Page One – Chapter One – Demons and Jade – The Ivory Razor Adventure Series

I’d like to take a poll but better yet, I’d like to see your comments on the first page of my work in progress; Demons and Jade.

All I want to know (I suppose) is, if you read this first page, would you want to keep going. (?)

I realize this is a dangerous experiment because not everyone is into the whole pirate historical fiction thing but hey, that’s what we writers do, right? We risk it all to tell the stories we want to tell and put ourselves out there, regardless of what may come back. 🙂

If you’ve read The Blue Diamond, then this opening scene will seem very familiar. However, I’ve rewritten the scene to open this book with but in Ivory’s perspective. This scene is crucial to her story as this was the day the Ivory Razor was truly born.

First page only…(Of course as we writers also know, this could end up completely different once the book is published)


Demons and Jade – Book 2 – The Ivory Razor Adventure Series


Had I known the repercussions of murdering the captain of a pirate ship, I may have taken the time necessary to rethink the act. However, as I stood over the bloody, lifeless body of Captain Christopher Barclay, as well as no less than seven of his crew, as usual it was too late to change my mind. Change my mind indeed. As if I had a choice.

As if I’ve ever had a choice that didn’t involve a fight or at the very least, defending myself against some man, hell bent on destroying me or my kin. I must always follow my instincts, regardless of the fallout of my actions and had I not done so, I most certainly would not have lived to see the rest of this unspeakable day.

I pleaded with the man not to kill them all. If he’d have only been more of a man and less a murderous monster, perhaps this day may have ended for him as he lay down at last, safe and whole in his bunk. Alas, this was not to be. Instead the surge of the battle within him overtook his senses and he snatched me by the back of my neck.

“Miss Shepard, take your ladies below. And should these swabs be foolish enough to fight back and God forbid we lose this fight, kill your cousins… and then yourself. Trust me, you’ll not wish to draw breath should that pack of dogs board us.”

“I’ll send them below, but I’ll not pass up the chance at last to show your own pack of dogs who I am.” What the hell was I thinking?
“It’s your pretty head. If the first sight of a sail dropped you, let’s hope you can stay on your feet when they bare their fangs and lunge at your throat.”

“I’ll live Captain. And perhaps you haven’t noticed, but they’re not ladies anymore. Today shall prove that.” We’d spent weeks in rags, cleaning up after pirates, listening to their vile comments and working as virtual slaves in order to secure our passage to Jamaica. Perhaps I’d had enough and was ready for a fight.

Here, There and Everywhere but “Here” – Popping the Cork

I’ve been a bit MIA lately on my blog.

I go through phases where I internalize things and it takes a breakthrough of some kind to pop the cork and allow the pressure to escape in a fountain of liquid bubbles of thoughts and words.

I went to dinner last night with two of my besties. Some words that had been contained for a while escaped but I mostly listened and enjoyed allowing my lovies to share their own feelings and release pressures of their own in their own way. I do share bits and pieces of myself with those intimately close but often my emotions are channeled in basic ways that only the most trusted individuals know and understand.

We all have our own way.

I often listen to the pressures of others. I am able to allow their troubles to pass through me. I feel their pain, joy and struggles and then most of the emotion scatters like dust in a ray of sunlight,  and the words and memory of the conversation remains almost verbatim…if that makes sense. If they only know what they share and how it clings to me like tiny invisible particles of light and darkness that my soul retains.

Without being able to describe exactly what has been happening in my day to day life that has kept me away, I can share the emotion part by saying I’ve been feeling blessed, worried, anxious, frustrated, confused, concerned, hopeful and loved. Strange combinations of things from day to day. But isn’t that what living is all about?

I don’t expect to be happy all of the time. I don’t expect to feel content or unsettled either. I do believe though that this bottle of bubbles is due to my inability lately to write as much as I normally do. I’ve been so busy out in the real world that I haven’t had the time to focus and write that I have had in recent months. Book launch, marketing, brain storming and life’s usual callings have whittled down those precious hours.

Some people play golf, run, paint, dance or scream…I have to write.

Writers have to write or they’ll go crazy. We have to pop that cork and pour out our soul into a glass. We have to raise the glass and watch the bubbles rise and swirl around until we tip them to our lips and swallow them down again…one sip at a time. They become something else. They liquefy and settle and become clear until we’re drunk on all of the feelings and can finally put them in the right order to where they make sense…and we give it all to total strangers who over the course of thousands of words FINALLY give us the true release.


That’s when the story gets told. That’s where the tears and the laughter live. The circumstances that created the pressure and bubbles, fade away and all we’re left with are how those incidents made us feel and why we bottled them up to begin with.

Then, they become someone else’s feelings–someone else’s woes and triumphs and failures. We pour them into words and create worlds where those feelings can run free and be expressed without having to put a cork in them and then we hand them out into the world in hopes that the world will accept them.

…accept us.

…and when the bottle is empty…we fill it again.

The #Goodreads Choice Awards Opening Round (Shameless self promotion time!)

I’m definitely a long shot but what the heck right? I’ve voted for my newest book, The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge, in the Historical Fiction as well as the Romance category and you can too!



To vote for The Blue Diamond in Historical Fiction, click HERE.

To vote for The Blue Diamond in Romance, click HERE.

To vote for The Blue Diamond in Listopia, Click HERE.

I still believe as indies, we can win. If you believe it too, then cast your vote.


Get Flushed by J.J. Nikitin!

One of my favorite Facebook pages to peruse is Pirates Among Us. She always has the best of everything pirate! We’ve struck up a friendship through our mutual love of pirate lore etc. and through this, I not only found more treasure than I could have imagined but she is also a published author!


Click on the book cover to go get her book Flushed today!

Captain Flatus Codswallup needs ten-year-old Lucas’s help getting his sewer-sailing ship seaworthy, and flushes him as a new recruit. Lucas learns it’s not all toots and giggles as a pirate in the sewer when threats of mutiny strike. Lucas must decide between saving Flatus’s butt and getting home before his plumber father misses him. But when the pirate ship falls under attack, Lucas learns who Flatus’s sworn enemies are. Plumbers like Dad! Now Lucas has to choose a side that doesn’t get everybody killed as plumbers and pirates meet in the messiest battle the sewers have ever seen.

J.J. Nikitin

The Beautiful J.J. Nikitin!

You have to go like her Facebook page as well. She shares some of the most beautiful imagery of pirate ships, pirate lore and modern day pirate adventures (the mostly legal kind of course!) and all things related to loving pirates!

The 15 Principles Of Highly Successful Authors by Stephanie Lennox

And here we have what jumped out at me:

4. They take control of their lives. (Self-Efficacy)

“Become major, Paul. Live like a hero. That’s what the classics teach us. Be a main character. Otherwise what is life for?”  – J.M. Coetzee

You can’t waste time waiting for permission from an imaginary, all-knowing mentor to tell you exactly what you need to do with your life. No one in this world is now, or will ever be qualified enough. If you want to get your novel(s) published, you need to be the one who gets things moving.

Here are the rest…READ THIS!

Because I love you all…