Friday, November 7, 2008

She Got Flowers...Sort of

So my fantasy author got home from today's radiation zapping and said, "oooo, the apartment smells a bit like stinky trash. I'll take that out." She proceeded to do this. On her way back from the dumpster she saw a woman walking around the corner of the building with a large vase of tall pink roses and a plush white teddy bear clinging to the large vase. She was instantly intrigued.

The woman began walking up the steps to the apartment and Sandy became further intrigued.

But no.
The woman stopped halfway up the stairs, looked at the number on the door and started back down the stairs. When she saw Sandy walking toward the building, she called out, "Do you know which apartment is 202?"

Sandy was very disappointed, but after relating the story to a friend, she received the lovely image above via e-mail. She says it's as cool as the real thing.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #13

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life
When my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, was a young girl, she stood in the check-out line at the grocery store with her mother one day. In your society, towns are so highly populated that people have to stand in line with their food to pay for—oh, she tells me you already know this.

Anyway, Sandy stared at the headlines on the magazines while they waited their turn in line, and one particularly large title stood out from the others. It said, "Talking to Your Teens About Virginity". She found this curious, so, in front of everyone in the store, she turned from the magazines to her mother and asked, out loud, "Mom, what's virginity?" And she pronounced it incorrectly, to boot.

Given the nature of this parent-offspring moment, she knew, in the future, that she had to incorporate it into a story. (You know how those writers are…everything's fair game.) She knew that a young Amanda Chariss, the heroine of her epic fantasy trilogy, had to supply one of these embarrassing moments to her guardian and mentor, the great wizard Hrazon. Because there's no room for such backstory in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy, Sandy included the little tale in the upcoming short story anthology What Choices We Made. You won't be able to get your hands on the piece until the end of November (the busiest shopping day of the year, she says…whatever that means), but, as soon as the book is available, she'll let me announce it here and you can enjoy Hrazon's embarrassment as much as I did when I read it.

In the meantime, the first novel in the trilogy is already out. You can pick it up at Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc., or order it online or at Amazon.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

She's Teaching me About Employment and the Economy

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, created a host of careers for the characters in the society from which I hail, but she can't wave the magic pen and create jobs for her friends who are looking for work in your society. After speaking with one of these friends, she started to explain something to me. War, high gas and food prices, a housing market meltdown, record unemployment numbers, etc. make the headlines—and have been making the headlines for years. The mass media bombards already stressed people with constant negativity, constant gloom-and-doom.

You can't turn on the television or radio without hearing some negative political ad frightening middle-class America about their health benefits or some negatively charged news story trying to out-sensationalize the "other station's" negatively charged news story. A local job fair drew 11 employers and more than 700 job seekers one weekday afternoon and the local news stations couldn't stop emphasizing how this was a harbinger of doom for the area…and with three more hours of the job fair to go!

But the television and radio aren't the only culprits feeding your society's stress. The front page of newspapers flash the latest business closings and County job cuts, leading above the fold with headlines that state the number of people losing their jobs for the sake of saving taxpayer dollars. You can't fire up your e-mail server without seeing headlines that tell of war, death totals, the latest victims in corporate scandals, etc.

It's enough to drive an already stressed out person over the edge. (Sandy would be an already stressed out person, by the way.) It's enough to make you want to unplug all devices that can receive a signal.

What brought this to her mind was a job interview one of her friends went on. It was at a rehab center. THAT place is hiring. THAT place is at capacity. THAT place needs more employees to handle the influx of disturbed, substance-abusing people who seek medical attention to help them through this troubled time.

And that's a shame.

What has this society come to when stress is so great that, as a community, people are falling apart? It will be so wonderful when the elections are over and the political crap can stop. It will be wonderful when the eventual upswing in the economy takes place. It will be wonderful when people stop listening to the constant bombardment of crap and start accepting that there are good things going on around them, too. Won't it be a great day when there's so much good news that the local news station will have no choice but to lead with a good news story?

In the meantime, Sandy encourages you to try to look on the bright side of life. (She also suggests a great fantasy novel at this Amazon page to take you out of reality for a while.) She posts inspirational quotes at her main blog every morning and tries to give fun, light, creative writing ideas there. She says we can't bury our heads in the sand (wait…what? How would you breathe? Oh, well, it's a strange colloquialism!) …we can't bury our heads in the sand, but we can shut out some of the negativity, focus on the positives and uplifting things around us, and wait out the tough times together.

Looking forward to a great news day,
Nigel Taiman
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

She Got Up Too Early

But it's not her fault. Nor (this time) is it mine. You know how I like to offer subliminal suggestions to my fantasy author when she's sleeping...and this often results in her waking up and writing in the middle of the night or early in the morning. It can make her very fussy with me, but the results are worth it.

Today was not my fault. Today she curses Waste Management.

You see, she's got the windows thrown open wide to give the air conditioner (thus the electric bill) a break. I suggested this might be unsafe but she lives on the second floor and she figures anyone climbing up to break through the screens in the middle of the night deserves a sword through the heart anyway (yes, she keeps the cutlery near the bed). But this morning at the cheery hour of 5 a.m. the garbage truck emptied the dumpster about 40 yards from her bedroom window. It first had to back into position with its backup alarm wailing.

She's not pleased. I think this means Tuesday nights will find the air conditioner on and the windows closed.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

She Found This Blogsite...

I'm not happy.

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, reviewed a site called Writers and Authors over at Today the Dragon Wins this morning and it has me quite concerned. She liked the site. In fact, she went on and on in rapturous tones saying, "oh, check this out!" and "oh, look at this!" and "oh, there's a thesaurus!" Whatever that is. (Okay, she's just explained that the thesaurus is part of an "Online Reference" tool that the administrator, Jo Linsdell, has up all the time on the site.)

This site has myriad features that are going to lure my author back when she should be listening to me. It has interviews with other authors and she's just always intrigued by what other authors have to say about their publishing experiences. It can be exasperating for us characters when we're trying to force-feed ideas, you know.

And then yesterday there was an article about, which had facts that Sandy obviously didn't know about because she felt the need to interrupt me and read them to me while I was trying to interrupt her. It's all very disconcerting. I went to the site myself when Sandy took a break. The mission statement claims the site is "a place for people in the writing industry to gather and share experiences, tips and advice. Not to mention promote their latest work and discuss various topics related to the writing industry. Included in this blog you will also find; links to sites for writers, competitions and contests, interviews, writer and book event listings and more..." Just what I need: competitions and contests to take Sandy's mind off the job of editing Book III.

Blast Jo Linsdell for making the site so inviting to writers. If you're a character, I tell you to avoid letting your author find it. Avoid it at all costs. If you're a's at this link.

