Tag Archives: the spark that left us

#blog love, Author to Author

Proud to say that JB Richard’s is taking a read of The Spark That Left Us, and I can’t wait to hear her thoughts!

In the meantime, why don’t you check out her blog and her other reviews? And while you’re there, check out the Yeshua and Miri Novels, including Miriamne the Magdala by JB Richards.

Blogs and authors have got to stick together!

I hope you all enjoy the little side trip 🙂



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#Cover Sourcing #writerslife New Blog Post!

One of my favourite parts of putting together a book project is sourcing locations for the cover art, and promo images.

It combines my love of research, my love of Google Maps, and my passion for road trips. What could be better than piling into a car, coffee in hand, camera in bag, and best friend in tow?

The difficulty I had with this book, is that the environment of the region I live in isn’t great for my vision. I don’t live near an ocean. I live on the wrong side of the Great Lakes. The crags and the cliffs and the waves are on the westerly side of the Lakes, which unfortunately is in Northern Michigan. Not unfortunate because it is Michigan, but unfortunate because it’s several hours drive away.

So I have scouted a couple of locations that go in a circuit that will hopefully fulfill my hopes and dreams. Who knows?

The trend so far has been that art has approached me in the most unexpected ways, so I will leave my heart and mind open to possibilities and opportunities, and trust in the vision of my photographer.


Until then, loyal readers.



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So the trip finally happened.

The once planned three week road trip from Boston to San Francisco, in an attempt to replicate the steps of the Byrnes and Masterson troupe, was finally planned and consolidated to a one week melee of absolute insanity.

And I had a blast.

Several glitches led to a late flight the Saturday, whirlwind tour of Boston on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, flight Wednesday, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday in San Francisco, with an early flight Sunday.

What. A. Week.

The thing that stuck with me the most from the whole thing – not the Yankees vs Bosox game, not the humpback whales in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, not the late night Pho trip or climbing Lombard street or riding a street car or traversing the Golden Gate Bridge or visiting Alcatraz at night – the thing that’s haunted my thoughts every day since – the surreal coast of California at sunset. The wind howling. The foam from the crashing gilded waves rising into the sky with every heartbeat of the ocean. Every grain of sand silhouetted against the drifting dunes. The islands rising from the surf. The ever-present sensation that the fog will roll in and engulf you from the distance – and yet never does. I believe it’s the closest I will ever feel to being on another planet – and it’s a sensation I want to capture.

It’s the yearning. The wanderlust.

I’d drop everything in a heartbeat for another hour of that wild, racing fury.

If I can even pour a portion of this into Book 2, I will feel that years of work will be worth it.

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Cover concepts #newread

I’ve been absent, my friends, I’m sorry!

And apparently I use too many commas.




I’ve been toying with a concept for The Scars That Bind Us that involves the cover. As you all know, the cover for The Spark That Left Us is an (interpreted) silhouette of Deke against the background.

What if the sequel featured a female silhouette? Round it out?

Gives it continuity, while also providing contrast.


The Spark That Left Us was,  at the root of it all – Addy and the influence of Deke suddenly appearing in her life – while The Scars That Bind Us is arguably about the influence Addy has on Deke’s life.


But then again, you haven’t read it yet, have you?

Please tell me what you think!


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#title vote

Sometimes coming up with the title helps me think, focus, and refine.

My problem though, comes from my need for symmetry.

I’d love to name the sequel to The Spark That Left Us in a similar format – but unfortunately, unless I am trying to translate a horribly grammatically incorrect phrase, it is giving me issues with balancing. Options are:


The Scar That Binds Us


The Scars That Bind Us


I am leaning towards the second one personally, as it is far more open ended.

What do you say, kind readers? I’ll allow suggestions as well 🙂



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And here she was, more intrinsically wrapped up within the strands of his life than he ever could have imagined.

