Revenants Abroad – Chapter 27

Chapter 27 is up on on Wattpad! I’m getting nervous now, down to the wire before I pull it off Wattpad and launch the paper copy on Amazon. :::chews nails::: The final chapter, 28, will post on Saturday. I’ll give it a week, and then the whole thing comes down so I can make it available for sale on Amazon. Get caught up now, if you’re not buying the book!

And we’re finally getting a break in the gray and the wet we’ve had. The rivers are still way up, water’s lapping at the edge of the road in places where I drive, but we’re supposed to be dry for the next week or so. I was able to get a few shots this morning on the way to work. Oddly it was clearer at my house than further down the road where I was once again swallowed up by the fog. This first shot is from my front porch. It’s a little blurry, but the color took my breath away.

sunrise 2-11-15

The bright purple and reddish-orange faded very quickly to soft pinks

Rounding the curve 2-11-15

Sunrise Minter Bridge Rd 2-11-15

Farmington at Burkhalter sunrise 2-11-15

Unfortunately all my shots of the high water in the marsh came out like this:

marsh high water 2-11-15

Which is what happens most of the time. The point is, normally you can’t actually see the water here. So yeah, it’s been soggy.

Revenants Abroad – Chapter 26

Chapter 26 went live yesterday, sorry to be a day late with the notice! Only two more chapters to go after this so time is winding down to read it for free online. There have now been over 5000 reads of Revenants Abroad on Wattpad, so thank you everyone! :D

Revenants Abroad – Chapter 25

Chapter 25 is up now on Wattpad! Three left to go, I’ll give it a week and then pull it to get the paper copy up on Amazon. As I’ve mentioned previously, Amazon’s terms are such that if the book is available anywhere for free, they will make it free as well. So… I am forced to remove it from Wattpad when I put the paper copy up for sale. Hope everyone who wants to has a chance to finish it before then.

I’m making slow progress on the sequel, and feeling sidetracked by a couple of other stories I started and want to work on.

Picture is not compressed, if you care to embiggen. Sunrise dressed in blue and gray this morning.

blue-gray pond 2-4-15

Revenants Abroad – Chapter 24

Chapter 24 is up now on Wattpad! This may be the longest yet, at 12 Wattpad-pages. If you’re snowed in this weekend, or it’s just too cold to be outside, it might be a good time to catch up on your reading. Four more chapters to go, then I’ll give it about a week and pull the story from Wattpad to get the book up on Amazon. It is still available as an ebook from Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo.

Here’s our lonely mountain (sans dragon) at sunset, an eagle perched in the next-door neighbor’s tree, last night’s moon, and a spider web in the power lines under the streetlight.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Revenants Abroad – Chapter 23

Chapter 23 is up now on Wattpad! Only five more to go. And as I’ve said I will be removing it from Wattpad entirely about a week after the final chapter posts so I can make it available on Amazon, so not too much longer until the paper copies will be for sale.

So today started out incredibly foggy, cleared later, then the fog was starting to come back on the way home. I really liked the clouds that look like a halo around the tree. It was so odd, lined up just right for that shot.

Foggy pond 1-28-15 foggy sunset 1-28-15 Cloud halo with tree 1-28-15 Moon 1-28-15

Revenants Abroad – Chapter 22

Chapter 22 is up now on Wattpad! I want to sincerely thank everyone who’s reading along. I have to say I’ve been a little surprised by the demographics of the readership on Wattpad for this story. The largest percentage (44%) list their age as “over 45″, and more surprising to me is 22% are male. Interestingly most of the engagement I’ve had with people on Twitter about the story has been with men. One reader said, “definitely felt like a more traditional vamp novel with the act of feeding so sexualized”  and that he was looking forward to a sequel. There is a love triangle in the book, but I think it’s first and foremost a buddy story. Mostly they’re trying to survive without getting killed. If you’ve been hesitant to check it out, thinking it’s another YA vampire romance with sparkles, I assure you it’s not.

A question I get a lot is, “Is there going to be a sequel?”

Why yes! Yes there is.

I’m working on it, but need to get back into NaNoWriMo mode and crank out some wordage every day.

And with that, I will leave you with this:

January 23 2015 sunrise

Blog Tour – STRUCK by Clarissa Johal

Welcome to the blog tour celebrating the 1 Year Anniversary of the release of Paranormal Gothic Horror Novel ~STRUCK by Clarissa Johal.  Follow the tour (schedule posted below) to read new reviews, interviews with Clarissa, and exclusive excerpts.“The shadows hadn’t been waiting. The shadows had been invited.”


After a painful breakup, Gwynneth Reese moves in with her best friend and takes a job at a retirement home. She grows especially close to one resident, who dies alone the night of a terrific storm. On the way home from paying her last respects, Gwynneth is caught in another storm and is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of being rescued by a mysterious stranger. Following her release from the hospital, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift–one that will stay the hands of death. Gwynneth is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something more sinister… for as he shares more and more of this gift, his price becomes more and more deadly.