All my best,
Nigel Taiman
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

She Reminds You That Choices Meant for Gods is Available as an Inexpensive eBook, Too

Whether you enjoy collecting hardcover books for your shelves or not, sometimes cash for such luxuries runs low. Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is in a "low-cash" phase these days due to medical bills, foreclosure, etc., so she empathizes with others in negative cashflow situations. (She says "it sucks a lot.")

So, for those of you who want to read new fantasy but don't have the funds to pick up Choices Meant for Gods at the local Barnes & Noble or Hastings book store, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender has your answer. Download the pdf from the publisher's site. It's only $3.99.

You see, the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods is the story of the amazing heroine, Amanda Chariss. It tells of love, tolerance, overcoming insurmountable odds, standing up for yourself, not backing down, coming of age, befriending dragons, and irritating evil sorcerers…but not everyone in the world is able to shell out nearly $30 for a hard cover, first edition book from a fantasy author they've never read before. Enter the oh-so-economical eBook.

If you're unsure about your $4-purchase, you can read a bunch of five-star reviews of Choices Meant for Gods on the Amazon page... Then link over to ArcheBooks Publishing to order/download the electronic version for much less money than the physical book. You can also read the first three chapters for free at that same link.

I know you'll enjoy the story.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

She's Free

After 17 long months of waiting on "the other side" to get "their" act together, my fantasy author is finally free. Yes, she's single again. And she's very pleased with this.

Seventeen months ago, she filed for divorce from someone who is divorce-worthy. And that's all she's going to allow me to say about this person. (If you've been following the blog from home, you know I've wanted to run him through with a sword on more than one occasion. What!? It's my blog! I'm allowed commentary.)

Fine. She's told me to mind my manners.

The point of this post is to say that Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is rejoicing. She's keeping the pen name for pen name purposes, of course. You don't do several years of marketing, while you know you're getting your maiden name back, and then switch gears on everyone. Besides, the name "Lender" is in the middle of the alphabet and is more likely to get browsers at the book store. (See the pseudonym discussion that went on quite heavily during the entire month of June at Today the Dragon Wins. Several guest bloggers and visitors had interesting comments concerning last names.)

Now that Sandy is single again, there will be fewer manic visits to the attorney's office when "the other side" misses a deadline (oh, you have no idea...a divorce with no children and no assets doesn't go on for 17 months unless one side is actively insane...what!? I'm merely stating my opinion!) Fine. Once again, I'm stating here and now that I'm pleased to see my fantasy author freed up to write instead of flitting off to the attorney's office. She's free to buy paper and toner cartridges because the "other side's" $4,000+ overdue bill is NOT landing in her lap after all. She's free to date a guy if she decides we're worth the time (although, I should warn all members of my sex that she keeps swords and a short temper these days...and she does write about ways to kill sorcerers with or without magic...)

That's my subtle way of suggesting everyone stay clear and let her write.

Congratulations are in order!
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

She Has A Bizarre Early Review for Choices Meant for Kings

These writers can be so creative. Check out the format of the latest early review for Choices Meant for Kings at The ChrisChat Reviews. Thank you to Chris for the glowing praise!

And if you haven't already gotten your copy of Choices Meant for Gods, you'll want to check that out to get caught up on the series. The eBook is available for only $3.99 at the publisher's site. Or you can get the real thing at amazon, b&n, the publisher's site, etc. Enjoy!

All my best,
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

She's on Suspense Magazine's Site

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is pleased to announce that Suspense Magazine's online presence now includes a page devoted to her and an early review of the upcoming fantasy novel Choices Meant for Kings. You can check out the direct link to the page here. At the site, you can see Megan Kissinger's map of Onweald in full color, a blurb about the book, and an interview of Sandy Lender (complete with inane ramblings about snails).

If you're still in need of the first book in the Choices trilogy, the easiest way to get your copy is through Amazon or the publisher's site. You can also walk into Barnes & Noble or Borders, etc., to order it if you don't see it still sitting on the shelf, but online ordering is faster, and, if what folks are telling Sandy still holds true, less expensive. It appears the book store's fees are more exhorbitant than the online shipping fees, and both Amazon and her publisher have discounts at the moment.

All my best.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #12

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life
When my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, was about 7 years old, she lived in an apartment complex across the breezeway from a child named Debbie. One day, Debbie and another girl, who Sandy can't even picture, much less name at this point, wanted to ride their bikes up to the convenience store a few blocks away.

Because Sandy's mother wouldn't let her go with them, Debbie and the other girl began to mock her, telling her she was "a baby" and "too little" to go with the "big girls" to the store. (That's mean. These were your friends?) Ah, back to the story. It gets strange, she tells me.

When Debbie and the other girl returned from the store, they taunted Sandy with the candy they'd bought (by the gods, you surely didn't remain friends with such people…oh, she tells me children are just cruel beasts in this society…great). As I was saying, the girls taunted her with the candy until they decided they wanted to go to the store again. This time, they told her that she was too little to go to the store, but she could watch their candy for them, if she promised not to eat any of it.

For pity's sake. I think we can all see where this is going.

As soon as the girls were out of sight, Sandy unwrapped all the pieces of gum and smeared them around in the dirt. (You've got to be kidding.) She licked some first to make the dirt really stick, she says. (Hey, she was 7; this was 7-year-old logic.)

Once all the pink gum pieces were lying there in their random disarray of dirty inedibility, she went inside to play with her dolls or something pleasing like that. (Your mind frightens me.) When Debbie and her friend returned a second time, they were incensed, of course, and came to Sandy's door to find out what had happened. Sandy quickly came up with (What? Thought up a lie and thought it up quick? What does that mean?) Sandy quickly came up with a story about some older boys riding by on their bicycles and stopping to smear the gum in the dirt, which the girls believed, and smugly went back to playing with her own toys.

I think I'll do everything she tells me to for the marketing and promotion of Choices Meant for Gods. It's available at a discount at the publisher's site, you know. And I think Amazon still has it on sale as well. Choices Meant for Kings is due out this fall.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

She Doesn't Like the Fire Alarm

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, had just settled into sleep when something loud and obnoxious began screeching in her "new" apartment. No, the bird was not to blame. In fact, the bird remained remarkably calm...

Now that she lives in an apartment community again, there comes with that joyous community living all the mature activities the neighbors find fun, such as pulling fire alarms when there's no fire. The resulting noise is supposed to empty the building of half-dressed, groggy apartment dwellers waiting for the fire department to come turn off the alarm.

It took them over ten minutes.

Sandy figures she needs a better back-up system for the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy so she can grab that (and the bird) on her way out should there ever be a real fire because this place obviously isn't high on the priority list of places to rush in and save.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

She's Back on the Beach

After letting substitutes patrol her zones during much of the month of July while she dealt with surgeries and whatnot, my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, was back on the beach this morning to see what her turtle nests were up to. She wasn't disappointed. First, she came across a turtle crawl, which means some sea turtle out there was holding eggs for quite a while...

