AAAAAAGGGHHHHH! This was supposed to have been sent on MONDAY, but when I switched from “draft” to “publish” on the WordPress app, I guess the app/phone interface didn’t get the memo. Grrrr…

Anyway, here is the original post that SHOULD have gotten to you a few days ago. *sigh*



Hi all,

I haven’t blogged in a long while because I was dealing with an ill family member, NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving, and the imminent publication of my fourth book.

Well, the family member is better, I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo this year (only got to 27K words), T-Day is over, and my fourth novel, Stormbringer, is out as of today. WOOT!

Since it’s that time of the year where everyone and their grandmother is offering a sale, I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon. 🙂

Here ya go: my biggest. sale. EVER.

50% off (yeah, I said it), all titles through my website. Yes, that includes my newest book, Stormbringer.  Enter code CYBERTIFF at checkout.

You can find details in the latest email that went out to my mailing list (and if you aren’t on my mailing list, then what are you waiting for?)

This sale is going on all week through Saturday, 12/5. Free U.S. shipping on all orders of $10 & up. How cool is that?

For those of you who wanted to try my books but were frugally conscious, now’s your chance! And did I mention that I now offer the mass market versions of The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic and Blizzard: A Sebastian Scott novel? The regular price for those is $8.00 each; if you buy them this week, you can get them for $4 each.  That’s two for the price of one, which is a pretty good incentive to buy both. 😀 And the larger paperbacks, which are $14.95 each, can now be had for about $7.50! At this price, you can get all the titles and stock up for your holiday reading.

Oh, what a bargain! What a bargain for you!

And did I also mention that the books come autographed? And that they make great gifts? Just saying.

The offer is only good through my website, and ends at 11:59 pm ET on Saturday, December 5. Remember to use the code CYBERTIFF at checkout. Come through and gitchu a piece.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thanksgiving Finish Line! (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 27)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 2,656

Today’s blog count: 28

Total words written: 50,050 (and counting)

Total blog posts: 28

Happy Thanksgiving, to those of us in the United States who are celebrating a day of being grateful (and gorging on turkey with all the fixins). And happy day to those in other countries. 😀


I DID IT! I DID IT! For the second year in a row, I have “won” National Novel Writing Month with a word count of 50,000…and I’m still writing. Once I crossed the 50K mark, I went ahead and validated the novel. There was a 100-word discrepancy between my word count tool and NaNoWriMo’s, but hey…I’ll take it. 😀

This is one of the many things that I have to be thankful for. Especially since this was a book that I never saw coming.

I am also thankful for NaNoWriMo being OVER, as far as the word count goes. This book is going to be longer than others I’ve written, as the plot has taken unforeseen turns that require more plot extension. I probably won’t even revisit it until next year, because I have other writing projects that are more pressing. But it will be nice to work on the book when I feel like it, versus the pressures of the NaNoWriMo workshop/competition.

I still have to complete National Blog Posting Month, so I will probably post about random stuff which may or may not be book-related. You’ve been warned. 😀

Now that I’ve cooked Thanksgiving dinner and eaten my first round, it’s time to get some dessert and curl up with a book (and some wine). 😉 The final menu was: turkey, macaroni & cheese, potato salad, collard greens, green beans, corn, dressing (which is just stuffing that is eaten outside of the bird lol), sweet potato pie, apple pie, rolls. All made with these two hands (except for the rolls, which were store-bought). And a nice pinot noir for myself. 😉

WriMos, the finish line is close; you can cross it! There are still three more days left. Let’s get it!

Thanks for stopping by.




Rocking Pots (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 26)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,103

Today’s blog count: 27

Total words written: 47,397

Total blog posts: 27


Not much to say today, except I added a bit to some existing scenes in the novel, and added the beginning of another twist. Most of my day was spent making the more time-consuming side dishes for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal: potato salad,  dressing (I don’t stuff my turkey; never have), macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pies (I’m in the South, and we do sweet potatoes), and apple pie. I also prepped some of the fresh vegetables for tomorrow, which will cook quickly while the turkey is roasting.

Despite all that, I managed to write just over 1,000 words today. And I have my alarm scheduled for 7:00 am to put the turkey in the oven.

I’s dawg tired, bawse.

Writers, keep on keeping on.

Thanks for stopping by.