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#spoiler alert

 “I met Addy about four days later. It hadn’t really sunk in yet. I hadn’t even realized what I’d done. Levina had showed up, so quickly. Put me to rights. And then I was saved in other ways, by Addy, by the marks, by the bunch of you. And I had hope again. Briefly. It wasn’t until after, standing on that hill, staring at the place where I had died, that I realized if I’d succeeded the first time, nothing could have ever been right again. Horrible, terrible things had happened to me, I’d broken in every way that mattered, and yet, the people in my life did everything in their power to give me that chance to breathe again. And nothing will ever take that feeling, that love, away from me,”

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Long time, no see! #newbook


I know it’s been forever since I posted. It’s the curse of being a part-time writer, life sometimes gets in the way. You want all the facets of your life to play together nicely, but it doesn’t always happen.

I do sit there sometimes, and worry about my characters, wonder how they’re doing. They’re stuck, you see, frozen in the limbo where you leave them between writing.

I feel myself dragging my feet as well, because I am nearing the end. A first draft has been printed, a few minor holes here and there that need to be lovingly and wittily filled. I’ll miss them. These characters have changed so much since The Spark That Left Us, they’ve grown into interesting people with lives and pasts and memories that you, as readers, have been along for the ride.

Mateo is struggling, Addy is trying to be brave. Deke is afraid of who he’s becoming after the curse was lifted. Rick and Connor are trying to sort out who they are now that Reggie is gone, as gaping a wound as a missing limb that will never be replaced. And under it all, they’re trying to deal with their own guilt and the stress of returning to a world that doesn’t see between the layers of reality.

I’d love if this book could be released by Christmas, that would be amazing. But who knows?

Life will always get in the way of living.


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The endings

I know it’s been a while.

I do apologize.

I am really struggling as a writer with the ending to the sequel to The Spark That Left Us.


Because I can do one of the following, and these are all scenarios I am able to build out and already know how to do:

a) end it on a terrible note, but wrapped tightly in a bow – no getting out, no second chances. You’ll probably cry. Everyone will cry – and the world of Collectors and the Tenders will be closed.

b) end it on a happy note – everyone gets what they want – wrapped tightly in a bow – you’ll probably cry, in a good way – and the world of Collectors and Tenders will be closed.

c) end it on a terrible note, but leave the opportunity for redemption and a rescue mission in a third, unwritten, unplanned book – essentially keeping the world open, closing off as a trilogy.

I can picture all three in my head. I know how to tease out the emotions that I want – but I am so very afraid of making the wrong decision! I am torn between what you as readers will want, and what is easy.

On top of it all, these characters are practically family now, living inside their heads and breathing their air. And I am not sure I can do it again.

The ending of The Spark That Left Us was admittedly heart-wrenching, even to write – and I’ve been yelled at by readers for it in the past.

Can I collapse this world into itself?

Will I have to backtrack the truths of that universe if I decide to delve into a third book anyway?

What say you?


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Excerpt from the sequel … #spoiler alert

Felt like sharing some more of book 2, working title “Sparks Ignite”. This is unedited, so bear with me, I just really wanted to share.


“Why didn’t you tell me everything before, when we were here?”

The question hung heavy on the air, and I breathed in a long breath, inhaling the sunset, the golden light playing through my outstretched fingers, wind ruffling across my palm.

“Tell you what?” Mateo cocked an eyebrow in my direction before returning his focus to the road, the sunlight filtered between the scraggy pines, a flickering slideshow across his face.

I brushed the outstretched tip of a pine bud that nearly touched the window as we slowed to a stop. Why was there even a stop sign here?

“About the rest of this. About the past. About Rowan. The pull this place had on you,”

I squinted up into the trees, scanning the dark branches as Mateo pulled the van ahead once more, urging the lumbering vehicle back up to speed.

Mateo chewed his lip briefly, considering his thoughts.

“Would you have wanted to hear it? You knew nothing about this place, except it was where your world shattered. Why would I spring it upon you also that it was where your family was bent and broken before you were even born?”

I settled back in the seat, folding my hands together and staring back out the windshield at the twisting road ahead. The ground cover was becoming scrubbier between the trees, waving broad bladed grasses that glowed in the lowering light.

“I never thought I’d be back here. Never thought we’d end up chasing Reggie again, following him to the end of the earth. Last time was supposed to be just that. The last time, but here we are, and I wonder if it’d be different if I’d just known,”

Mateo sighed, clapped a hand on my knee before returning it to the steering wheel.