But in even more exciting news, one of the nests hatched last night, which means there was a hatching to report. I've not been a part of a hatching so this was new to me. Turns out it involves multiple Turtle Time volunteers. In the photo above, you can see Lynn and Pat digging out the leathery egg shells that the baby sea turtles leave behind in the nesting chamber. They count these to see how many eggs hatched. In this case, it was 112. Four eggs were left unformed in the nest and those were put back in to decompose naturally. The ghost crab picture at left was the reason the Turtle Time volunteers were "allowed" to get into the nest so soon. Typically, they must wait three days after an emergence, but because this nest-robber had gotten into the chamber and could have posed a threat to any hatchlings still in the chamber, a permit holder, such as Lynn, is allowed to dig in and save the day. The ghost crab is ousted and sent on his merry way, although all the volunteers would rather crush him. Sandy snapped his photo as he hunkered down pretending to be one with the sand.
I'll post some more beach photos another day. For now, Sandy needs to get some rest and I'm keeping her from that with all my questions.

Monday, July 28, 2008

She Moved Again

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, now sits in her new apartment amid tons of boxes. It's unsettling. She says the good news is the move is over and her parents have come to town to assist in unpacking. She has an inordinate number of books...

Now, you might ask yourself why on earth would an author select this time of her "writer's life" to change abodes. She's just been diagnosed with a pretty serious illness and is just starting treatment for said illness while still recovering from a major surgery. It seems "odd" at best that she would pack boxes of books and kitchen utensils, clothes and computer equipment to move. As luck would have it (what's that, dear? oh, yes, your luck is less than stellar) As her luck would have it, the landlord from whom she rented the former abode ran into some legal issues with the condominium association and the bank. Both entities are suing him. Sandy's attorney suggested she "get out" immediately if not sooner.

So here we are in an apartment community where she feels confident that the property management company won't go into foreclosure. She says it's worth a heavy sigh of relief because we made it here with minimal loss of sanity. There was a brief moment in the car, as we passed the moving trailer parked at the side of the road, when she said, "well of course our movers are stopped at the side of the road. Why not?" We doubled back to check on them to discover they had not just a flat tire, but a tire that was on the verge of blowing out. Because the key to the lug nuts (I have no idea what those are, but Sandy's helping me and that's what she's called the items that blocked the successful changing of the flat tire) was stored in the front of the trailer, the movers would have had to have emptied all of her belongings out onto the side of the road to get it and change the tire. I find that a bit odd, but, the team elected to leave everything as it was and drive on. Sandy drove behind with her car's hazard lights flashing. As a short, flashing caravan, the two made it to the new apartment and all was well.

She says this is a step up because she gets to rent a garage and non-timid ducks approach her begging for food. I told her all animals recognize her as "a pushover."

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

She Took Pictures of the Ghost Crabs for You All

I was surprised she got out of bed today. After yesterday's yucky procedure, my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, was quite full of pain medication and "droopy" last night. But she got out to the beach for sea turtle patrol this morning and got these pictures for everyone to see. These are the ghost crabs she wishes to skewer (in fact, she said that to the first one she saw, hence we have a picture of its backside as it is up fleeing).

She informs me the first one here is a relatively small crab, as if I didn't grow up next to an ocean in my world.

The second one, sitting in some man's sandal footprint is a bit bigger. At first, she thought it might be dead because it didn't move as she approached it. But when she moved to place her own sandal next to it for "scope", it jumped up and scurried into the surf. It certainly looked bigger standing...but not as dead.

And you all have seen pictures of the ghost crab burrows in past posts. Sandy goes around filling those in around the turtle nests to annoy the crabs and encourage them to find better places to take up residence.

On a bizarre note, she passed a bird that had nested in the middle of the beach so she called that in. She didn't get a good picture of it because the bird became quite agitated (understandably) when she walked by. (What's that?) Oh, yes, Sandy says the bird ruffled up in bird language for "There's nothing to see here; just keep moving along." She's convinced it was a Bonaparte's Gull, which has a stable population. (Seems they'd be a bit less stable if they keep laying their eggs out in the middle of the beach like that.)

That's all for a writer's life for today. I think she's about to nap...

Friday, June 27, 2008

She Invited Anna to Interview Today

Today my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, invited Jamieson Wolf's Anna to the blog. It gave me an opportunity to meet this lovely young lady and learn more about her as a character, and about the novella Valentine by Paranormal Romance Author Jamieson Wolf. Here's the result:

Nigel Taiman: Good morning and welcome to the blog. Today I get to interview the lovely Anna from Jamieson Wolf's latest novella Valentine. Anna joins us with Mr. Wolf's permission. Welcome, Anna.

Anna: It is very nice to be here, Nigel. Thank you very much for having me.

Nigel Taiman: First, could you tell our visitors your profession?

Anna: I am a Priestess and I perform rights for the God Lespercus.

Nigel Taiman: For my edification, as I'm sure our visitors already know this, what does a priestess do?

Anna: Well, a Priest and Priestess will perform rights and rituals for their Gods. Valentine and I worship the God Lespercus; it is he who gives us our power. We use our magic to conduct hand fastings, oversee births and provide healing for the people.

Nigel Taiman: It sounds dangerous to me. Doesn't the emperor of your society frown upon just about everything you and your priest, Valentine, do? Does the emperor actually disagree with your very religion?

Anna: Well, essentially, yes. We follow a Pagan path while the Emperor Claudius worships Christ. He has put a decree out across the land forbidding us to marry couples; he wishes everyone to convert to his chosen religion. It is a sad time for Rome.

Nigel Taiman: Why, then, do you risk your lives?

Anna: Because we have to. Lespercus gave us our power to use and how can we not? He gave us our magic to better the lives of his people and that is what we do. Though we face death, exile or torture, we have to follow our hearts and do what is right.

Nigel Taiman: That's got to be one of the bravest things I've heard in a long time. Now, changing subjects just a bit, it seems that you're quite devoted to this priest, Valentine, and, from what bits I got to read of the novella, you're also enamoured with him. Is that tru…are you blushing, my dear? I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you blush. Is it true that you've admired him for some time?

Anna: Oh, yes. Yes, I have always loved him. When I looked into his eyes, it was the first time I knew what love was or what it could be. But Valentine was always meant for someone else, not for me. That is the way it has always been.

Nigel Taiman: I see. So his love interests lie in other fields. And you admire him yet? For his ideals?

Anna: Yes, I admire him. Though he loves me like a sister and not a lover, he is one of the most wonderful caring men I have ever met. He sacrifices himself for his people so that they can have the life they so richly deserve. Have you ever heard of anything more admirable?

