Get Ready for Book 2 of The Forest Spirit series: The Haunting!

The Haunting was officially accepted by my publisher, Nighchaser Ink Publishing. I eagerly look forward to my contract, which should arrive in the mail within the next month or so hopefully (due to the fact that my publisher is out of Perth, Australia). What I am most excited about currently, however, is the cover design for the book, which will likely be created in the coming weeks as well. I will post it on here as soon as I get the green light from the publisher’s CEO to do so. The cover designer for Nightchaser Ink is beyond amazing, and I am continually astounded by the covers she is able to churn out in a short period of time. She is thorough, yet very detailed, and the color schemes are always amazing and vibrant. I cannot wait to see what she does for The Haunting!

In the meantime, I’m passing my days by working on a borderline general fiction/fantasy full length novel. It’s about an adolescent girl, the deterioration of a lifelong friendship, a blossoming new friendship, a kidnapping, and love found in the most unlikely of situations. My favorite aspect of the book is the protagonist’s name, which I will not reveal just yet. I plan on revealing the title of the book, which involves the girl’s name, once the book is completed and I’ve either gotten it approved by my publisher, or created the ISBN if I should decide to self-publish it on my own. The only reason I would choose to self-publish this book would be for the purpose of getting it released quickly, just so I have multiple books ‘out there’. I haven’t decided which pen name I will use yet. There are quite a few young adult elements to the novel, but then again, quite a few adult themed elements as well. This is something I need to spend a little more time pondering. As of right now, I’m 2/3 of the way done with my first draft. Then it’ll be an editing rewrite, another read-through with edits, and finally, a completed manuscript. This is one of my favorite books that I’ve written thus far, and I truly hope that it ends up grabbing a lot of readers from various walks of life. It’s easy to relate to, and yet also somewhat distant from reality in certain actualities. There’s even one scene in particular which may incite me to deny my mother the pleasure of reading this one, but again, I won’t reveal why just yet.

Stay tuned for more updates! I will post them here as soon as I am able to.

All Alone Am I

Well, my husband is off for an all day float down the Russian river, and where am I? Home alone with the baby, just like any other typical weekday. To save myself from utter and eventual insanity, I allowed my daughter to have one of her birthday presents a little over a week early. It’s a pretend garden, complete with worms popping out of the ground, a spider building a web, and a bee buzzing around a flower. It also has a cool velcro backdrop where you can “plant” grapes, flowers, tomatoes on their respective vines. I have to say, it’s pretty darn cool, and I’m amazed at how advanced children’s toys are nowadays compared to when I was a kid back in the Stone Age.

I got a decent amount of writing done already, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the baby wakes up at any given moment now. She’s already surpassed her typical hour and a half nap, even though I’d personally much prefer her to sleep somewhere in excess of at least two hours. But of course, baby has a different idea of the length of time she can pry her adorable, squishy little self away from the living incubator who now provides her sustenance (though I guess I was a sustenance provider even back when I was a human incubator).

I have two books that I am seriously debating self publishing solely for the purpose of churning them out as fast as humanely possible. I have so many projects that I would like to be working on, that I often find it difficult to have to spend so much time and energy on just one. A lot of times I just want to get to the crux, then subsequently, the end of each story in a timely fashion similar to my experiences reading books.

My train of thought is drifting off through Wonderland somewhere, so now I would like to shimmy into my excited thoughts of my upcoming trip to Oahu. It will be my daughter’s first trip as well as first time on an airplane, so we will see how that goes. I have a lot of family in Honolulu from my mother’s side, so it will be nice to see some long lost faces (I haven’t visited since I was 16). I hope to get some work done while I’m there, but the likelihood of that happening is pretty darn slim.

Anyway, now I feel like browsing through horror movies. Alas, until we meet again!

24 hour fast

Two days ago I decided to try something that I’ve been interested in doing for some time now. Starting at 8pm on Saturday night, I began a 24 hour fast. All I was able to have for the next 24 hours was water (with or without lemon and/or cucumber) and tea (I chose green and detox). There are a myriad of reasons to fast– I did it for spiritual and body cleansing/detoxification purposes. It’s just an added bonus that it also is great for weight management as well, but that’s not why I chose to do it.

