The Year of the Snake

year of the snake

Well, what do you know.  We survived the End of the World and in a few short hours (for those of us in the U.S.), we will leave 2012 behind (good riddance, I say) and ring in a new year.  I beseech God and the Universe to make this coming year (despite its superstitious number) to be full of happiness, prosperity and good will.

For those familiar with Chinese astrology, 2013 is the Year of the Snake.  While the snake is usually associated with venom, danger and death, many believe the Year of the Snake will bring prosperity and peace.  We could all use a bit more of both.

I have a few resolutions this year, and as writing them down and throwing them out to the universe seems to bring the changes and events we seek, here are a few of my ‘will do’s’ for 2013:

  • Sign a publishing contract for my  novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King
  • Visit my daughter in North Carolina in April
  • Visit my daughter and grand-daughter in Seattle in the Spring
  • Watch my youngest graduate High School in June
  • Lose *clears throat* amount of weight and keep it off
  • Grow more in touch with my spiritual side
  • Laugh more, cry less
  • Find a full-time job making good money
  • Start a new life for a new me and
  • Stop writing ‘disappointing’ short stories and write ones that wow

For all of you out there, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate every one of you.  Thank you for making this year an absolute delight.

So, what are you guys up to tonight?  What are your plans for the New Year?  Whatever you do, stay safe, don’t drink and drive and I’ll ‘see’ you back here after the first of the year!

And the winner is?

Today, some lucky person who commented on  my blog between December 1 and December 29 is going to win an e-book of the Make Believe anthology.  I wonder who it could be.  Shall we find out?  May I have a drum roll please?


And the lucky winner is:

free glitter text and family website at

Congratulations, Kourtney!  Please contact me at kford2007(at)gmail(dot)com  to provide me with the format you prefer.

I also have more bookmarks and digital signed e-book covers of the Make Believe anthology to giveaway so tune in tomorrow to discover if your name will be added to the winner’s list!

I want to thank all you for tagging along with me in 2012 and I look forward to more conversations in 2013!  

For the love of selkies

Happy Saturday, everyone!  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season so far and your plans for the new year are falling into place.

Today, as part of the Make Believe blog tour, I’m skipping over to Susan Rocan’s blog to talk about a not so well-known creature…the selkie.  Why?  Well, because (1) they appear in The Amulet of Ormisez, my short story in the Make Believe anthology, and (2) not many people have ever heard of them, so I thought it would be kind of cool to introduce them.  So head on over to Susan’s.  I’ll see you there!


Good-bye, Merlin. I shall miss you.

I’m heartbroken.  After five seasons, BBC has canceled my favorite television show, Merlin.  What am I to do?

I ask this question in all earnest.  I’m not a regular t.v. watcher.  There are very few shows I watch, and only one I waited with bated breath to see.   There was something magical about Merlin, no pun intended.  The actors had an intoxicating screen presence together.  Each of them brought their characters to life, as if they were literally in your living room.  I came to love all of them:  Bradley James as Arthur, Colin Morgan as Merlin, Angel Goulby as Gwynevere,  Katie McGrath as Morgana, Alexander Vlahos as Mordred and the incomparable Richard Wilson as Gaius.  They were my friends.  I loved them and hated them with equal passion.  I needed them every week like an alcoholic needs booze, like a drug addict needs a fix.  Now they’re not here and I’m suffering major withdrawals.

Have you ever reached the end of a great book and wept, wishing it would go on forever?  Merlin was like that for me.  Every week I was on a new adventure.  The show toyed with my emotions.  The script-writers did a good job but I was disappointed they did not stay more with the story.  From what I’ve read since the final episode aired, the actors were quite miffed with BBC and the producers for reasons I’m not clear on.  I do think, however, that for all their flaws, the writers knew, believed in and wrote their characters with precision, keeping in mind their audience ranged in age from 8 to 80.  They never showed blood on the swords in battle.  They didn’t need to. The implication was enough.  They relied on the story line to carry them through and it worked well.  The characters were beautiful and unforgettable.  Sadly, they could no longer grow.  The writers wrote them into a corner.  The producers didn’t listen to those with great ideas on where to take the series.  It failed to win awards when there was so much potential.  In spite of its mistakes, I still loved the show, and now it’s gone.

I watched the final episodes, Part 1 on Sunday, Part 2 on Christmas Eve, and I wept, as in ‘gut-wrenching-sobs’ wept.  Until the end, I didn’t know it was the final season.  The last thing I’d read was that BBC was in talks for a Season 6.  This blind-sided me.  I will admit the ending was scripted well, yet it was so damn sad.  I feel as if I lost many good friends all at once in a tragic incident, only this time the tragedy was brought on by a network.  It was one of the few shows on television that was family oriented, that portrayed morals and love and values.  A show that was good and wholesome.  Clean.  Magical.

The show always opened with the following:

In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young man.  His name…Merlin.