Are We There Yet? (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 25)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 2,362

Today’s blog count: 26

Total words written: 46,294

Total blog posts: 26


You can always tell when it’s time for an activity to come to a close. For me, it’s when that activity starts becoming a chore.

I’ve been feeling that way for the past few days about NaNoWriMo. The checking of stats, pushing myself to make my allotted word count each day (even if–especially if–I have no idea what to write), etc. is getting tedious. And when something fun turns to tediousness, it’s time to leave the party.

I’m happy to be less than 3,000 words from the 50,000 mark. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is bringing me a sense of relief. I’m ready for this to be over, for this year. Part of it is, as I’ve said in some previous posts, that I am writing when I am normally on a post-published-book, month-long mental vacation.  Part of it is that I’m running out of ideas on how to further expand the plot of my novel. Part of it is that I need to devote time to an upcoming book that is due in less than two short months. Part of it is that my time will be focused on preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Another part is that I don’t want to have to do ANYTHING on Thanksgiving but eat, read, relax, roll over…lather, rinse, repeat. 😀 Notice I didn’t mention writing.

Anyway, NaNoWriMo is an intense month, and as such I am ready to switch to a lower gear. 2,362 more words…

My fellow writers in the struggle–we’re almost there!

Thanks for stopping by.


Everybody was Turk-Fu Fighting (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 24)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,867

Today’s blog count: 25

Total words written: 43,932

Total blog posts: 25


If you think that the milk of human kindness runs through your veins, the quickest way to test this theory is to go grocery shopping during the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I did that today, and it really tested my patience, temper, and love for my fellow man.

Since Thanksgiving (here, in the USA) is this Thursday, and since that means a shortened work week for many, some go ahead and use vacation time for the whole week. Thanksgiving is the largest, if not one of the largest, travel time here in the States, as people travel to be with loved ones, stuff themselves on turkey, duck, maybe ham, and/or goose (or tofurkey, if you’re a vegetarian), and watch football all day. Needless to say, in preparation for this gloriously gluttonous event, stores are packed every day up until that day. Most, like me, try to shop a few days in advance so as to avoid the panicked, last-minute crowds.

The line to turn into the store parking lot was backed up down the street, halfway to the previous traffic light.  That should have been my first clue but, since this was my first time shopping at this particular store this year for Thanksgiving (I shop there regularly for everyday food needs, and was a bit spoiled by not having to fight too hard for a parking space), I was a bit taken aback.Then I remembered my above comment and surmised that there were a lot of people  there who’d taken the week off. Anyway, I found a parking spot as someone was leaving (a row over from where I usually park–no big deal), grabbed a shopping  cart, and sallied forth.

I almost turned back around, but the siren call of excellently priced fresh produce, wines, and meats kept me there 9it’s why I shop there in the first place).

The place was cart bumper to cart bumper–literally. A traffic cop would have been welcome, since there was an overabundance of people who either 1) had never been there before; 2) didn’t shop there regularly; or 3) were so overwhelmed by their shopping list that they parked their carts in the middle of consumer traffic, trying to get a clue. Or worse, just standing in congested traffic areas (like narrow aisles/sections) having an at-length conversation about a product, oblivious to those who want to enter that section as well. When in the midst of shopping traffic that could have rivaled the Indy 500, that wasn’t a wise thing to do. Some of the worse culprits were the elders; I had the misfortune of almost running over some of the AARP posse, as they meandered their carts with little regard for anyone or anything but their God-given right to stretch their fixed incomes by virtue of the wonderful prices at this shopping establishment.

I was so frustrated at one point, I was calling on God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, and some other deities too–I needed all the help I could get. Indeed, I greatly wished for a large speaker from which blasted the rapper Ludacris’s curse-laden ode to slow drivers (Caution: NSFW–profanity):

(work with me, y’all; I’m still a work in progress)

Anyway, thanks to my detailed list and knowledge of the store’s layout, I was able to get in and out without too much hassle or bloodshed. Still, I’m not looking forward to Christmas shopping. Maybe I’ll start next week. 🙂

Wrimos and BloPos, seven more days till the finish line! WOOOOO!!!

Thanks for stopping by.


Relaxing Rampage: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 23

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 3,763

Today’s blog count: 24

Total words written: 42,065

Total blog posts: 24

Today, I had a nice, relaxing Sunday. It was cool outside and pouring down rain, so I was snuggled on the couch under a blanket. I also fell into a nice, two-hour nap.

