My Book Cover
Hi and good morning, afternoon, and evening to everyone. Great news. My book cover for my book, The Cross’s Key, has been selected to participate in a contest/competition for Book Cover of the Month. I need your votes. Below is the link to cast your vote for my cover. Any and all votes are hugely and graciously appreciated. Please and Thank you🤗😁😀😊.
Starting today, March 9th and running through March 16th, the Kindle version of my new novel entitled The Cross’s Key is on sale for only $2.99. It’s marked down from $8.99. That’s a savings of 67%. Get your copy of it now before the price goes back up. The link to the book is in the book title above, below, and is also featured on the home screen on my blog.
Recently I began writing my third book in my Time Series. The title is tentative, so I am not going to share it just yet. But what I wanted to write about was how exciting it can be to embark on a new project yet challenging at the same time. One might think an author would feel as though beginning to write a new novel is nothing new, that it’s commonplace. One might get used to it and the newness of it wears off. That is all wrong. Each time I started to write a new book, I felt the exciting twist of wonderment as a new opportunity to create another story began to weave its web across the pages.
Granted, I have only published two books and one book of poems. But it doesn’t matter. Each one is different, so your brain isn’t getting tired of the same old thing every time. What I enjoy best is the new conflict and plot twists I will have fun creating and inserting into the story.
I have to admit though. Going into book 3 was slow going at first. I wrote the prologue and put it away. Then a couple days later I went back to write chapter 1. I wrote approximately 500 words of chapter 1, then put it away. A couple days later I wrote more. I have chapter 1 finished now, but I was still lacking something. I ended up making a list of things I needed for the story in order to move on with it, then I sat back for about a week or so and let those ideas work in my subconscious as I moved along with the rest of my life. I didn’t sit immobile and try to think of something. Doing that would have been way too boring, and it would have gotten me no where. But now I have it. As I went about my days, I would think about my story and what it needed, relaxed, let my imagination run rampant, thought about different ideas, etcetera.
Book 3 is now making its way across the pages of my manuscript with much more ease. If you find yourself stuck like this, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to come up with ideas. They will come to you. You just have to give yourself a break.
Excerpt from the Prologue
Here is an excerpt from the prologue of my new novel, The Cross’s Key
The Triplet Septfinitude bragged of mountainous peaks and plush grassy meadows. Trees with leaves of several hues of reds, yellows, and greens cascaded own each slope. Between each mountain rested deep blue and turquoise-colored lakes and streams. Living dwellings made of marble peeked out in various areas of the sides of each mountain. Small wooden bridges decorated with leafy vines connected each living dwelling from one to the next and all the way down to the grass below.
Paul and Susan Stevens looked on as their eight-month-old triplet boys lay on their blanket under the Fophawna tree. The Tantis Lake lay several yards away. A gentle breeze touched the furry bark of the tree just right, and the follicles billowed and shimmered. Susan got down on the blanket to play with her boys and moved into a sideways leaning position when the triplets touched each others hands haphazardly clapping them together. She chuckled as she watched. As they continued to do this, their hands became attached to each other. Then the three little bodies moved and melded together and giggled. The end result was one baby, not three. Susan’s mouth gaped open, and her vocal cords refused to work, rendering her silent. She was so horrified and so focused on the one baby that she didn’t see her husband on the blanket across from her trying to do what he could to make the one baby three again. All the while glancing over his shoulder several times to see if anyone else witnessed what just happened. They were alone.
“How do we get them apart?” said Susan now able to speak.
Paul didn’t respond as he poked and prodded the baby in front of him.
“What!” he thrust out. “How in hell should I know? This is the first I’m seeing this myself.”
“You don’t have to be so…..” Susan said with a start. “I didn’t…..damn!”
“You knew there was a possibility this would happen. We both did.”
She opened her mouth to talk but thought better of it. He was right, but she put this possibility behind her never thinking it would happen to her babies. She didn’t want this, not for her children. This kind of ability was dangerous. She knew what it meant for their future and the future of the triplets if anyone found out.
“Paul, what are we going to do?”
