Do you remember the song from TLC – ‘What About Your Friends?’ I’ve been thinking about that song a lot recently because I’ve had the opportunity to spend some great time with my best friends. From a couple days in Trinidad with two girlfriends to a few more days with one of my oldest friends (who surprised me for my birthday), I’ve been blessed to enjoy some incredible people in my life.

Why am I thinking about friends so much right now? Well, I’m working on LegionFated, book 4 of the LegionBorn series, and I’ve gotten to a point where my main character and his one remaining best friend, Antonio, have a heart-to-heart. While I can’t spoil the story, I’ve learned a lot from the relationship between these two fictional characters. Friendship is such an important structure in human relationships. Who your friends are says so much about who you are and what you are capable of. I’m enjoying seeing how the relationship between Vaughn (the guy on the cover of the LegionBorn series) and Antonio develops.

I hope you’ll dial into the series to learn more about these characters. You’ll probably learn something new about you in the process.

LegionBorn LegionMarked LegionSworn cover ad 4096x2098

As I mentioned, my friend surprised me for my birthday. I was writing just as someone walked in and all I could do was scream in delight to see her. There’s nothing like seeing one of your oldest friends and getting to spend quality time with her. And as I’m in birthday mode, the visit was all the more sweeter. Nothing like becoming a year older with someone who’s known you forever, lol!

This birthday, I feel (and felt) a great gratitude for the opportunity to gain wisdom and become a better person. I’m happy for the steps I’m going to take to expand and improve myself as an author and my business. I’m excited that I’m going to gain more readers and book-friends as the months go by and I’m looking forward to this time next year when I’ll see the gains of planning, prayer and faith.

Whether or not you’ve got a birthday coming up, I hope you’ll be excited for what’s to come in your life and that of those you care about. Be optimistic and smile. Great things are on the way for you and me.

PS: Happy midterm election day!

 

Till next time includes LM

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Preparing for 2019

I never used to create new year resolutions for myself.  Somehow, it always seemed nonsensical. However as I get older, juggle my life as a mom, a wife and a small business owner (oh yes! Creating fantastical characters and incredible words for readers is a serious business. Just ask J. K. Rowling. It made her the richest woman in the UK in 2017!), I realize it’s essential to come up with a plan.

Continue reading “Preparing for 2019”

FFJ’s Freebies, October 22, 2018

Here’s a great book from the wonderful author, Devyn Jayse, called Supernatural Slayer.

Some people call me an assassin, I prefer the term bounty hunter.

In a world where magic is hidden from the general population, I’m hired to keep our secrets safe and take care of rogues by whatever means necessary.

When I accidentally targeted the wrong person, the Supernatural Bureau of Investigation offered me a deal — go to jail or work for them. Their first official request was to locate a vampire I thought I had killed over a year ago: my ex-boyfriend. Now I’m ordered to deliver him to them without harming a hair on his gorgeous head.

That was going to be a problem. By the time I find him, he’s going to wish he had stayed dead.

Supernatural Slayer is an action-packed urban fantasy romp through Barcelona with an assorted cast of witches, vampires, and shifters. It may also feature a snarky gargoyle or two.

“No human beings were harmed in the writing of this book — only supernaturals.”

It’s FREE in Amazon KU or $4.99. Get your copy today!

And now, for your freebies … Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies, October 22, 2018”

#writinglessons Using parallels in storytelling

I’m sure a more sophisticated writer has a fancy definition for what I’m about to expound upon, but I enjoy a good box of wine so … yeah.

Parallels are where a particular story theme is repeated in more than one character’s story arc. In my book, The Paladin (book 2 of The Nome Chronicles series), my two main characters experienced a sense of betrayal from the ‘fathers’ in their life. In the case of Neith, she learned her father took a gamble that put her life at risk. Invier was equally betrayed by Karax, who revealed he was using Invier for his devious designs.

I was reminded of the importance of parallels as a storytelling technique when I watched Season 3 of the Showtime series, Billions.

Billions TV show on Showtime: season 3 ratings (cancel renew season 4?)

This show is a favorite of mine. Its an interesting look into the minds of the super rich and their quest to maintain their dominion over others.

One recurring theme in Season 3 was the conflict between father and son. A main character, Chuck, is at odds with his father for most of the season. He even goes as far as to take a stance simply to change the power dynamic in their relationship. Similarly, Axe and Taylor constantly butt heads in an effort to steer the firm.

From left: Condola Rashad as Kate Sacker, Toby Leonard Moore as Bryan Connerty and Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades in season one of the TV series "Billions." The television show premieres Sunday, Jan. 17, at 10 p.m. EST.  Jeff Neumann/Showtime via AP

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Another theme is ‘parricide’, that is the act of a child murdering his/her parent. In Billions, Chuck gets hammered by not one but two of his proverbial children. That plot point is mirrored in Axe’s story-line when Taylor makes a significant move against him.

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Now, why is any of this important?