Sadly, Merlin’s destiny rested on the shoulders of a media giant.  Its ‘death’ is not one this fantasy author will easily overcome.

Good-bye, Merlin.  I shall miss you.

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Blue Moon Blog Takeover

Blue MoonToday,  I have the lovely and talented J.A. Belfield guest hosting on my blog.  Julie is the author of the urban fantasy Holloway Pack series.  The second book in the series, “Blue Moon”, released December 3, 2012.  If you’re into hot, sexy and romantic tales of werewolves, then you should really check out this series.  They are smouldering, romantic reads.  And now, without further ado, J.A. Belfield!



There’s Magic In Them There Pages

Almost every writer out there who tells folk that they write will get asked: Where do your ideas come from?

My usual answer is ‘my head’.

But, thankfully, when it comes to Blue Moon, I have something a little more interesting to share.

You see, Blue Moon only ever ended up being written because after I’d finished Darkness & Light—what was meant to be a standalone rather the opening of a series—I missed spending time with Jem & Sean.

So I sat for a little while, trying to figure out what kind of journey I could take them on next. And voila. I had it—well, the basis for it, at least.


And I pretty much took it from there.

The instant the idea of magic popped into my head, I got excited.

‘But,’ I thought, ‘where the heck do I find out about magic that sounds believable.’

My next thought?


Okay, let me explain.

Not a lot of people know this, but I have an older sister. Whilst Jem’s sister Jess might not exactly replicate her, the relationship between the two females certain parallels that between me and my sister.

Also, just like Jem’s sister, my sister has an interest in witchcraft and magic.

So, I called her up, asked what she’d got that I could use for research.

Just so happened she had a seriously awesome tome of a spellbook, containing ancient spells. There were even little tidbits of history in there alongside each spell, telling where they’d originated from, and for what they were traditionally used.

Well, I nearly pee’d my pants in excitement.

I’d only opened up the book for a little peek.

Hours later, I had pages of notes, words scrawled, ideas formed, and a list of every single spell that caught my eye.

From there, I pretty much studied every spell I’d chosen, worked through my idea for the storyline, and figured out how I could weave them in until I had the entire plot outlined in my head.

By the time I’d finished I was as excited to start Blue Moon as I had been Darkness & Light, and within weeks, a second Holloway Pack novel was born.

So, know this, anyone who reads Blue Moon, every single bit of magic in the book was researched and recorded as being tried, tested, and above all, successful.

Which means: there really is magic in them there pages.


J.A. BelfieldOne day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield’s head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if …? How would they react if …? Who would they meet if …? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family … they had Become.

One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She’s yet to stop.

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

Where you can stalk J.A. Belfield:







Happy Christmas Eve

Hi everyone.  Just wanted to jump in and tell everyone Happy Christmas Eve.  Enjoy time with family and friends.  If you go to church, may your candlelight service be wonderful and beautiful and full of the spirit of God.  

Enjoy your Christmas.  I hope it is a blessed one for you.

Today, the Make Believe authors are featured on Burning Impossibly Bright .  There is also a giveaway going on over there so pop on over for your chance to win a copy of the anthology.

Bless all of you and have a wonderful Christmas.

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Do I read what I write? Umm… Huh? Do I have to answer that?

Today I have the lovely and energetic author, Jennifer M. Eaton, with me to promote CONNECT THE DOTS, her new short story released by Still Moments Publishing in their For the Love of Christmas anthology.

Jennifer is going to talk to us about reading what she writes.  Are you guys ready?  Take it away, Jennifer.

christmas pine and stars

Well hi-dee-hoo neighbors!  Good to see ya! 

I’m here to selfishly promote my anthology “For the love of Christmas” offer some words of wisdom on a topic of Jenny Keller Ford’s choice.  I do this hoping you will buy my book out of the kindness of your heart, because Jenny told me to is such a good friend.

So… What is the topic?

Reading books in the genre that you write.

Ummm… Really?  Can’t I talk about something else?  No?  Ugh.  Okay… so here’s the scoop.

I know that everyone out there who calls themselves an expert tells you to read inside your genre.  Their reasons are totally sound:

  1. Get a feel for the market
  2. Make sure the story you want to write is not already written
  3. Learn from the style of others writing in your genre.

There may be other reasons, but since I’m going to debunk anyway, let’s just hit these three.

Let’s chat about these:

  1.  If I read books out right now, they were contracted at least a year ago.  So, let’s say vampires ar in… I write a vampire book.  So do 100,000 other people.  Publishers get tired of vampire books saturating the market and stop requesting them.  Now I’m skunked, right?  In my opinion, write what you want to write.  Write what makes you happy.  If it’s good, it will probably sell.  You are going to spend six months or more with these characters… why stress out about writing characters you don’t like for a market that might not be there when you’re done?
  2. Who the heck cares if the story is already written?  How many different versions of Red Riding Hood are out there?  Ideas are not copyrighted.  You can have the same idea as someone else. The trick is to put your own slant on it… and if I didn’t read a book like it (in the genre) I’d have to put my own slant on it, right?
  3. Now that’s just ridiculous.  You can pick up on anything from any genre and apply it to what you write in.  If you do it well, it will transcend genre.