“We’ll have to keep them apart as best we can. Then, when they get a little older, we can leave and go to Shir in the Natural Septfinitude.”
He was right.
Fourteen years and Four Months Later
Shir’s early morning dew glistened across the lush grass as Ethan bent over the creek and whisked his fingers through his blond close-cropped curls. He gave himself one last look at his reflection in the still creek water then splashed the cool, wet liquid on his face a couple times and stood. He crossed his long sleeve shirted arm across his face to dry it then turned to face his triplet brothers.
“Why can’t we touch each other? You know, like pat each other on the back for a job well done or something. What’s all the fuss about?” asked Jace.
“Why? Do you need a pat on the back? Are you in need of a compliment? Well, job well done, Jace,” said Ethan with a voice dripping of sarcasm. “How are we supposed to know? We’re in the same situation as you.”
“You’re the oldest, Ethan. You should now,” said Mason with a chuckle. He knelt next to the creek, dunked his close-cropped, straight black hair in the cold water, shook his head several times, then whipped his head back, bringing with it a stream of water heading straight for Jace, who saw it in time and ducked. The splash landed on Ethan’s face.
Ethan gasped then took another swipe at his face to dry it. “I am the oldest by nine minutes,” replied Ethan. “And keep your water to yourself damn it. My being the oldest does not mean squat. Ask dad. Although, I doubt he would say anything. I tried asking once, and he blew me off.”
“Mom and dad never said anything to me either. I asked them once, too. Mom looked away and dad changed the subject. You know how he is. If he doesn’t want to tell you something, no amount of probing or coercion is going to get him to talk,” said Mason.
“So, let’s try it,” said Jace.
Ethan and Mason threw him a blank stare.
“What? It’s not like we’re going to blow up or something.”
“Dude,” said Ethan. “I don’t think we should go against mom’s and dad’s wishes.”
Mason smacked his tongue, then said, “Come on, he’s right. He is the youngest, so we can blame him if something goes wrong. Besides, they’ll never know.”
“Ok, fine,” said Ethan. “But not here in the open. Let’s go in the barn. We have chores to finish up anyways.”
The late July heat rendered the barn an oven of sorts. The three stood inside the main entrance looking around. One of thee horses in one of the distant stalls stamped his hoof and gave a low whinny.
Ethan spied his father’s small office on the far end and walked in that direction. “Come on.”
The three stood in the center of the room and looked at each other. Neither one wanted to go first. Finally, Mason gave Jace a quick poke. Nothing happened. Seeing this, Ethan and Jace did the same to Mason. Again, nothing happened. They started laughing and felt ridiculous. Then they slapped each other the way guys do.
“Damn,” said Ethan. “All this time we’ve been afraid to come in contact with one another. Again, I wonder what the big deal was?”
“He five bros,” said Mason as he put up both of his hands.
Ethan and Jace put up both of their hands. Now standing in a tiny circle, they all smacked each other’s hands at the same time. Then their bodies melded into one. Now they knew.
“What? Who? How? Oh God. What have we done?” asked the brothers who were now one person. What is this person’s name? My name? Our name? Damn! Who is this?” His voice didn’t sound like any one of the three brothers.
He turned to face the corner desk. A small 8″ x 10″ mirror hung on the wall above the section of desk on the right. He peered into it. A different person stared back. In a way he was a compilation of the three, yet different. He touched his mouth, then pulled the skin under his right eye down and let go. He ran his hands through his dark brown hair and exhaled.
“We need to tell dad. Wait, I’m talking to myself. Hey, you guys there?” Nobody answered back. “What’s my name, our name?” Again, no one answered. He didn’t know if he was one person or three.
A translucent green materialized around the frame of the mirror and intensified until it filled the room. He plucked the mirror off the wall and a certain oddness peered back at him….
(If you enjoyed this snippet and would like to continue reading more, follow the link to the book in the book’s title above. It is free on Kindle Unlimited. The Kindle version is $8.99 on Amazon).
A Personal Starting Point Biography
Ever since I read a short story my elder sister wrote when I was a pre-teen, I wanted to write stories. Then I began reading mystery books for young adults and wanted to write even more. There was just one problem. I didn’t know how to go about doing that. At the time I didn’t understand there was a process or a particular structure in regards to writing a story let alone writing a book. After all, I was only 10.
