. Every paragraph, every sentence, every word has passed my eyes at least a dozen times!

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

I typically write fantasy but dabble in comedy as well. Typically I write from a first person omn

iscient viewpoint.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I’ve tried the gamut when it comes to writing approaches–free-ballin’ it, pre-outlining every detail down to each character’s clothing and sleeping preferences, and just a rough outline. I’ve found the latter works best for me. Working off of a fluid, rough outline allows the story to remain malleable yet gives it a sense of direction and purpose so that I know how to get my characters from A to B.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Typically, yes. I find it’s easier to input the clues and weave a more intricate and tight story when you know its ultimate destination. Of course in honoring the story as the living, breathing entity that it is, it helps to be flexible with that ending and let it arrive in the fashion that it likes.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

It depends upon the book! I feel as if my first (hard-bound) published work, ‘Whole in the Clouds’ does attempt to parlay some meaningful messages about conservation, friendship, inner-beauty and the like but I’ve written plenty a piece just for the kicks!

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I refrain! As engrossed as I become in my writing, I’d eat the entire contents of my pantry if I were just mindlessly plunking along while feeding my face!

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I’m quite passionate about animals; animal rescue. I’ve been involved with rescuing death-row dogs at numerous points throughout not only my adulthood but my childhood as well. I believe that animals (and dogs in particular) can give us the type of unconditional devotion and love that even another human could never match. I’m also passionate about the environment and working to decrease our species’ carbon footprint. There is so much that is precious in this world that we are losing on a daily basis as our population continues to dominate the planet.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

In general I think I’m a fairly unique person. But as far as a quick, interesting one-liner type tidbit goes–I’ve never in my life consumed a drop of alcohol!

19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

From the pages of ‘Devlin’s Door’:
“They moved as a unit, clustered in packs of twos and threes. Anne watched amazement bloom on several faces as they gaped at the Victorian relics that passed on either side while they walked. Heavy clouds had settled over the valley and the homes seemed to materialize out of the mist like ghost ships, their mast chimneys cutting through the grey.”

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Only that I hope to enchant and delight them with every word!

Awesome, Kristine!! We’re glad you featured with us.