Perhaps today’s writing rampage came as a result of the heavy-duty maxing and relaxing. Maybe it came because I knew that my time would shortly be focused on the Thanksgiving Day dinner (which I will start making at least a day in advance, so as to preserve my sanity). Maybe it was because I saw the finish line looming (I am less than 8,000 words away from NaNoWriMo victory!).

Regardless of the reason, I am proud of writing so much today. The book is taking an interesting spin, one that I certainly didn’t see coming, and I probably won’t be finished with the book, plot-wise, by the end of this year’s NaNo. Also, as writing is wont to do, I got an idea for yet another book that i may try my hand at, and hopefully have ready in January.

The rain has stopped for now, but the relaxing hasn’t. This is a good night for a mug of cocoa before I go to bed. You should try it!

My fellow writers in the NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo struggles: EIGHT MORE DAYS! Let’s make them count, and please take into account the tryptophan coma many of us will fall into on Thursday (here in the United States).

Thanks for stopping by.



What I’m Reading: Dark Oracle (NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 22)

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 2,400

Today’s blog count: 23

Total words written: 38,302

Total blog posts: 23

My eye was feeling a lot better today–I was able to remove the sunglasses before lunchtime. WINNING! I also felt well enough to write 2,400 words. Combined with the 2,027 I wrote yesterday, I’m wondering if corneal abrasions aren’t an impetus to win–I don’t know. All I know is that I wrote fast and as much as possible, so I could rest my eyes. *shrug*

ANYway…speaking of resting eyes, I’ve been reading actual paperbacks so as to limit the amount of time the LED screen rays affected my eyes. I pulled out a book that I read once and enjoyed: Dark Oracle by Alayna Williams.

dark-oracle A. Williams-250


The book is about a former FBI behavioral profiler  and trained forensic psychologist named Tara Sheridan, who left the Bureau when she was attacked, tortured, and almost buried alive by a serial killer she was assigned to profile. She is reluctantly brought back into the fold by a woman who was her late mother’s best friend–and who was also, along with Tara’s mother, a member of the Delphi’s Daughters, a group of women who have various paranormal gifts which they use to keep mankind on more or less an even keel. Tara has always downplayed her particular gifts, which include an uncanny knack for finding people, and reading the tarot cards that once belonged to her mother. Along the way, she is challenged by a member of the Daughters who thinks she should be the next in charge when the current leader dies, and finds an unlikely romantic interest in the straitlaced FBI agent with whom she has to work the case of a missing astrophysicist–a case that Delphi’s Daughters think is vital to the continuation of mankind as we know it.

What I like about this book is how the author explores our society’s bipolar approach to the paranormal: on one hand, it’s spooky, crazy, fake, evil, and full of charlatans; on the other hand, it’s a useful tool and it’s accurate. I also like how the persons in Delphi’s Daughters, as well as Tara herself, are not silly “woo woo” women dressed in turbans and caftans, with heavy Eastern European accents, who dole out obscure advice while pointing at tarot cards with beringed fingers. The author uses them to make a point that the paranormal is not limited to those who aren’t “normal” by society’s standards, and that these gifts can often work in harmony with other, more practical gifts (such as psychology, mathematics, physics). As a professional tarot reader for the past fifteen years, I was pleased to see that the author kept the tarot part of the book accurate.

Sadly, the author only wrote one other Tara Sheridan novel, Rogue Oracle. I’d hoped this would be a longer series, but it was not to be. Still, I recommend both books as interesting, myth-exploding reads.

Keep writing,y’all…nine more days till the finish line!

Thanks for stopping by.


The Eye-Pire Strikes Back: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 21

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 2,079

Today’s blog count: 22

Total words written: 35,902

Total blog posts: 22


I never realized how much light there was in the world, until today.

I wear contact lenses, and something (dust?) got lodged beneath my right contact lens earlier today while I was out, and wouldn’t go away. I removed my contacts when I got home, but my right eye continued to water and turned bloodshot. And light was almost unbearable.

The verdict from my eye doctor: corneal abrasion.

The good news is that corneal abrasions are usually very minor, and heal themselves within 1-2 days. The bad news: nothing I can really be done about them until they do. There is no magic ointment, pill, shot, etc. that will cure it. Oh, and it goes without saying that I should not put my contacts in until it’s better.  And don’t cover the eye up, like I’m a bootleg extra on Pirates of the Caribbean.