In high school in one of my English classes, we were assigned to write a short story. Now, I don’t remember what the lesson was surrounding this assignment or if the teacher taught us an in depth lesson on how to write one, but I wrote one. My mom praised it and thought the world of it. I, however, was more critical of it. I felt there was more I needed to know. As I recall, I could have done more with my characters and added more conflict and/or suspense. I don’t remember what grade I received for the story, but I know it was a passing grade. I wouldn’t get back to writing creatively until my late 20’s.
During my hiatus the yearning to write a book was ever present in my mind. So between raising kids and a family, I read how to books on writing fiction. I tried to set pen to paper and start a but it fizzled out. The time wasn’t right. I had three kids (boys) and a husband, so that’s where my mind was at. My husband was in the Army, and, at one point, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. His safety and the care of my three boys was first on my mind. At that time I still wanted to write a book, but I lacked the materials and opportunity to do so. That was ok. I was young and had plenty of time for writing later. In the meantime I lived life. Little did I know, it was only the beginning.
Ohhh the stories I could tell from that point onward…..
Have you ever read a short story or a novel and somewhere along the way the story/plot didn’t make any sense? It felt as though information was missing, or there was a lack of consistency. The result of all that is you scratching your head in wonder, putting the book down, or leafing back through previously read parts to see what you missed.
That gets too distracting. So how do you as the writer avoid making those same mistakes as a writer? In your own writing, some of the inconsistencies you may be aware of and some you may not be. For the ones you know of, write them down in a plot holes log. For the ones you are not aware of, you will catch those later in your editing.
To expand on this, here is what I do. In the writing software I use, Scrivener (You can find it at Literatureandlatte.com), I create an extra file labeled Edits. Within that file folder I have various files for the different types of editing I will do later. One of those files is called Plot Holes. When I know of a plot hole that I need to address later, I write it there. When I am finished with my manuscript later, one of the things I do is go to that list and fix those plot holes one by one. THEN I start reading my manuscript from page one and go straight through to the end. Along the way I am searching for any more plot holes I may have missed. I make note of them in the manuscript with my red pen and move on. When I get to the end of the manuscript, I go back to those plot holes I made note of in red pen and fix those. Please note…..when I am reading for plot holes like this, plot holes are the only things I am searching for as I am reading. DO NOT fix anything else or make note of anything else during this process because you will lose track of what you’re doing, and you don’t want to start over. If you have to stop to run an errand or cook dinner or something, mark your spot and go back to it later. Trust me, this is the process I used and it served me well.
Coffee and a Book by L. M. Montes
You woke one morning to rain-drop spatter
A chill in the air did nip,
Out the window wind whipped,
The day now does not matter.
To the kitchen sluggish feet shuffle
Timed coffee now is pouring,
Aroma floats and tickles the nose,
You grab a book and a truffle.
The office and work the rain it took
Home soothed you so much better,
So get your blanket and bundle up
To coffee and a book.
By L. M. Montes
When you’re writing, whether it’s a short story, a novel, or a poem, do you pay attention to what is going on around you when you aren’t writing? Sometimes I’ll write down what I hear/see in my journal for later use and sometimes I don’t. Most times I remember. I know what you must be thinking. “How can you remember all that?” Well, I don’t. It isn’t until I’m writing a scene, and what I’m writing triggers a memory of something I saw or heard, then if it fits the scene, I use it. But, most often it’s only snippets of a conversation or something I saw that I end up using. Journals are a wonderful thing though and can contain a treasure trove of useful info. Take what you can from real life and mold it like clay.
The pictures below of are my journal for my novel The Triunix of Time. As you can see from the warn tabs and such, it’s been used quite a bit.
Applause to Indie Author Kelly Miller, our spotlight in February 2021 for book of the month. Her novel Accusing Mr. Darcy won for Romantic Suspense in Speak Up Talk Radio’s Firebird Book Awards.
We wish you continued success and many more awards to come.