While the fast was, at times, extremely difficult, I have to say overall it was thoroughly rewarding. Though I spent most of my day yesterday counting down the hours until I could finally eat, I noticed that I had an increased awareness of my body and soul that I hadn’t experienced in awhile. When 8pm finally rolled around last night, I remember thinking that I felt as though I could have even continued the fast for longer. But once that banana, grapes, and later burrito and fish taco hit my mouth, I was in pure ecstasy. Food tasted differently– better in fact– than I recalled, and I found I had even a difficult time chewing after having not done it for so many hours.

There were times when, of course, I wanted to give up. But thanks to the support of my husband, I was able to stick it out and make it the whole 24 hours. During that time, I noticed that I had an increased sense of smell, colors were more vibrant, and noises sounded as though they were somewhat far away. Almost like a high of some kind. I also noticed that my husband’s face looked different, and I found him to be more handsome than I ever had before. I’ve also always been a sensitive, able to pick up on energies and see auras, and I found during the fast that my senses in that arena were heightened and then some. There is also a sense of clarity and introspection that you experience during a fast, and you truly become one with your body and soul.

Overall, I’m very happy I did the fast. Today I awoke with more energy than I had felt in a long time, and I’ve discovered to my delight that I was able to sleep better (with pretty wonderful dreams, in fact), and my metabolism sped up significantly. My husband even commented (much to my annoyance as a glorified curmudgeon) that my attitude was way better and more positive than it normally is. I highly recommend this fast to anyone game to try it, and trust me, even though it’s difficult, you won’t regret that you did it. Next time, I’ll try to go for longer, and I plan on implementing shorter, 16 hour fasts a couple of times a week. It really makes you feel THAT good.

Possession at Sunnyside

Possession at Sunnyside cover

Currently I’m working on a collaborative paranormal romance with the ever amazing H. J. Bradley. We are hoping to release this awesome book– the first of its series, Bishop’s Paranormal Investigations– this upcoming Halloween. (Though this is VERY tentative, we haven’t gotten as far as we’d hoped by now.)

This is my first rodeo with a romance novel, though I am no stranger to the paranormal aspect. Had it not included the element of paranormal investigation, I’m not sure I would have been game for the project. But I am definitely one to explore out of my comfort zone to see how I do, so this venture is no exception. Thus far I’ve found it wholly enjoyable to write, and luckily I have H.J. available to guide me through any erotica parts that may come about in the book. H.J. is outstanding at character development and backstories, and I look forward to learning all that I can from her. She also knows about the “shifter” aspect of some of the characters, as well as the Fae beings, both of which I am still educating myself.

I hope to provide my abilities of setting the scene and the overall story and suspense, and will likely throw in some comedic aspects here and there (thank you, Jerry Lewis, for that). This collaboration is turning out to be somewhat of a perfect “marriage”, so to speak. H.J. and I balance each other out in our strengths, and will be able to work with each other in the fields we consider to be weaknesses. I am very much looking forward to completing this project, and subsequently, the entire Bishop’s Paranormal series.

The reason I chose to write this series under a pen name, K.L. Teal, is because the content of this novel is more adult-themed, and I’d like to maintain T. Damon for my young adult novels. I have two other short stories that will eventually be released under K.L. Teal, and that’s because of the adult content as well.

If all goes as planned, this book will be released this year, and I can proudly say that I will have been published three, possibly even four times, this year (depending on how The Haunting goes). I cannot wait to hold this book in my little hands, and will likely cuddle my copy, along with The Falling and Perchance to Dream, rubbing them all over my body whilst saying “yessss” Cartman-style. No matter how many times it happens, I will always be beyond enthralled to hold my own book in my hands and see my name on the cover. It will never get old. Never.

Onto the next!

Last night I officially submitted my manuscript of The Haunting to my publisher. I’m eager to hear what they think of it. Now onto the next project, which is a collaborative paranormal romance with the CEO of my publisher. She is insanely good at delving deep into characters and their psyches, whilst I tend to excel at setting the overall scenes and descriptions. The perfect match, if you ask me. We balance out each other well, and I’m excited to see how it goes.