One of the symptoms of a corneal abrasion, in addition to lots of eye tearing-up, runny nose (feels almost like a cold sinus infection coming on), and occasional headache, is sensitivity to light. And I mean SENSITIVE. As in, I am typing this entry while wearing the darkest pair of sunglasses that I own (in the house, at night); I look like Ray Charles, albeit a bit more stylish and with a laptop instead of a piano. :).

 Me shades corneal abrasion 112114

The brightness levels on my laptop and smartphone screens have been turned down as far as I could while managing to still see the screen. You never really understand all the jargon about screen clarity and optics until you have an eye injury. The lights in the room where I’m writing are turned low. It hurts to read a regular book, but not as much as trying to read an e-book. It hurts to close my eye; it hurts NOT to close my eye. Mind you, the hurt is not the “OMG I just got stabbed in the eye” level of pain; it’s more of an annoying pain, like heartburn. Which still hurts, too.

This sucks.

Still, I am blessed that the injury is minor, and I won’t lose my sight or anything drastic. One of these days, I’m going to invest in LASIK surgery so I won’t have to deal with this foolishness (or, at least, my chances of having to do so will be drastically decreased).

I managed to write over 2,000 words today, which is great. But now it’s time to rest my eyes, which are feeling better but still easily tired. I hope everyone is still moving along on their writing and blogging. Enjoy the start of the weekend!

Thanks for stopping by.



The Pre-Turkey Shuffle: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 20

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 551

Today’s blog count: 21

Total words written: 33,875

Total blog posts: 21

Not much to write today (only 551 words! :/ ). Since Thanksgiving is next week and I’m cooking (again), my mother and I have been doing meal planning, so my writing fell by the wayside today. I’m still on track to reach 50K words by November 30, so I’m cool.

For some reason, this year’s meal has expanded. My mother and her husband keep asking if I’m making this or that, which are veiled requests to make said item. I don’t mind: Thanksgiving is the one time of the year that I like to go all out for the meal. Come Christmas time, though, it’s all about minimalism and for New Years’ Eve, even more so.

Tom the Turkey will be taken out of the freezer and thawed in the refrigerator on Monday.  I’ll start the desserts (apple and sweet potato pies, potato salad, mac and cheese) on Wednesday. Turkey goes in the oven EARLY Thursday morning (temperamental oven which has a tendency to turn off below a certain temperature, so I’m uncomfortable with overnight cooking at my normal 200 degrees F.), along with vegetables (collard greens, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes).

I’m ready. Just have to add a few more things to the list…which is now approaching two pages. 😀

Hope your writing is going well. Keep going: ten days left!

Thanks for stopping by.


Stat Spike Scare: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 19

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,790

Today’s blog count: 20

Total words written: 33,324

Total blog posts: 20

Not much to write about today, except that I had a bit of a nervous moment early this morning. As I’d mentioned in my previous post, I continued to write after I posted to the blog, and to NaBloPoMo. I finished around 1:30 am or so. Shortly thereafter, I was reading some articles on Medium when I got a notification from WordPress that I was experiencing a heavy traffic spike on my blog. At first I was excited, but when I only saw one “like” notification on that particular post and no “follows”, I decided to check the blog stats. I saw that there were three hits from the United States, and  46 hits from Indonesia.


I know no one in Indonesia, and I’ve never been under the impression that anyone over there would be interested in yesterday’s post topic, which was the failure of the United States public school system. Then I thought about the various spam comments on my blog (thank you, Akismet, for catching them all!). Then I got nervous: was someone trying to hack my blog? I have security features in place, but I did have a brief moment of panic where I was afraid that some hacker extraordinaire would get into my blog for the fun of it and send out lewd post, before erasing everything. But, since everything seems to be intact, I guess it’s fine.

Still, it’s an unfortunate side effect of the technological age in which we live.  Hackers abound on the internet; they flourish like mushrooms after a spring rain. And while some only use their powers for good, others like the thrill of the hack, particularly in areas where they think they won’t be missed.

That brief moment of panic made my sleep a bit restless. I hope that my safeguards continue to be in place.

Hope everyone is making progress on their writing.

Thanks for stopping by.


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