Nigel Taiman: I must say, you remind me of a certain bride I wish to marry. She's opinionated and loyal like you. Well, Anna, do you have any aspirations of taking on adventures of your own? You've helped the priest Valentine in this story; will you convince your author to put you in a story of your own? Do you have any ideas for a story of your own?

Anna: Well, I know he’s thinking of it. He’s going to start a sequel to Valentine soon called Valentine’s Promise. I know that I’m going to be in that book. But I would love a book of my own; could you imagine the wonder of it? I think that story will be called Anna’s Wish.

Nigel Taiman: Well, with these authors, you just have to plant the idea when they're groggy. I find that waking them slightly around 3:30 in the morning is the best tactic. Just plant the seed of an idea at first.

Anna: Exactly. It will happen if I’m patient enough. I wonder where my story will take me though? Only time will tell.

Nigel Taiman: It's certainly been a pleasure conspiring with you today. And I wish you all the best. Do you know how folks can get their hands on the novella Valentine? It's all right if you don't; Sandy can pop in here and post it for us. But if you know it, just spell it out here and we'll have the link for everyone.

Anna: Oh, I do know where they can find a copy of it. It’s from somewhere called Cobblestone Press, it’s a…what do they call it? A web site? What a new fangled thing, I don’t understand it. But Jamieson says that readers can read an excerpt and purchase a copy of Valentine here:

Nigel Taiman: Thank you, dear. Now, I'll let you get back to suggesting ideas to Mr. Wolf.

Anna: You’re quite welcome, Nigel. It’s been so much fun talking to you, I feel like a celebrity! Enjoy the book everyone!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

She Stopped Me From Stabbing a Guy at the Hospital

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, had an appointment this morning to prepare for tomorrow's procedure. She let me tag along because I made such a fuss about being left in the dark on the last procedure. At one point, an elderly gentleman with his wife were in the same waiting room with her. Sandy got sent to another area to have blood drawn, and when she came back, a nurse took her and the elderly couple to radiology.

On the way, the nurse stopped to make sure the lady had a bracelet for identification purposes, so Sandy made small-talk with the gentleman. On they went. When the couple was led out of the radiology waiting room, the gentleman wished her luck and said something else I couldn't hear (I admit that I was distracted by this beeping metal box on a rolling stand), but I snapped to attention when the couple left and Sandy started weeping.

Let me tell you, I pulled out the sword in an instant and went off after the guy, but she stopped me. Turns out he said something very lovely and she was just being weepy, which she stopped quickly enough because the nurse came to fetch her next.

I swear, these authors surprise you at times. But that's a writer's life for you. You talk about sticking them in the chest with large needles and you don't know how they'll respond. By the end of the consultation, I looked at her and said, "Are you seriously going to let them do this to you?"

She seems okay with it. Now, I obviously have to attend to her tomorrow because this whole stabbing-in-the-chest-with-a-needle procedure happens tomorrow, but I'll post an interview with a lovely young lady named Anna before we head out. You all may be familiar with the author Jamieson Wolf, whom Sandy has interviewed over at The Dragon today. Well, Anna is one of Mr. Wolf's characters. It'll be a wonderful read for you all.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

She's Asking About Tortoise Substrates

I appeared because I get the computer for a bit while my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, gets ready for her doctor appointment. Lo and behold, she's in tears. A complete wreck.

Imagine my distress. At first, I thought maybe she'd killed off a character in the Choices trilogy because I've seen what that does to her. It's not pretty.

No, something horrible happened here in the apartment. One of the pancake tortoises died. Blueberry. (Yes, his name was Blueberry.) She had just come in from burying him amid the violets she'd planted the other weekend when I arrived so she was still weepy. Poor dear little tortoise. He'd always had a very soft plastron so she believes she'd done a poor job of measuring out his calcium powder on his food, etc. I don't believe there's any point in her putting on eye makeup to go to her doctor appointment... She's quite a mess right now.

Her question, for anyone knowledgeable about pancake tortoises, is what type of substrate do you use in your tortoise's habitat? She's raised Buttermilk (that's the other pancake tortoise) for about 10 years on a reptile mulch sold in regular commercial pet stores. She once tried the calcium-enriched sand-like substrate sold in specialty pet stores/reptile pet stores, but fear of compaction and not being able to monitor calcium intake should the tortoises ingest the substrate became an issue. (I never thought I'd get an education on turtle and tortoise husbandry by helping her with fantasy book marketing and promotion.)

If anyone out there has tortoise substrate suggestions, especially for pancake tortoises, Sandy would be thrilled to hear them.

All my best,
Nigel Taiman
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Friday, June 20, 2008

She Just Noticed the Oncologist's E-mail

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has carried a certain business card around in her purse for two weeks now. Just a few minutes ago, she relinquished the computer to me so I could drum up more professional reviews for the upcoming release of Choices Meant for Kings and so she could prepare to go out "into the world", and she began emptying her purse. (Don't ask. It's like a ritual.) She pulled the Florida Cancer Specialists card out of her purse and said, "I doubt I need to cart this around."

The way she abruptly stopped and then laughed maniacally made me wonder just what it was she had been "carting around." Turns out she has her doctor's business card and it has her doctor's e-mail address. Because it would be inappropriate to broadcast the whole thing to the universe (and I know I'm flattering myself by thinking the entire universe reads this blog), I'll just give you the important part.

reuben sandwich

The man treating my fantasy author for lymphoma has an e-mail address of reuben sandwich. What confidence this instills in me. (Oh, and it doesn't give YOU pause?)

She's fine with it. Says it proves he has a good outlook. Personally, I have to wonder.

Everyone have a lovely evening. I just might be sending some mail to reubensandwich after she goes out "into the world" this evening.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

She's Hosting Pseudonym Bloggers at Today the Dragon Wins

That title makes no sense at first.

Here's what it's supposed to mean. My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is hosting a variety of authors at her main blog, Today the Dragon Wins, throughout the month of June, to talk about their use of (or non-use of) pen names for writing. Today's guest is Lisa Haselton, whose name you might recognize because I mentioned her several days ago. She's a book reviewer and author interviewer who recently read Sandy's upcoming novel Choices Meant for Kings. You can read the review here.

Today, Lisa discusses her need to use a pseudonym for her fiction writing because a celebrity already had her name on bookshelves. Pity. I think Lisa should have gone in with sword drawn to demand her place right beside...wait...Sandy's censoring me.


If you'd like to read what other authors have contributed to the pseudonym discussion, the posts are archived at Today the Dragon Wins throughout the month of June. If you participate in the comments, you are automatically entered in a contest to win an electronic version of Sandy's epic fantasy Choices Meant for Gods and Raven Bower's paranormal thriller Apparitions. (Really? Raven? That's fantastic! When did you post Raven's story?) Everyone should read the article on Friday, June 13 (oh, how appropriate!) as well as Lisa's story today.