Parallel stories allow for a richer reveal of a character’s flaws and needs. It’s a way of making a story more complex and thereby interesting. By examining the parallels in two character’s lives, the author also highlights the similarities between two distinct individuals. It can give your reader an aha moment of sorts when they recognize a particular failing or issue in the life of a character as one in their own life. Or that of someone they know.

That’s what author’s do – shine a light on the human condition by using their characters to  to tell readers a great story. Using parallel narratives is a great way to do that and it’s something I hope to use to good effect.

Got an example of parallel storytelling in a book of yours or someone else’s? Feel free to share in the comments. I’d like to know.

 

Till next time includes LM

FFJ’s Freebies, October 16, 2018

It’s freebie day! Let’s get into these free books.

But first, consider purchasing this Taken from author Victoria Deluis.

Image result for taken victoria deluis

There’s always a price to pay with magic. The question is, who pays?

I’m Summer Daniels. Friend. Foe. Witch.

It was never going to be a simple day: visiting my childhood home and finding the murderer of a house fairy. Whose master happens to be a heartless goblin… Yet, as it turns out, the goblin is the least of my problems.

A lover endangered. A friend betrayed. A memory taken.

The cards are stacked against me but hell hath no fury like an angry Witch.

I’m Summer Daniels and my life is about to change.

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Grab Taken at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Playster.

The other books in this series are also 99c each so be sure to check it out!

Image result for rune witch mysteries

Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies, October 16, 2018”

FFJ’s Freebies, October 9th 2018

Today’s freebies come courtesy of my book, LegionBorn, which is only 0.99c.

LegionBorn final ebook cover F F John

My name is Vaughn Prentiss and my whole life was a lie.

I’d had one goal–prove that an orphan from Baltimore could become the youngest partner at my law firm.

That all changed the day I started seeing monsters. Nobody else noticed these mami watas, zwarts and other demon spawn. With the help of a former witch, I discovered Lucifer was my uncle and that a prophecy foretold I’d bring about his downfall. Unless he killed me and took my soul.

I have a lot to live for and I don’t like the idea of Lucifer using my soul to bring humanity to its knees.

My name is Vaughn Prentiss and I’m going to fight to take my place as LegionBorn. Lucifer has no idea what’s in store for him.

Get yours today at  AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo and Google Play. Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies, October 9th 2018”

#writinglessons Game of Thrones Season 7

I’m re-watching season 7 of Game of thrones and it’s been interesting to analyze the story as a writer instead of as the average consumer enjoying some great content.

Warning, if you are yet right watch this particular season, please don’t let me spoil it for you. Come back and read this once you’ve indulged. Continue reading “#writinglessons Game of Thrones Season 7”

FFJ’s Freebies, October 2nd 2018

Today’s freebies are brought to you by

He will do everything to protect the woman he loves…

…Even if it costs his freedom.

Even if it means the end of the world.

The demigod Creation was made for one purpose: to prevent the end of the world as Destruction’s partner. It’s his singular drive, until he meets the woman who so deftly commands his affections.

The demigoddess Destruction isn’t ready to be pinned down by anyone. Until recently, she’s been one half of the ancient Goddess Oblivion. Now, she has her own autonomy, her own will, and no one is going to take that from her. Not the pantheon, not Creation, and not her psychotic other half—Chaos.

But Chaos won’t rest until Destruction is in her demented clutches and they can reign as Oblivion once more. With the fates of gods and mortals hanging in the balance, Creation must choose where his loyalties lie. Is he merely a programmed puppet of the pantheon? Or does he possess his own free will?

What is more important, the woman he loves, or ensuring the world’s safety?

Get it at Amazon for FREE!

 

More freebies below…. Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies, October 2nd 2018”

#writinglessons What To Do When You Don’t Know How Your Story Ends

I’m working on two books at the moment but one of them has been giving me a hard time. ISSUE: I have no clue how the book will end! Continue reading “#writinglessons What To Do When You Don’t Know How Your Story Ends”

FFJ’s Freebies, September 25, 2018

It’s been a while since I shared some freebies. I’ve been knee-deep in writing, reading and enjoying the summer.

Well, the summer is dwindling to a sharp close and it’s time to get back to freebie business. So without further delay, check out some free books below.

Oh yeah, they are brought to you by my latest offering – LegionSworn!

LegionSworn final ebook cover F F John

My life is still on the line.

All this time, I thought Lucifer was my main enemy. The one family member that couldn’t wait to see me dead and my soul forfeit. Come to find out, there are other dangerous foes lurking in the shadows to strike me down.

They won’t be satisfied until I fall but I keep my head on the swivel. I’m no longer just an attorney, clueless to the Celestial battle surrounding me.

I’m LegionSworn and it’ll take a heck of a lot to put me in the ground.

LegionSworn is the third book in the LegionBorn, urban fantasy series. Check out

LegionBorn – amazon.com/dp/B078NJGWJG
LegionMarked – amazon.com/dp/B07D2549H1

Coming soon are LegionFated and LegionEnd.

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Grab your copy from Amazon where it’s also free in KU. And if your preferred book store is elsewhere, purchase at Amazon and send proof of your purchase to me so I can send you a copy in your preferred reading format.  Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies, September 25, 2018”