There’s a cover in the works for Explosive Dreams.  I’m not sure the cover artist understood what she was getting into when she agreed to give it a go.  However, I don’t think I drove her too crazy.

On a personal note, I feel like I have sleeping sickness.  I yawn constantly and I’m ready for a nap about ten minutes after I wake up.

Despite that, I have been working.  My next book is under way.  I need to write a guest blog post for a Dark Cotillion book tour that’s about to start.  I’m working on scheduling a tour for the entire Dreams & Reality series.

The editors have Explosive Dreams and it feels weird, because my content editor was unavailable to go through it first.  She moved and the move is taking up all her time.

So, that’s my update.  Hope to do the cover reveal very soon.  Hope to have flash fiction going up this weekend.  :-D

Sometimes I Order Jimmy John’s By Default

Mondays are special for me.  They are writing nights.  My SO plays darts without me in Jefferson City, Missouri with a fantabulous group of guys, but as a player, I hate going and watching week after week after week.

We agreed some time ago that it would be a writer’s night.  He leaves at 6 and doesn’t come home until 10 or so, that’s four extra hours of writing time for me.  However, I hate fixing dinner just for me on those nights and it’s the only day I can order a sub sandwich and not have to worry about what he’s going to eat.  He doesn’t really like subs and I really do.

I have a case of the crud.  It started Saturday, got worse yesterday and today I sound like a teenaged boy who has been smoking five packs a day since birth.  Surprisingly, I have cash in my wallet.  I almost never carry cash, it’s a rare thing indeed.  I thought I’d order a sub for my dinner.  I’m too tired and lazy to really fix anything.  And heating up left over pizza thrills me about as much as eating dirt… possibly less.

I checked Sub Shop first, but their website is down.  If I had the energy to drive somewhere, I’d just cook me something.  That leaves Jimmy John’s.  I like Jimmy John’s.  However, I feel as though it is often my default ordering place, not really my first choice.  Maybe I should order something hot and spicy like Thai food to burn this crap out of me.

Commercials Gone Awry

I have noticed a disturbing new trend in commercials.  It would seem like everyone in charge of quality control has the IQ of a shoe.

Commercial 1:

Some mobile company has a guy knocking around a green ball and the slogan is Period Power.  As a woman, every time I hear the slogan, I wonder if I need to go buy tampons.  And for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the mobile company offering the rates.  Also, they play it a lot.  I know because I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I see it often.  I chalked this commercial up as a complete failure.  I don’t know what men think of it, but as a woman, it doesn’t entice me to switch my mobile service.

Commercial 2:

Esurance and their 7 1/2 minute quote.  Insurance for your house, auto, apartment, etc are all really important decisions.  They are touting the speed of their service to save you time.  I tested it.  It took me longer than 7 1/2 minutes and my quote was ridiculous.  As it is, when I did buy my insurance a few years ago, I spent a whole hell of a lot more time than even 15 minutes.  Eventually, I got a quote that wasn’t robbing me blind and had good coverage.  Stop trying to save me time and start offering quality over quantity.  If I spent more than 7 1/2 minutes, I probably would have gotten better offers… but since I was testing for quantity not quality…

Commercial 3:

One cup coffee commercial, I missed the brand, it’s unimportant.  I have nothing against one cup coffee makers.  My mother is the only coffee drinker in my house, so I get it.  And they offer a huge variety.  However, tonight I saw one with this comparison:  place or scoop: placing takes less effort.  They actually said that!  Now, I get that Americans are considered terribly lazy and that we try to expend as little energy as possible, but marketing to that specific fault seems like a bad idea.


Enter Panic Mode

The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!  Well, perhaps not the sky, more like my emotions are running hither and tither.  I’m just 34 days from publishing Explosive Dreams.  Not the best book in the Dreams series, but not the worst either (for the record, Tortured is my least favorite, Elysium is my most favorite… for now).

However, there’s cover art to be made and previewed.  I’m having a little difficulty getting ahold of Kelly Nichols, my cover artist for the previous three books.  I know what I want and I want Kelly to do the work (she just gets what I want, sometimes without me realizing that I want it).  But the cover for Mercurial took two weeks to do because of multiple revisions (have I mentioned that I love her as a cover artist?  She is freakin’ phenomenal).

I ran spell check on it tonight (for the first time).  I can’t spell permanent, assault, or brilliant correctly… ever.  It needs to go to the content editor.  It then needs to go to the copy editor.  Then it needs to go to the beta readers.  I’m running a little behind schedule there.  The content editor will take a week.  The copy editor about the same…

There’s at least two loose ends to tie up.  Not sure how I missed them in the original.  I need to fix those, like tomorrow, so that the content editing can begin.

Time just slipped away from me.  I began working on the first book of my next set of books, a fantasy trilogy.  I’m three chapters in to it and somehow all the other shit just slipped my mind… Now I have 34 days to get it all done in.  I will be working every waking moment…

The Babe

She stood outside the main entrance to the mall.  Her fingers were furiously moving over the keys as she typed out a message.