I’m also going to start an editing rewrite of a young adult book I wrote about three years ago, somewhere in between The Falling and The Haunting. It’s somewhat reminiscent of my high school experience, though a lot of it is completely fabricated from my brain and based more in fantasy than reality. It’s about a boy, his lifelong crush, and a curse. It also goes into his relationship with his parents and sister, and through his experience he’s able to learn a bit more about his mysterious grandparents, mainly his grandfather. His grandfather is a kahuna, or Hawaiian witch doctor, and the protagonist never thought that it was anything beyond superstition, that is, until now.

I’m also dabbling in the idea of doing my own anthology, likely a mix of fantasy and horror. I already have one author on board, and a list of others I plan on extending an offer for submission. I also have a couple of special individuals in mind for the cover design and overall editing, so we will see how that goes. I probably won’t even start really thinking about this project until the aforementioned two are completed, or at least nearly completed.

A writer’s work is never done, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thinking about how much I love my parents.

Today I had a lovely visit from my mother and aunt. My aunt is sixteen years older than my mom, and is just one of my mother’s six siblings– five sisters and one brother. All of that side of my family, besides my mom, currently live in Honolulu, Hawaii. My mother grew up there, but moved to San Francisco after she graduated from University of Hawaii.

My aunt is 87 years old, but could easily pass for almost two decades younger. She’s visiting my mom for an entire month, which is great because my mom is all alone in our family home. Except for the lingering spirit of my recently deceased father, that is, and a very high maintenance cat. I try to visit whenever possible, but as it is I live nearly sixty miles away, and even brief trips require a lot of planning and organization, thanks to my beloved eleven month old. My mother comes to visit me once a week and FaceTimes my daughter daily.

If I can be half the mother to my daughter that my mom was to me, I can die happy. My mother is the epitome of acceptance, wholly admirable in her patience threshold, and goes beyond unconditional loving (if that’s even possible). She raised three very smart, passionate, creative, and witty children… Who were not easy to handle, let me tell you. But we all turned out just fine, and I think a lot of that credit goes to our mother.

The rest of the credit is bestowed upon our father. He was the funniest man you’d ever meet– clever and quick-witted as they came. He was an overachieving businessman, very practical, and yet extremely kindhearted. He was a big teddy bear, even though his gruff voice and overall curmudgeonly demeanor didn’t necessarily announce that description. He had a huge soft spot for his children, and would have done anything just to make us happy. There is not one minute that passes by each day that I do not miss him. I often reminisce on what it felt like to hug him, what he smelled like, how I remember his voice sounding. He was the most amazing man I’ve ever met (aside from my husband, but I would not have found such a great husband had I not been blessed with the father I had). My heart aches when I think about how he will never meet my daughter in this lifetime, but I’m comforted every time I see a quick flash of blue light hovering around her. I know that he’s here, watching over her, and I know that he always will be. People knew not to mess with my dad when he was alive, and I almost feel like anyone with ill intentions had better worry all the more now that he’s in spirit form. He’ll make his presence known, and even in death he continues to have a way of sharing his opinions with me.

It’s pouring outside right now… despite it being the middle of July in California, and I can’t help but remember how my father loved the sound and smell of the rain. He’s probably enjoying every moment of it.

Some thoughts on The Haunting, Book 2 of The Forest Spirit Series.

Currently I’m gearing up to submit the sequel to The Falling, entitled The Haunting, to my publisher. Back before I had a baby, I had the luxury of writing when I wanted, and how long I wanted. Nowadays that just simply isn’t possible, but I try my best to make time for my passion. The Haunting was written almost immediately upon completion of The Falling, and so the reader will be able to enjoy that sense of a flowing tale that transcends more than one generation. I have outlined Book 3, but have yet to start the actual writing process. It’s been nearly three years since The Falling and The Haunting were written. Back then, Lenore wasn’t even a blip of thought in my mind, and I was blessed enough to be represented by a very well-established, very accomplished literary agent (who has since passed away, unfortunately). So I am now on my own. Yikes!

