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The Dreamwalkers Cover

The “I Need A Pen Name” Contest!

With every best seller book there comes a best selling author.  And their names just seem to flow off the tip of the tongue.  Some people are blessed to have an awesome name that they can use.  I’m not.  My last name is a mostly unpronounceable Ukrainian name that everyone messes up the second they try to speak it.

So please, help me come up with a new one.

How the contest works:

Until November 15, 2012, comment on this post with an idea for a pen name for me.  Keep in mind that this is a Fantasy genre book, so try and think of whose books The Dreamwalkers might be sitting next to.

Enter as many names as you would like. If you have 5 names you’d like me to consider, then write 5 names in your post.

After Nov 15th, I’ll go through the list and pick the one I like the best.  Then I get to use that name to publish books under.

The winner gets a free copy of my book.  I’ll even sign it and mail it to you wherever you might live.

Some guidelines:

I’m a female author, which means that the name must be appropriate.  I’m not going to go to a book signing and try to convince people that I’m the author named “Robert Martin”

My real first name is Melissa.  I actually kind of like it a lot.  If you want to use that, I strongly encourage it or some variation of it.  Lissa is wonderful.  I’m not a huge fan of Mel.

I would also like the names to be somewhat plausible that it could be a real person’s name.  Xerxes Dragonslayer isn’t the name for an author (but it might be for a character in an upcoming novel…)

Thanks in advance for all your positive, quality suggestions.  It’s been a long, fun, journey, and I can’t wait to see the book in print.


The Dreamwalkers – Off to the Editors!

The Dreamwalkers is finally finished.  The story has been re-written more times than I can count, and it has crept up to almost 110,000 words.  It’s a bit longer than I’d planned, but I hope the little extra length is appreciated when you see just what I’ve done with some of the supporting characters (Leonard is awesome)

Now it needs to go through line editing, cover art, and then finally we can get it printed and off for everyone to pick up in stores and online =)

The Dreamwalkers Sales Pitch

Alessa Bravio is a Dreamwalker. She can step into her dreams and bring things back with her when she wakes up. While she slumbers, Alessa falls in love with Richard Tallman: a handsome stranger who just happens to have died ten years ago.

Her peaceful dreams end when the Nightmares find her. Alessa awakens drenched in blood to find the man of her dreams imprisoned. Nightmares that can think, speak, and kill torment her dreams, desperately searching for a way out. When she discovers an artifact left behind by Richard before he died, Alessa accidentally frees one of the Nightmares from her dream, unleashing it upon the waking world.

In a world where Nightmares aren’t supposed to be real, whom can Alessa turn to for help? If she is going to stop the Nightmare threat and master her dreams, she must first convince her friends, journey back into the dream world to rescue Richard, and defeat the army standing between her and the Nightmare Queen.

When things look their bleakest, Alessa realizes that sometimes you have to face your worst nightmares and conquer your fears if you want your dreams to come true.

The Dreamwalkers is 84,757 words and both teens and adults will find the characters and themes easy to relate to. I fell in love with fantasy novels on my ninth birthday, and this passion is what drives me to be a storyteller and public speaker. I am an active participant in a writers group, and I instruct a storytelling workshop for children.

This fast-paced novel contains characters with real fears and a sense of impending doom that starts on the first page. I hope you enjoy reading The Dreamwalkers as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Fourth Draft of The Dreamwalkers is complete!

I’ve just put the finishing touches on the fourth draft of The Dreamwalkers.  My Dad went through it before Christmas and had some good feedback, and I retyped the entire thing.  I added over 6000 more words to the manuscript of extra description and clarification of events.  That is almost two full chapters worth of text considering the size of most of my chapters.

Soon… very soon it will be ready for public consumption.

NaNo Novel 2010

Another November come and gone.  This year I attended a lot more Write-Ins and spent a week in New Orleans doing my writing.  I think my best work was done at that Cafe in the French Quarter.

My final word count after a month was 55k, but I really did take it quite easy, and the last week didn’t see much writing at all.  Next year I think I’ll push myself towards 100k instead.

NaNoNovel 2010 Working Title: Sins of the Father

I’m looking for a new title though, so here is the general synopsis so far:

Ardan Trevail is the Crown Prince of a still unnamed Realm.  His father, Midran, is a tyrant.  He publically beats his son, executes people in the streets, and is generally the worst possible ruler for the Realm.  Raine Lamarque is a street rat and a thief who wishes she could have the life of luxury the people in the palace must have.  Neither of them know that their paths are about to cross.

When a member of the Azure Order, a secret organization supposedly in the employ of the King, approaches Raine, she is tasked with helping Prince Ardan perform an impossible task: to kill King Midran.  When they realize that Raine was hired a week before Ardan had even decided he must murder the King, their lives begin to spin out of control.

How can they solve the mystery surrounding Raine’s employment?  Who knew that Ardan was going to murder the king before even he did?  And how are they going to finally depose the tyrant now that Raine has been captured and sent ocross the ocean aboard a slave ship and Prince Ardan has been forced to flee the Realm to escape the magical imprisonment his father intended for him?

They must rescue one another, raise an army, and take back everything the King stole from them… finding true love along the way.

Excited to find out how it ends?  I am … I need to keep writing =)

The Dreamwalkers – Ready for Editing

This past weekend I put the finishing touches on the latest draft of The Dreamwalkers – now with 128% more awesomeness.  After NaNoWriMo last year, the novel clocked in at 65k words, and this revision has added another 13k, bringing it up to 78k or roughly 320 pages in paperback form.  I’ve got a couple of manuscript copies waiting to be picked up at the printers and then I’ve got a few victims who are willing to read though the work before I sent it to my editor.

I’m pretty stoked about getting that done, she’s got an artist lined up to do some awesome cover art as well.  There is one scene in the book I’d love to have immortalized – my heroine, glowing silver katana in hand, goes up against one of the Big Bads, a half man-half scorpion.  The scene itself was one of my favourites, and I hope it is yours too.

I’m looking for more volunteers to read the book, so if you’d like an advance copy (kindle or pdf), let me know and I’ll add you to the list.