Excuse me, miss.  A man’s voice, she looked up.  Hold him, I’ll just be a minute.

Then he was gone.  In the blink of an eye, she found herself holding a child.  A very small child with wide blue eyes and a yellow pacifier stuck between its lips.  She cooed at the infant.  Had the man called it a him?  She wasn’t sure, it had happened so fast.

She sat down at one of the tables.  Her eyes constantly scanned the crowd for the overly trusting stranger.  She had every intention of giving him a piece of her mind when he returned.  You didn’t just hand a person a baby and then nothing bad to happen.  Luckily, she wasn’t that kind of person, she was trustworthy, but it was sure inconvenient.  She was already running late getting back to work.

The minutes ticked by.  The baby slept.  The digital glow on her phone almost permanently stayed on as she checked the time more and more frequently.

She stood up and went to the security office in the mall.

Hi, this guy just handed me this baby, like an hour ago and he never came back.  She told the uniformed security guard.

He just handed you a baby?  Don’t you think that’s a little weird?  The security guard countered, eyes narrowed.  She suddenly felt a little panicked.

Yes, I did think it was weird, but before I could tell him that he was gone.  She informed him, her hackles raised by fear and indignation.

John, can you come out here?  The security guard called to the back of the room.  A second guard came out.  He was much larger and more intimidating than the first.  Now, tell us again, but make sure to include a description of the man.

I was standing in front of the main entrance, texting my boss, to let her know I was going to be late getting back and this guy walked up and handed me the baby.  He said he’d only be a minute.  I went to protest, but he was already gone.  He was wearing jeans and a hat.

What did he look like?  John asked.

I don’t know, a guy.  About my age, not as tall as you, white, skinny-ish.

That’s pretty vague.  The first security guard said.

Yeah, I did’t get a good look, it happened too fast.

Are you sure you didn’t mistakenly pick up the child yourself?  John asked.

Why would I mistakenly pick up a baby?  I asked.

Sounds just as plausible as what you just told us.  The first guard said.

Panic made her feel sick.  They didn’t believe her, but what did they think she was trying to do, drop off an unwanted kid at the mall security office?  Get real.

Several police officers entered the room.  A woman was with them.  Tears ran down her face, staining her shirt with black and sparkly colors from her make-up.

That’s her!  The woman said.  That’s the woman I saw pick up Timothy from the stroller!

Whoa!  She took a step back from the obviously hysterical woman.  Some guy handed him to me at the mall entrance. 

My husband saw you!  The woman lunged at me.  Only John, the security guard, kept her from getting to me.  I was handcuffed and walked out of the mall.  As we left, I saw the woman hand the child to her husband.  It was the same jack-ass that had handed me the baby over an hour ago.  I shouted and screamed.  I was tasered.


©Hadena James 2014

This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to persons living or dead or actual situations is completely coincidental.

The Art of the Fall

He’d learned long ago that it wasn’t always the fall that mattered.  Sometimes, it was the art of the fall.  It had happened before.  The scene had been awe-inspiring and terrifying at the same time.  However, like a phoenix rising from the ash, chaos had given way to life.  There had been rebirth from the destruction.

Now, he stood upon the edge.  If he did this, death would be the least of his worries.  It wasn’t just rebellion, it was treason.  Treason was always harshly punished.

His hands shook as he stared at the horn in his hands.  One note; that was all it would take.  One note would bring about destruction and rebirth.  One terrifying note that would mean more than any other sound had ever meant.  It would make the world tremble.  It would make people cower and hold their loved ones.  It had been a long time since they had done that.  Life, such a precious thing, meant nothing until it was gone.  He knew.  The wounds of loss still tore at him, gutted him, and caused him immeasurable pain that created a void.

It wasn’t time.  He knew that.  He knew that better than anyone.  His instructions were clear and they dictated that it wasn’t time.

However, he could no longer stand by and feel the pain while he watched the others take their happiness for granted.  Rage filled the void.

Gabriel put the horn to his lips and blew.  The note made the air feel intolerable.  It shook the ground beneath his feet.  The rage stilled.

The sound shattered the first seal.  A beast leapt from the broken seal and said “Come and See.”

Gabriel prepared to face the wrath of the Creator and blew the horn again.


©Hadena James 2014

This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to persons living or dead or actual situations is completely coincidental.


She sits and waits. She doesn’t know what for, but something. Her gut tells her that if she just sits there and waits, something will happen. Something that will change the world forever. Something that she needs to witness.

Her gift, as her mother always called it, had never steered her wrong before. She’d always known things, things that she couldn’t possibly have known. Things that hadn’t happened yet, but would.

Despite the gloomy day, the hazy air, the rain that beat a steady rhythm on the plastic sheltering the bus stop, she sat and she waited. An old man got onto the bus the next time it came past her. He was stooped, requiring a cane to support his weight as he walked. His feet shuffled along on the pavement and then squeaked grotesquely as they moved across the vinyl floor of the bus. Behind him, a younger woman fought with a child to get on the bus. The child screamed as the mother attempted to maneuver several shopping bags and the toddler onto the narrow entrance platform.
Boredom began to get to her. She dug out a pen and paper and began to tally the number of people getting on and off the bus at this particular stop. She kept numbers for men, women, children, teenagers, the elderly and what she termed “weirdos.”