“That was a choice Reggie made. It wasn’t right, I’ll never say it was, just as Clara’s choice was never the right one. But you’re here now, and without either of them, so it goes to show, you know what they say about hindsight,”

“You’d think after all that, and all the problems that stemmed from lack of communication, you would have explained everything so it didn’t happen again,” I commented dryly, looking back out the window.

The trees had faded away, replaced by dunes, the sunset momentarily blocked by the hillocks, their crests golden with sea grass.

A note of exasperation escaped Mateo’s nose.

“And when mariposa, pray tell would I have done that? When you sat catatonic on the hillside for two days, ignoring us entirely? Or how about when in a fit of rage you lit Levina’s house on fire, rampaging around with gasoline and matches? Or, oh this would have been perfect, when you refused to get out of bed for three weeks after the funeral? I’ve yet to figure out how you survived on stale pizza and gummy bears but I’m still of a mind to make Deke learn a lesson for it,”

I rolled my eyes. Deke had tried, he really had. But he’d lost someone too, and misery loves company. Especially when it boils down to darkened rooms and lazy fans, and sleeping for what only felt like days on end. I couldn’t handle the sun shining on another day that didn’t have my brother and my sister in my life. It wasn’t until Mateo had stormed in that day, sick of knowing I’d locked myself away, and dragged me kicking and screaming back into the light that I’d finally realized I did in fact have to keep on living. I did relapse a few times. I’m not going to lie. But that October was the end of it. I’d promised myself. Mateo smirked, hazel eyes gazing along the horizon, idly, then continued,

“What it boils down to, is there was never a right time, and as much as I love you I didn’t want to rip those wounds open again. You’re all I had left, and I needed you whole,”

Mateo slowed the vehicle down, signaling his turn toward the beach.

“At least I made sure to get anything useful out of the mansion before I toasted it,”

I sounded petulant. I didn’t care. I crossed my arms across my chest, rubbing at my elbow.

Another indeterminate sound escaped Mateo.

“I should have done the same. About thirty years ago,”

I chuckled, quiet and adrenaline driven. It sounded weird in the car, sounded weird as soon as it escaped me. We were almost at our, my, final destination.

“And yet unlike me, you resisted the call of arson, and you became a cop instead,”

Mateo shrugged resignedly, peering through the windshield for the cut-off to the parking lot, the sand drifting across the road in the high wind.

“It’s what she wanted. She needed someone on the inside that could work around the corners where they were blind. In exchange, you three were safe and provided for. Still provided for, thankfully. I can’t imagine where the bunch of you would have been, fending all on your own,”

I shifted uncomfortably. It was true that Mateo had ensured, through careful coercion and outright lies that Levina should ensure that a portion of her amassed wealth and fortune through her hundreds (thousands?) of years on this earth be allocated toward the only blood ties she had – us, but the thought of it still made me uncomfortable. It was blood money, however it was obtained. But as much as I liked to insist to myself that my freelance work was enough, and would be enough, with the addition of several more people to my home, I’d come to lean on the income much heavier than I ever had growing up. Keeping my head down and ignoring where it could have come from had always been the unfortunate truth.

“Point taken,” I muttered.

“Well, I’m sure eventually, the insurance money will come through as well, and then you’ll definitely be in a good spot, right?”

“As long as they never prove I was here, pouring gasoline on everything,”

The van slowed to a stop, lonely at the crest of the hill, looking down on the rushing blue of the ocean, the waves cresting and disappearing rapidly, a lone gull swerving away overhead. I worriedly ran my fingers through my hair, chewed my lip nervously.

Mateo engaged the emergency brake.

“Don’t worry, I erased all the gas station tapes,”

He threw a wink at my gaping mouth as I swiveled in toward him in disbelief, and clicked his seat belt open, hauling himself out the door, groaning from the cramped driving position. I stared at him through the window, appreciating just for a moment everything that he was.

Maybe I should forget about this. Just go home.

Mateo rubbed a hand across his chin, and shook his head, moving toward the beach.

I scrambled out of the car after him, and joined him where he stood at the top of the nearest dune, the wind whipping his clothes around his lean form, eyes narrowed against the brilliant glow of the sunset.

“Are you ready for this?”


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