All my best,
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Monday, June 16, 2008

She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #11

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life
When my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, had graduated from high school, she started dating a lad named Matt. (That's it? You don't remember his last name?) She doesn't remember his last name at this time and doesn't have a yearbook (whatever that is) on hand to look it up. Matt was a funny guy who could draw cartoons very well and made her laugh.

Anyway, one afternoon, Sandy and Matt were sitting in the living room floor watching some movie in her parents' house when her father returned from a hunting trip. With his shotgun in hand.

Sandy thought nothing of this because her dad had been a hunter for as long as she could remember. Matt, on the other hand, freaked out. Sandy didn't notice, but heard stories from several of Matt's friends later.

Now, Sandy's dad is an intimidating man without a gun in his hand, but saw this as a perfect opportunity to put a little fear o' God into the lad dating his daughter. He proceeded to sit down and clean said gun in front of them. (This, too, was in the stories Matt told his friends, and which his friends recounted to Sandy.)

It's sometimes difficult to tell when her father is serious and when he's in jest. One evening when Sandy had endured several hours of divorce mediation stupidity, Sandy informed her parents that the day had "not gone well." She wasn't allowed to give particulars, but they were as disappointed as she was that the mediation hadn't resolved what it was supposed to resolve. Her father's response was, "You tell (insert name here) that your dad is looking for him." Now, coming from that man, that's just unsettling. I'd like to go with him if he starts hunting.

But to finish our current non-repressed memory, Sandy ended up breaking up with poor Matt for a variety of "space" issues, she says. The poor guy thought they should be in love and married and having a family. Sandy thought she should be going to college and getting a degree and looking for someone reliable and mature. She succeeded with the college and degree part…

Maybe Amanda and I will help her find the rest when she's ready.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

She's Eternally Grateful for the Suggestion to Wear Pants

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, returned from the hospital groggy, woozy, and unable to reason for herself. She blames the medication. At some point in the late afternoon, while sleeping in a drug-induced haze, she mumbled to me, "was that the doorbell?"

Now, I didn't want her climbing out of bed to answer the door, and I am unable to speak to other humans in this realm (she likens it to Big Bird's Snuffelupagus, which I have probably spelled incorrectly, and of which I have no working knowledge), so I just said, "no." She plunged back into R.E.M. sleep.

A few hours later, she awoke a bit more "alert" and, before scarfing more pain pills, announced, "I should see if someone left a package at the door."

I asked if she was expecting a package. Apparently, there's an Amazon order on the way and she's keen to get it. So I helped her get out of bed and suggested she put on pants. "Why?" My response was something along the lines of "you don't want to collapse in the open doorway in your skivvies and be found that way by a friend coming to check on you in the morning, do you?"

So she slid on the sweat pants she'd worn earlier and we meandered out to the front door, where, lo and behold, there was not only a package from Amazon, but well-meaning neighbors gathered around waiting for an appearance.

So she's eternally grateful for the suggestion to wear pants.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

She's Hungry

Welcome to Post 200 here at the blog about my fantasy author, Sandy Lender. You'll be surprised to hear that she's starving herself this morning. No food. Or water. When she brushed her teeth, she couldn't even drink the water afterward.

Next strange twist, she's going to the hospital in sweat pants and a sleeveless tank top under her shirt instead of ... ah ... well ... I feel a little uncomfortable delving into that about my dear girl, but, suffice it to say, she's behaving abnormally this morning and I just KNOW it involves the lymphoma in her chest. She's being awfully vague with me, and whenever she's vague with me, I know something's up.

A friend arrived just a short while ago to whisk her away to the hospital. Do people usually go in pairs? She keeps telling me "See, Patrick Swayze is beating the odds with pancreatic cancer, and that's something serious, daunting, and horrific. He's filming a new series for TV. He's taking on the world and winning. All I have is Hodgkin's, which is going to be cured up in a couple months, hands down. No problems."

I guess if Patrick Swayze's doctors can perform extreme miracles, to the point that he can film The Beast, and all my author requires is normal procedures, I should be calm, but I don't like it when she's vague.

So here I sit for the morning, wondering what I'm missing at the hospital.

In the meantime, I writing down some excellent ideas for her re-write of Book III in the Choices trilogy. She's been trying to come up with a name for it.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Choices Meant for Kings Gets First Official Review

You can read the first official review for Choices Meant for Kings at Lisa Haselton's review and interview site here. My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is thrilled. She wishes to extend her appreciation to Ms. Haselton for her time and for her positive comments.

When CMFK is available later this summer, we'll announce it all over the blogosphere. In the meantime, if you need a copy of the first novel in the Choices fantasy trilogy, Choices Meant for Gods is available at the publisher's site as either a hardcover edition or eBook (the eBook is only $3.99 so we're recommending that, of course), or at Amazon or anywhere fine books are sold.

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She's Learned a Lesson About Liquid Plant Food

When purchasing Miracle-Gro All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, do not assume that it comes in a sealed and leak-proof container. Also, do not assume that the plastic bag the cashier put it in because you didn't take enough cloth bags to the store will be leak-proof either. When setting the plastic bag containing the liquid plant food container down in your home, you should consider setting it somewhere other than your stovetop.

Do I need to continue? Do all you visitors have a clear picture now of what my fantasy author did yesterday? Can you visualize the greenish liquid mess she mopped up off the stove?

The good news is she has these white and ivy burner covers (she called them burner covers...I have no idea how to work the stoves in your society so I'm just going with what she called them) so the liquid didn't go down into the stove, but, just the same, she let out this strange gurgling sound that made me assume we had lizards in the house (see post below).

The plant food bottle will be stored upright under the sink from now on.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

She Was So Excited She Could Hardly Breathe

No, it wasn't another "brush with Duran Duran." This morning while on sea turtle patrol, my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, found three sea turtle crawls in her zones. She was ecstatic. Now, one of the crawls looked as if the turtle was just up on the beach checking things out, perhaps getting frustrated by a particularly difficult dune where digging activity was evident. At that crawl, the turtle did quite a bit of crawling around on the sand, as if she'd been disturbed by something.

Sandy felt sorry for her. As she puts it, "Dragging your body around the beach can't be easy when you're a turtle full of eggs."