The day passed. Her body was sore and stiff from sitting on the hard plastic bench all day. Her stomach growled.

The last bus of the day careened along. The brakes giving out from poor maintenance, over use and rain-slicked roads. She never saw it hit her, but the feeling that she needed to wait passed.

©Hadena James 2014

This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to persons living or dead or actual situations is completely coincidental.

Rated R For Non-Stop Violence

I saw this rating tonight on a movie I decided to watch.  For the record, it was a Resident Evil movie and I do love Milla Jovovich.

However, it made me think.  If I had to putting a rating on an Aislinn Cain novel, that would be the rating:  Rated R for Non-Stop Violence.  There’s a tiny amount of bad language in Explosive Dreams, but no nudity or sex.  That doesn’t mean the book is child friendly.  Or even teen friendly.  It definitely deserves an “over 18″ warning.

Having said that, I was reading things like that when I was about eleven.  So, physical age is subjective.  I’m not sure I’m a better person for being able to read books like the Cain novels at that age, it was just one of those things.

It brought to mind another thought though or rather a memory.  And you can’t judge the parent involved for this:  at the tender age of 7, one of my parents took me to see the movie Death Wish in theaters.  I don’t know which one, I don’t remember enough about it to recognize it.  I have never seen another one of the movies and I can honestly say that I have no desire to see them.  Despite this lapse in judgment by one of my guardians, I didn’t turn out damaged because of it.

What it did do was desensitize me to ratings.  I rarely notice the ratings on movies and I never pay attention when someone tells me a book should have a rating.  So, it surprised me when I did notice the rating tonight.  It wasn’t really the “R” that caught my attention… It was the “Non-stop violence” disclaimer.  I have never thought of the movies as being one long non-stop, blood, guts, and gore fest.  Sure, it’s a zombie movie, but it is entertaining.  And Oded Fehrir provides great eye-candy.  But there you have it…

Getting Older

As I age, there are odd things that happen and not just physically.  I’m talking about mentally weird things.

For example, there are very few books that have ever disturbed me enough that I had trouble sleeping (and never a movie).  Stephen King’s The Shining and H. P. Lovecraft’s short story Rats in the Wall.  I am mildly afraid of topiary, which is an odd fear, thanks to The Shining.  Rats in the Wall just disturbed the hell out of me; nothing like a little deranged genealogy and descent into madness and cannibalism to make you not want to close your eyes at night.

Tonight, I decided to watch a classic cult horror film that I have seen at least two dozen times: The Exorcist.  For the record, I’ve read the book twice.  I was fine while watching it.  After the credits had rolled and the movie had gone off, I found myself searching for something “cute” to watch.  Strange, I had planned on watching a different horror movie.  So why had I gone in search of a show like Monsters University?

Then I really thought about.  Twice while writing Explosive Dreams, I found myself watching reruns of Too Cute! after finishing a chapter.  So, in the last month, I’ve become squeamish?  Why did I become squeamish?  Seriously, this is a problem.  I love horror movies.  I love horror stories.  I enjoy reading and watching things about serial killers and real cases of possession and real ghost stories and all sorts of things.

Anyway, so I stopped searching for episodes of Too Cute! (please reserve judgments here, we all have vices) and grabbed the horror movie I was looking for…  As it finished, I realized that it wasn’t the violence, the gore, or even the subject matter that bothered me.  I figured it out.  I’m not becoming squeamish, I’m becoming a prude.  It was the language and a few scenes (if you’ve seen the movie or read the book, you can guess which one).

I opened Explosive Dreams and there it was.  The two chapters that gave me nightmares contained those two things.  Holy crap.

Wrote Another Book

So, the other day, in the wee hours of the morning, I finished writing Explosive Dreams.  I always feel spent afterwards, like I’ve poured all my energy into the task of writing and now that I’m done with it, I have nothing left.  I’m recharging my batteries now.

There’s something strange about finishing a book.  Not only does it feel exhausting, but it feels… sad.  For a few days, I bum around wondering what to do next.  This feeling was greater when I wasn’t publishing.  Since I am, there are things to keep me busy, like getting it to the editor and the beta readers.  There’s a cover reveal to be done.  There’s marketing to plan.

Yet, none of that sounds appealing.  I just want to sit back on my haunches and be slightly down because yet another episode of my make believe world has passed.  And this one was a long one, time wise… It spans from July to November.  That’s a long time in Aislinn Cain years.  She has a birthday in this book, growing another year older.  It’s strange to think that way, but Aislinn Cain has aged a year, at least chronologically.  She probably aged five years physically.  Of course, I can control this, both physically and chronologically and the next book may only span a week or even a few days.  The next seven books might only span a few months, despite taking me two years or so to write.

Anyway, so that’s my mood… Now it’s time to contact the editor.

Susan Finlay Writes

Susan Writes Mysteries and Suspense


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