Here’s the God’s honest truth:

  • Last Winter Red, in the Make Believe Anthology, is a Dystopian.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a dystopian, although I’ve seen movies.  In fact, I had no idea that is was Dystopian until someone told me.  Did not reading Dystopian hurt my story telling abilities?  Nope!  Seemed to work out fine for me!
  • Connect the Dots, in the “For the Love of Christmas” anthology, and its follow-up “A Test of Faith” coming out in January… they are both Contemporary Romances with heavy Christian influence.  Do I read Christian Romance.  Absolutely not! (Although there is nothing wrong with them) Romance as a whole is not my cup of tea, unless you mix some explosions in there.  I wanted to make my Romance “Connect the Dots” more interesting, so I decided to shove in a supernatural theme, and since it was Christmas, I went with God… Imagine me… putting God back in Christmas.  I’m such a rebel!  But that’s how this came about… I flexed a genre to make it interesting to me… and I didn’t have to read a bunch of stuff I didn’t like
  • Fire in the Woods is a contemporary YA Sci-Fi.  Nope, I don’t read it.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve even seen anything like this anywhere. Hmmmm.  That could be good, or bad.
  • Une Variente, which I am currently querying, is a Paranormal.  Now, I will admit that I have read a few Paranormal novels.  One of them was even a shape-shifter novel, like Une Variante.  I guess the only influence was that I thought “I can think up a better story than that” … and so I did.

What do I like to read?  Give me knights.  Give me Dragons.  Give me Elves.  Castles?  Oh Yeah!  Love it!

Why don’t I write it?  Well, I tried once, but since I read SO MUCH OF IT I could not come up with anything that I thought was original. The novel lays at the bottom of my closet, half-written.

See my dilemma?

No.  I will not start feverously reading inside the genres that I write.  The next book I pick up will be because it interests me… not because I need to do research.

And as for castles and dragons…. I’ll leave writing those to the people who do them best.

Do you read inside your genre?

christmas pine and stars

Thanks, Jennifer, and to answer your question, yes, I read inside the genre I write.  I also read outside the genre I write.  In fact, I read more in genre I don’t write than write in the genres I read.  Did that make sense?  

christmas balls and bells

Jennifer Eaton lives on the East Coast USA with her husband, three boys, and a pepped up poodle.  She hosts an interactive website aimed at making all writers the best they can be.

Her Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology from J.Taylor Publishing.  Her Christmas Romance “Connect the Dots” is available as part of Still Moments publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas” Anthology.  Both are available in ebook format from and and Smashwords.

christmas balls and bellschristmas balls and bells

Last Winter Red:  In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world.  What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in.

Connect the Dots:   Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.

You can stalk follow Jennifer at the following locations.  Tell her I sent you.






What did you Make Believe as a child? Tell Vanessa and you may win an Amazon gift card

When you were little, what did you Make Believe?  Did you ever pretend to be anyone other than you?  Did you ever sing into a fork or a spoon in your bedroom and pretend you were a rock star?  Did you ever pretend to be married to your favorite actor/actress?  Did you ever play an air guitar?

This was one of the questions Vanessa Chapman asked of Jennifer M. Eaton, J.A. Belfield and me during an interview for the Make Believe blog tour.  You can find all the intimate details here.  And, if you leave an interesting/funny/sparkling comment on Vanessa’s post by 11pm (GMT) on Friday 28 December, you may just win an Amazon gift card.

What do Atticus Finch, Scarlet O’Hara and Augustus Waters have in common?

What do Atticus Finch, Scarlet O’Hara and Augustus Waters have in common?  I revealed this secret to the lovely and talented author, Clare Davidson, as part of the Make Believe Blog Tour.  Why don’t you hop on over to her blog and find out, then when you’re done, offer up some of your own ideas either at Clare’s site, the Dreamweaver’s Cottage (here), or both.  I know I would LOVE to read your thoughts.

I have a bunch of folks winning a digital copy of the signed cover of the Make Believe anthology. This is only the cover folks, but it’s signed and it’s beautiful.  Look at it.


Ok, so who are the lucky souls to get their very own copy?

Congratulations to you lucky duckies!!!  Send me your e-mails, winners, and I’ll send over your own signed Make Believe cover to you ASAP.

Oh, and don’t forget the

grand prize giveaway - christmas2

On December 30th I will give away an e-book copy of the MAKE BELIEVE anthology, just in time for New Years.  What do you have to do to win?  Just comment on my blog between now and December 29!  That’s it.  Very simple, very easy.

Until tomorrow …