Anyway, I'll post some pictures here. The one with "holes" that look like eyes is a nest with obvious ghost crab activity. Sandy was miffed (and concerned) to see ghost crabs were already messing around her turtle nest. You can see by the first picture that the crab has a sizeable entry and exit chamber. In the second picture, you see the shells Sandy has poked in the holes to aggravate the crab if it should be continuing to use the burrow. This is the practice the members of Turtle Time use to discourage the crabs from sticking around. (Oh, Sandy informs me she'd rather skewer the blasted little beasts, but that's not fair to the crabs who are just doing what crabs do.) Instead, the volunteers put shells, sticks and sand down the holes to irritate the crabs into moving elsewhere.
I was moderately concerned for her throughout the process because she gets winded easily these days. Because this is the "writer's life" blog I'm allowed to announce that she's got an obnoxious battle to fight over the next couple of months. She's been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease and all the enlarged lymph nodes and whatnot are in her chest around her breathing tube, so when she gets all excited about sea turtle nests, she starts coughing and wheezing as if I need to cart her away on some sort of stretcher. Combine that with the "oh my God, the stupid ghost crabs have been here already!" and getting her to breathe became my focus. You know, there are books to finish...I can't have her collapsing on the sand somewhere waiting for the tide to carry her out.

She's happily planting flowers now. The dead plant that she couldn't bring back to life finally irritated her enough that she had to replace it. So she went all out and put violets in the planter box in front of the lanai. This is something her landlord should be responsible for, but...we won't get into all that. But here's the odd thing she's done so far. She left the lanai door open so going back and forth with potting soil and plants would be easier. Of course, a lizard darted in. This sort of thing worries her because lizards that get trapped on the lanai usually starve to death. So she cornered the lizard, grabbed it without causing it to drop its tail, and took it back outside to release it. While she had it in her hands, it, naturally, opened its mouth and grabbed her thumb. Small lizard=no pain. But when she placed it on a tree outside, it didn't let go. In fact, it clamped down harder on her thumb. And there she stood. Next to a tree. With a lizard hanging from her thumb. For at least a solid minute.

The end of the story is she convinced the lizard to grab onto the tree instead and she finished planting all the flowers (they look lovely, by the way; Kora would be pleased with the scene) in the planter box. I'll go inspect the rest of what she's doing...

All my best,

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

She Announces Choices Meant for Kings has its ISBNs

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is pleased to announce that the second book in the Choices fantasy trilogy, Choices Meant for Kings, now has its ISBNs.

Hardcover (10): 1-59507-219-5
Hardcover (13): 978-159507-219-1
eBook: 1-59507-220-9

If you wish to read the first novel, Choices Meant for Gods, before the second book comes out, you can pick it up at Amazon or anywhere fine books are sold. The eBook version is available for only $3.99 at the publisher's site.

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She's Watching the Mail for Returning ARCs

Prior to the release of novels, authors typically send out advance reader copies (ARCs) for marketing blurbs to put on the cover jacket and for professional review. My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has been engaged in this practice for a couple weeks now, seeking out professional reviewers who a) read fantasy and b) will accept ARCs. It's surprising the fine line of time during which reviewers will accept a work for review. They want the book to be a published work, but they want it on their reading schedule while the book is "new". Considering the backlog some of these reviewers have, this means they should never read a "new" book. Be that as it may, she's having some success getting ARCs for Choices Meant for Kings out the door.

When the post office doesn't thwart her.

Here's why she's grumbling. She took one of these advance reader copies, beautifully spiral bound (which she spent a pretty penny to do, by the way), and mailed it from the post office to a reviewer in Canada who is anxiously awaiting its arrival. A day later, the package was returned. It needed a customs form. Considering Sandy had taken it to the post office for mailing, it seemed odd to her that the post office was returning it for something they should have "noticed" when she said, "this one is going to Canada; can I still send it by media mail, or is there some other way we have to use?"

So she hoofed it (her phrase, not mine) back to the post office yesterday to try again. The lady behind the counter gave her a form to fill out and did something Sandy did not expect. She didn't charge her to re-post the package. In fact, the lady printed a new postage label with the new date and affixed it to the package just below the original postage label. Sandy questioned this, but was told it would be fine.

Now Sandy's betting anyone who's willing to take the bet that this package gets returned again because the post office (read: government entity) will want more postage for having to touch the package a second time.

In the meantime, she's repeating her announcement that any professional reviewers willing to read the ARC for Choices Meant for Kings can contact her through this site. She still has a few left.

All my best,
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Saturday, May 31, 2008

She's Got Nests and Pellets

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is pleased to announce that there are now four sea turtle nests in her "zones" along the Gulf. So when she patters along the shore looking for turtle activity, she gets to inspect the nest areas to make sure all is well with the little lives forming beneath the sand. She's very happy about this.

And in complete contrast to that good-natured story, she's in the kitchen putting all Petri's least-favorite food pellets into one container so she can tease him. Isn't that nice?

Petri, for those of you who aren't already aware, is the pet bird that rules the household. He's very particular about his food and doesn't eat the white pellets in his food mix. So, to make life easier for Petri, Sandy spends valuable time that I'd prefer she spent writing (it's my job to keep her writing, you know) picking out the white pellets so he doesn't have to. Tonight, for some odd reason, she's putting them all in one little cup to present to him as if that's his dinner. She's done this to him before and was so entertained by his expression that I guess we just have to do it again.

I'll get her back to the computer shortly. Never fear. We do have the third book in the Choices trilogy to complete, you know.

In the meantime, the second book is awaiting its release date at the publisher and Book I, Choices Meant for Gods is still available at the publisher's site and Amazon.

All my best,
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

She's Letting Me Premier the Picture

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, had this earth-shattering event two weekends ago when she went to Orlando. She met one of her muses, the one she claims inspired her creation of me (which boggles the mind if you think on it too long, so don't think on it for too long) and then blogged about it over at Today the Dragon Wins. Because this is the blog where we're supposed to talk about the writer's life, I complained. (Of course. I wouldn't really be doing my job if I didn't give her a little grief about breaking protocol, now would I?)

So she's letting me showcase the picture of her with Duran Duran.

Enjoy the "zaniness" of it all. She's just insane, as far as I can tell. The young lady with blonde hair standing between Roger Taylor and Simon LeBon is Jennine. Sandy is standing almost on top of John Taylor but between him and Nick Rhodes. She's the one who looks deliriously giddy. I believe she was. She says she's going to crop the photo and make it her Christmas card this year. (And I don't think she's joking. I can usually tell now when she's teasing me, but I think she's serious about this...)

All my best to you,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

She Has Choices Meant for Kings ARCs Ready for Reviews

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has advance reader copies of Choices Meant for Kings prepared for professional review.

While she's contacted several reviewers who are placing CMFK on their summer review schedule, she wishes to make a more concentrated effort to gather opinions on this fantasy novel than she did with Choices Meant for Gods. As a complete novice with the first of this fantasy trilogy, she waited until the book's release before approaching reviewers, and found most of them disappointed that the novel would be "old" before their opinion could be shared with the world. She doesn't want to make that same mistake with the second book in the series.