Book Details:
Genre: Paranormal Gothic Horror
Author(s): Clarissa Johal
Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten
ISBN: 978-1-61937-690-8
Number of Pages: 255
Price: $4.99
Purchase Links:
About the Author:
Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.
*Member of the Author’s Guild
Coming May 19, 2015 from Permuted Press
VOICES, a paranormal psychological horror
STRUCK, a paranormal gothic horror
(2014) Musa Publishing
*Indie Book of the Day Award
*Nominated for the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2014
BETWEEN, a story of the paranormal
(2012) Musa Publishing
*Second place in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012
*Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats
PRADEE, a young adult fantasy
(2010) CreateSpace
*Second round finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest 2012
Short stories:
PIGEONS, published in the literary journal Susurrus
THE ROPE, published in the literary journal Susurrus
A WAY OF LIFE, published in The Sacramento Bee
Find Clarissa Online:
Praise for STRUCK:
Lovely Reads

“This book grabs you in right away and hold your attention…I so loved this book and didn’t put it down until the very end.” Read More ~ Lovely Reads

Bex ‘n’ Books

“This is a spooky thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You won’t be able to put it down because you must finish it to see what happens, even if it keeps you up late at night to do so.” Read More ~ Bex’n’Books

Bibliophilic Book Blog

“STRUCK will get beneath your skin from the very beginning. Gwen’s a likable character with a difficult past and tenuous future after meeting Julian. I liked the secondary characters, especially Fenten and Poppy. The characters were definitely all well-developed and engaging.” Read More ~ Bibliophilic Book Blog

Straight from the Library

“The characters are well drawn and likable….The action is fast paced– I read the book in one sitting.” Read More ~ Straight from the Library

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How did you come up with the idea for STRUCK?
Some stories begin as random scenes, some as characters, and some are born from asking the question, “What if?” I was hit with the idea of STRUCK while running on a forest trail near my house. It was during a thunderstorm and I wondered what it would be like to be hit by lightning. I write about ghosts and things that go bump in the night and in essence, those entities are energy. What if a portal was opened by a lightning strike? And what if that portal allowed the energy from those entities to escape? The idea was intriguing and I went to bed still thinking about it. That night, I dreamt I stood in a field, with lightning striking the ground all around me. But the lightning wasn’t just releasing electrical energy, the lightning was releasing negative entities from the Otherworld. I woke from the nightmare in a panic, thinking those entities had somehow attached themselves to me. And so a story is born.
I went on to research the effects of being struck by lightning, interviewed several lightning survivors, and began writing STRUCK. I’m continually amazed how a, “What if?” idea can expand into a novel.
What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
I wrote my first short story in grade six. I was asked by the teacher to read it aloud to the class, which terrified me. After I was finished, I realized that I actually had everyone’s attention! I was shy and we moved every year, so I was always the new kid. When you’re in that situation, it’s kind of like being invisible. Finding my voice through story-telling made me realize how powerful writing could be. As far as continuing—truthfully? I think I’d go nuts if I didn’t write.
What made you choose the genre of paranormal gothic horror?
I started out writing fantasy fiction. I was working on the second installment to my PRADEE series when there were two characters that kept showing up on the page, over and over. They didn’t belong in fantasy novel, nor did they belong in my story! But their backstory came to me so vividly, that I set aside my series and wrote my first paranormal novel, BETWEEN. I’ve been pulled into the Otherworld permanently now. The ideas come faster than I can write
them down.

Exclusive Excerpt:

She woke with her cheek pressed against concrete. Paint tubes littered the floor. Gwynneth pushed herself up, but the floor tilted and she slumped down again. Daytime was always more difficult. The filtered gray light burned her eyes, and the sounds from the other artists hurt her ears. Gwynneth dragged one of the canvases toward her. It had been painted on, but it didn’t matter. She would cover it with another layer. She picked up a paintbrush and waited for the darkness to assail her senses once again. Her world slowly collapsed in on itself, and her hand shook…waiting. The tip of her paintbrush touched the canvas, and black tendrils sprang up, capturing it.

“Gwynneth Reese, open the door.”

She was jerked from her trance and dropped the paintbrush. So close.

“I know you’re in there. Open the goddamn door!”

“Go away, Fenten.”

“Don’t you tell me to go away.”

The tendrils that had been lending her power sank back into the canvas. “Go away. I’m busy!”

“You got two choices, girlfriend. You can unlock the door, or I’ll break it down.”

She heard the anger in Fenten’s voice. It took a lot to make him angry, and she reluctantly got up. She braced herself against the wall and opened the door.

“You need to open the windows in here.” Fenten stalked past her to the window and ripped the newspaper from it.

Light flooded into the dark corners, and she squinted. “That hurts my head.”

“You hurt my head,” Fenten replied, hands on hips. “What the fuck, Gwennie? You haven’t showed up at work for over a week, and Seth is boo-hooing in his apartment right now because he thinks he took advantage of his best friend. One that he’s completely in love with, I might add. You didn’t tell me that, did you? It took me two bottles of wine to get Seth to spill that bit of information. And you’re locked in here doing God knows what! You’re messed up, Gwennie. You know that?” He looked down at her, blue eyes blazing.

She tried to make sense of what he had said.

“I’ve taken about all I can from you. I’ve got a good mind to take you across my knee.”