The title of Book 2, The Haunting, sheds some slight insight into the happenings of this novel. Yes, there are ghosts. Yes, the Forest is experiencing a haunting unlike one any forest has ever seen. And yes, Rowan is back.

I’ve always had a strange, often morbid fascination with death, though I like to refer to this interest as part of my overall macabre nature. I am, after all, a Pisces. I often have a myriad of horror story ideas running through my head at any given time, yet something has always prevented me from actually writing a full length horror novel. Well, since I was a little kid, that is, and that used to be all I ever wrote, and I guess I don’t consider those legitimate novels.

I’m not sure why I never really sat down and wrote my own great American ghost story, though one day I fully intend on doing just that. Part of me wonders if I can ever really “go there” with the intense and terrifying content one expects from a true horror novel, but the other part of me, my macabre side, knows that I can absolutely achieve that and then some. The Haunting does “go there” in a sense, but is still aimed at the Young Adult genre, so expect the scares to be more PG-13. But one day, I promise you, the R-rated horror novel will raise its ugly head, though likely under a different pen name. We will have to wait and see.

Anyway, back to The Haunting. The Haunting embodies all of the scariness and intensity that I held back in The Falling, although if you have read the latter you know well that what happens to Nessaba accurately fits those descriptions. I wanted to focus more on setting the overall scene in The Falling, and also give the reader a peek into the natures of the beings, animals, and Higher Spirits in question. The Haunting represents the prickles in your skin when you pass by a cemetery at night, the disembodied screams you think you hear off in the distance as you’re drifting off to sleep, and the flicker of light, mist, black shadow, or movement you “think” you see out of the corner of your eye. The Haunting pushes the Forest to the near brink of its existence, and even I often wonder– What could possibly do more damage than that?

When a location is haunted, the entire feel and overall energy of the place becomes thick. The air reeks of a sinister nature, and invisible eyes scroll up and down any body that dares enter. It plays off your fear. It feeds off your anxiety. And barely even audible, it whispers softly in your ear, telling you to enact the negative thoughts that trickle through your brain every now and then. You would never do that thing in real life, but something about this location influences. Are you strong enough to withstand such pressing thoughts? Most people are. The influential, unlucky ones, are not.

The Haunting is my favorite book that I’ve written thus far in my life. And hopefully, someday soon, you will be enjoying it too. I recommend reading it at night. 😉

The Falling

The Falling Nightchaser Ink Cover

An entire Forest is swept into a drastic upheaval when a protective Higher Spirit, Labete, falls from grace and succumbs to his negative Spirits counterpart. The change is sensed by the many Kingdoms of animals and beings within the Forest, yet King Alston, ruler of the Nymph Kingdom, refuses to take action and thus the Forest begins its own experience of falling into the darkness…

But there may be hope for the kingdoms of this Forest. Narena, a willful young nymph along with her clever tree-whispering brother, Nyxen, and debonair warrior Kellen join forces with Hawthorne, a sage salamander, to save their Forest and restore its natural balance of good and evil. Along the way, they are aided by sassy warrior faery Sebillon, as well as several Forest witches, all desperate to help the Forest’s plight and ultimately, save the kingdoms. It will not be easy however, as entities sent by Labete and spirits influenced by the darkness are dead set on preventing them from reaching their main goal– to awaken the Yew, the Highest Spirit and only Spirit powerful enough to destroy Labete.

Go to “Links to Books” to order your copy!

I am amazed at my daughter… A typical parent I suppose.

People tell you time will fly once you have kids. People also say that you’ll be amazed at the things your kid does. Both statements are understatements. As I sit here on my bed, watching my daughter play with her endless array of toys, I am overcome with a deep, love-based astonishment. Every parent thinks their kid is a genius, or the most beautiful baby, or whatever else accomplishment they secretly hope will one day come to fruition. I once chuckled at that thought, but now I find myself completely submerged– no, drowning– in those sentiments. I just want my daughter to lead a happy, fulfilling life– and whatever that entails for her own existence is completely up to her. I want all of that for her. All of that, and more.