Choices Meant for Kings rests at the publisher awaiting its turn on a backlogged production schedule. The release date could be sometime later this summer or early fall, so the timing is perfect to get ARCs to reviewers now. If you're interested and haven't already been contacted, please let Sandy know by leaving a comment here or at her blog.

If you need a copy of Choices Meant for Gods, she has the pdf available for reviewers. Readers can also find the eBook and hardcover edition at her publisher's site. The hardcover is also available at Amazon. If you take your copy with you to ConQuesT39 over Memorial Day weekend, she'll be happy to personalize it for you.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

She's a Faculty Member at ConQuesT39 Next Weekend

ConQuesT39 "Fanimal House" announces its Memorial Day Weekend lineup and encourages fans of sci-fi/fantasy to enroll now. The faculty list (that would be the panel participants) includes my fantasy author, Sandy Lender. She'll read from her first novel Choices Meant for Gods Sunday at 11:30 and will have an autograph session Saturday at 4:30. The panels she participates in include "Blog 101: Oops, I Blogged Again" and "Out 101: Out of the Space Closet, Homosexuality in SF/F/H."

If you've ever been to a ConQuesT convention before, you know there's loads of fun fan activities from art viewing to seminars on your favorite sci-fi shows to opps to meet the guests to a masquerade (on Saturday night) to improv story-telling to sessions on creative writing. The special media guests this year are Jeff East from Young Clark Kent and Ellen Muth from Dead Like Me. Check out the ConQuest site or visit Sandy's blog to get more information. But do it fast! Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner.

If you need a copy of CMFG to take to the signing, Amazon still offers free two-day shipping. Click here. I don't think you can get it that fast from the publisher's site. Sandy will have some copies on hand that you can purchase directly from her and have autographed on-site, but don't count on there being copies in the dealer room. Dealers don't always play nicely with the Ingrams or Baker & Taylor distributors...

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She May Have Gone Over the Edge

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is suffering from some sort of manic syndrome. I don't know what it is precisely, but she woke at 2:00 a.m. unable to go back to sleep. So she got up at 3:30 to type. Typically, I'm thrilled by such developments because I feed her ideas when she's groggy and she doesn't question them. But I was too tired to feed her ideas and just returned to my own realm.

Now she's received an e-mail from Bianca reminding her that "anything is possible at zombocom." When I asked her what zombocom is (because she seemed really happy about the reminder), she told me, "Nigel, Honey, it can't really be explained."

Here's the link.

Good luck.
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Monday, May 12, 2008

She Read a Great Scene on the Radio Last Night

I'm quite pleased with the scene my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, selected for the Internet Voices Radio program last night. The authors were labeled as romance writers, and the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods has that element running beneath the plot(s), so Sandy read the following. (I'm very pleased with you, dear. You'll have my uncomplaining marketing efforts redoubled for weeks because of this.)

This is a romantic scene as Nigel Taiman and Amanda Chariss ride from the estate at Arcana to Arcana City. Her wizard guardian has already clued her in to the fact that Nigel wants to court her, and she's upset over it. The scene mentions the bear-like ryfel creature that nearly killed Nigel in the training arena.

Nigel frowned at her. Spurring his horse slightly, he reached out to take hold of Shadow’s bridle. Bringing them both to a stop, he turned in the saddle to face her.

“Hey!” she objected.

“Indeed. Have I done something to anger you?”

Her cheeks reddened with embarrassment.


“You’re staring at me.”

“By the gods, Woman. All right, I’ll look at your horse. ’Manda,” he said to Shadow, “what have I done that’s made you angry?”

“I’m not angry.”

“You’re not a liar,” he spoke to Chariss again.

“All right, so I’m a little angry. It will pass.”

“And you don’t want to tell me what it is?”

She couldn’t blame her reticence today on worry over Drake. She also couldn’t blame her health because she’d completely recovered from her telabyrinth poisoning. With Hrazon and The Master attending the summer festival, she couldn’t blame some sort of timidity at being ‘alone’ in the city. No, she had to take a deep breath and be honest with him. Considering the number of suitors she’d sent packing in the past few years, this should have been an easy thing to do again. It wasn’t. She sighed, closing her eyes as if she could make the scene disappear.

“Do you agree that you’re my friend?” she finally asked.

He watched her open her eyes then, realizing where the conversation must be going.

“Yes.” It was said with exasperation.

“And that I’m your friend?”


“And does that please you?”

He sighed, but didn’t get a chance to answer.

“You see, Nigel, it pleases me. I appreciate your kindness, and I would be disappointed if we hadn’t built such a…such a…”

“Friendship?” he retorted.

“Such a rapport.”

He rolled his eyes. “A fancier word with even less affection.”

“My stay at Arcana is much more pleasant because I have this relationship with you. But someone has tried to convince me that your…your…”




“Well…your opinion of our relationship might be somewhat different from mine.”

“’Manda, just say what you’re thinking. You won’t hurt my feelings.”

She looked miserable then. “I don’t want to say what I’m thinking.”


“No, that’s not good. Hrazon thinks you’re…Hrazon believes you spend time with me because…” She paused, searching for the words.

“Because I’m in love with you?”

She nearly fell backward. “Just blurt it out!”

He chuckled slightly. “This is uncomfortable, isn’t it? I’m sorry to embarrass you. This conversation would be better in a darkened corner of Arcana’s parlor. ’Manda, I’m not going to lie to you. Hrazon has every reason to believe I’m after his ward because I am. It’s no secret to anyone I enjoy your company. What, where are you…You’re the only woman I know who can scoot that far away on a saddle without falling off.”

“I don’t think you should say those things.”

“Aye,” he sighed, watching her fidget with Shadow’s reins. But he made a decision to press the matter. “I’m going to say them and get them out in the open. Then we can decide if you’re to die of embarrassment, or slap me across the face.”

She couldn’t help smiling, even though her heart beat as if it would burst through her bodice from the tension she felt.

“I enjoy being with you because you’re my perfect match,” he said. “Have you noticed that we agree on almost everything? And the few things we don’t agree on are intriguing to argue because you make them intriguing. There’s no one at that entire estate, The Master and every intelligent student combined, who can hold my attention as you do. None of them compare.

“I’m attracted to everything about you, including your compassion. Even now, when you’re on the verge of falling off a horse with embarrassment, your concern is for my feelings, not your own. Godric, who doesn’t deserve to wash your feet, who finds every excuse to correct you, gets your respect because you remind yourself that he’s your benefactor. Do you know what strength of character that shows? Do you know how it endears you to me to know you bite your tongue after his arrogant remarks to save my mother’s feelings?”

She merely nodded, her eyes cast down.

“And do you know how it endears you to me to know you would fight to the death for Kaylin?”

She nodded again.