“Leave me alone.” Wandering over to her easel, she collapsed in front of it.

“What the fuck is going on?”

Gwynneth picked up her paintbrush. Her hand shook, and she tightened her hold. “Nothing’s going on.”

“Bull. Shit.”

“Nothing’s going on. I need to get these done.”

Fenten squatted in front of her so they were eye-to-eye. “I’m going to only say this once. You can ignore or mouth off to me all you want to, Gwynneth Reese, because I’m your friend and I don’t give a shit. But Seth is another story altogether, and if you keep up with this, I’m going to disown you.”

She took in the fact that he was flushed red with anger…and returned her attention to the canvas.

Fenten grabbed her chin. “There’s only one time in our lives that our soulmate comes along, and if we don’t grab the opportunity and treat them like gold, they will slip away forever.”

Soulmate. A wave of emotion bubbled up from inside her, sucking the air from her lungs. What’s happening? Heat surged throughout her body, and she cried out. Bright, flashing lights filled her vision.

“Shit,” Fenten murmured.

She felt Fenten’s hands on the back of her head as he eased her to the floor. She heard him talking, and she shut her eyes tightly. The heat ripped through her again. Bright, flashing lights flickered under her eyelids. She fought against something that threatened to pull her away. Suddenly, it all came in a rush, the feelings she had been fighting the past few weeks. Pain ripped throughout her core. She bit her tongue, tasting blood in her mouth. Seth. A light went on in her soul and scattered the darkness that had been in there moments before. It was a moment of clarity, and she seized it.

Tour Presented by:

Tour Schedule:

January 1: Tour Kick-Off

January 2: Exclusive Excerpt

January 4: Review

January 5: Review

January 7: Exclusive Excerpt

January 9: Exclusive Excerpt

January 12: Review

January 15: Exclusive Excerpt http://darcnina.wordpress.comJanuary 17: Review 19: Exclusive Excerpt 20: Exclusive Excerpt

January 21: Interview

January 23: Exclusive Excerpt

January 26: Interview

January 28: Review

January 31: Reviews (by 3 different tour hosts)




Revenants Abroad–Chapter 21

In which our hero takes matters into his own hands… Neko and Anne-Marie are off to Greece, leaving Andrej and a couple of hired thugs free to do what needs to be done.

Chapter 21 can be read free on Wattpad (and yanno, chapters 1-20 as well…)

So here’s a thing. I’ve been contacted twice by people on Wattpad looking to swap ‘votes for votes.’ Maybe this is how some of them reach the rankings they get, by ‘buying’ or swapping votes. My sense of fair play was offended. I won’t do it. I’ve heard of this being done on other sites, a “you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours” set up. The corollary I fear is that if I don’t, will these people feel snubbed and try to keep people away from my story(ies)? I don’t know. I’m still learning my way around Wattpad and discovering the “clubs” (discussion boards). It seems there’s still a great deal I don’t know about the site. I’ve been disappointed not to even receive any comments on the book, although people have contacted me outside that venue to talk to me about it.

I’m nearing the end of it on Wattpad. There are 7 chapters to go and then I’ll give it a week or so and pull it so I can upload it to CreateSpace and make paper copies available. Amazon’s terms do not allow the book to be available for free elsewhere, or they’ll make it free, too. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it on Smashwords or move it to the Kindle platform and other resellers directly (Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, most notably). I’ll have to see what’s involved.

So anyhoo, here are a few shots from this morning’s commute. Lovely to have a break in the rain. Happy Wednesday!


kolk pond Tonquin Road 1-19-15Mt Hood sunrise -1-21-15Pink sky and freezing fog 1-21-15RR Pond 2 sunrise 1-21-15

Revenants Abroad – Chapter 20

Oops. Forgot to post here that Chapter 20 went up on Wattpad yesterday! It’s a longer one, so I wanted to give everyone who’s following along there plenty of time to read before the next chapter goes up Wednesday.

Not much opportunity for pictures the last few days. It’s been raining almost non-stop, but some factions don’t seem to mind.

expectant mother Unless I am mistaken, we should be seeing a baby in the not too distant future!

And in case you had any concerns that spring was not coming, we have some upstarts already who would like to assure you it is in fact on the way:

daffodils 1-18-15

The daffodils always start poking through in December, which really surprised me the first year I noticed them starting so early.

I hope everyone had a good weekend, and a good week ahead.

Revenants Abroad–Chapter 19

Chapter 19 posted on Wattpad this morning! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read about my little group of vampires and humans. It’s still kind of surreal to me that it’s out there and anybody AT ALL is reading it. Lots of questions about the sequel, which is in the works, but it’s way too early even for me to know what’s going to happen! It’s interesting to see which characters become favorites, though.

And a couple pics. I was surprised to see Venus and Mercury in the sky last evening on my way home. I stopped on the road to get pics, just wish I’d had my tripod (or better, telescope) with me. Timestamp is 5:55PM EST, looking south. I rather like this pic:

Venus and Mercury 1-13-15

And this morning:

Fiery pond 1-14-15


Lonely Mountain 1-14-15


Happy Hump Day!