“And do you know how it endears you to me to know you instinctively threw yourself into healing spells to save my life?”

“You shouldn’t assume that means—”

“I remember sliding toward death that night, life spilling out of me, and poison seeping into me from that thing’s claws. But do you know what I remember most distinctly? I remember you commanding me not to bleed to death…and I remember your hands afterward. Once I was healed, once Master Rothahn became preoccupied with the dead ryfel, you crawled over to me and put your hands on me again, as if you had to be sure He’d done a good enough job of healing me. But you would’ve done it for any member of my family. I daresay you would’ve done it for any student in the school. And it’s because you care about others, and you want the best for everyone around you. And you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

The last comment caught her off guard. It didn’t seem to fit with the logical argument he tried to make.

“I fail to see how these things tell you you’re in love. Kaylin enjoys my company. Mia enjoys arguing with me. I saved Sorne’s life once. Does this mean they’re in love with me?”

“If love could be explained that easily, it wouldn’t be real.”

“But what makes you think it’s real now? If you can’t explain your feelings, how do you know you’re not misled?”

“How does the rose know to bloom in spring?”

“Oh, now that talk I’ve heard before. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t think you should let yourself believe it now.”

“’Manda, I’m telling you the truth and I’m telling you what I know. If I’ve made you angry by falling in love with you, you’re just going to have to deal with it. Because you’re not currently interested in me, you have to give me time to change your mind.”

They were silent then; he waited for some sign that she wasn’t going to cast him aside, she waited for her heart to stop beating so loudly in her ears. As far as she was concerned, she was often a foolish girl, but her intentions at the beginning of this conversation were foolish beyond compare. She realized—with alarm—that the blood rushing through her veins, the lightheadedness, the excitement at getting to spend an afternoon with him, were all signs she had chosen to ignore. She swallowed hard against the fear in her throat, and, with as much calm as she could muster, said: “What gives you the idea that I’m not interested in you?”

Now isn't that grand? I'm overjoyed that she'd share it with the masses. If you want to read more, you can read the first three chapters of the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods at the publisher's site at You can also download the eBook there for only $3.99 (which still makes no sense to me, but Sandy says it's possible). You can also order the hard cover edition there, or go to the Amazon site to order it and get free shipping. If you look at the Amazon site, you can read the five-star reviews that are already posted. Either way, there's more to learn about Amanda Chariss.

Don't forget to enter the contest to win the basket, as well. That information can be found by scrolling below. The question is "Who is Chariss chosen to protect?" You can find the answer on this blog, on Sandy's blog at, at her publisher's site (URL in the graph above), at, or in the book itself. Send your answer, with your name and snail mail address, to authorisland at yahoo dot com before the end of May. DeNita at Author Island will pull the winner May 31. Sandy originally thought it was happening on Memorial Day, but that's just her addled brain trying to keep track of too many details. And that's why she has me at her side.

Good luck!
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

She Said I Could Blog About Mother

I don't want to come across as a "Momma's Boy," as Sandy puts it, but I wanted to take advantage of this special day to speak about a lovely woman. She embodies grace, beauty, sacrifice, love, and strength. You may think I intend to talk about Chariss, my bride, but today, I want to talk about my mother.

Kora Rothahn Taiman is the current matriarch of Arcana. She's my mother. At least, she's the mother I'll claim. She's the goddess who gave up immortality and power unknown to leave the city of the gods in Mahriket and raise me. She married an ogre of a man so she could give me a home. She sacrificed her life and happiness to give me a family--a heritage, so to speak.

Even when I acted like an ungrateful brat, gambling and drinking and acting the fool in every Arcanan tavern I could find in my youth, Kora bailed me out, cleaned me up, and made a man out of me. I'm not sure how she did it, but I owe her everything.

On this special day, I'd like to thank all the mothers out there for tolerating the stupid things we sons do. And thank you for seeing us through. I wonder if you know that it's your unfailing love that brings us back from the brink.

You can read about the lovely Kora Taiman and how she takes in and heals my bride in the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods. Luckily, my sordid past is glossed over quickly, and, for that, I thank the author. You can pick up the eBook at the publisher's site at Or the hard cover edition is available anywhere you purchase books.

Happy Mother's Day.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

She's Going on Internet Voices Radio Sunday Night

"Are you Bear Aware? Mother's Day is also the start of National Bear Awareness Week...and why not? Bears are great mothers, too! This May 11, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern, authors Carrie Masek, Sandy Lender, Cynthia Eden, Angie Fox, Lise Fuller (and perhaps a surprise guest) join Rowena Cherry to promote awareness of bears and any other large, scary, hairy (or otherwise) creatures that inhabit the woods...or our romantic imaginations."

If you've followed along at, you know that Sandy Lender's fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods includes plenty of scary monsters that crept from her imagination--ryfel, edras, The Dragon Julette herself. She plans to re-post the deleted scene of poor Charlotte Anne in the Rochest Forest at Today the Dragon Wins tomorrow (Friday, May 9). Many a legend from the days of old began deep in the forests where your forefathers dared not venture for fear of the unknown. Sunday night, the authors of the paranormal and speculative fiction listed above intend to creep you out a little further with hints and whispers of scenes they created with that "unknown." Tune in to PIVR online to hear what they have in store for you.

Here are the instructions to listen in:

Sandy Lender will read an excerpt or two from her epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods. You can follow along if you have your own copy. Download the eBook now at Or run out to the nearest Barnes & Noble to get the hard cover edition.

All my best,
Nigel Taiman
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Monday, May 5, 2008

She Has Another Cool Contest Going

If you've read many of the posts where I've gone on and on and on about my intended, Amanda Chariss, here at this blog, or at Sandy's blog,, you'll already know the answer to the Choices Meant for Gods trivia question, and you'll be one step closer to winning the basket of fantasy goodies that Sandy's put together for the current contest at Author Island. If you haven't read any of these ravings, well, might I suggest you scroll through and find a few so you'll know who Chariss is chosen to protect in the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods.

You'll need to know if you want to win.

Here's what you do: E-mail your name, snail mail...wait...(what's a snail mail address?)

Okay. Now that my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has given me all the information I need, I might be able to complete this task for her. (Well, you have to explain these things if you want me to do marketing for you, dear.)

Here's what you do: E-mail your name, snail mail address, and answer to the trivia question to authorisland at yahoo dot com by the May 31st deadline. DeNita will draw a winner on Memorial Day and Sandy will ship out the basket pictured above. Simple!

Here's your trivia question:
Who is Chariss chosen to protect in the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods?

If you have trouble finding the answer at this blog, at Sandy's blog, at her publisher's site, or in the excerpt at, you could read the book. The eBook version (read: inexpensive version) is available at

Good luck to you!

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