Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fear of Failure

For your pleasure and to my delight,
has stopped by to discuss the fear of failure 
and her latest release

Take it away Misha!

Fear of Failure

Thanks, Yolanda!

I have to admit, I like to keep a positive outlook when it comes to my writing career. After all, writing on its own is one of the most challenging things I can do. Stories are complicated things. Add to that the idea that people will actually read a book I’ve written, that I’ll have to depend on them actually liking it for me to make money… Yeah. Suddenly it just adds another dimension to my doubts and insecurities.

And this is the root of my most persistent worry since I’ve decided to take up self-publishing. I know that my decision to side-step trade publishing was a good one for many reasons that I won’t be going into now. I know that I’m good at what I do. Not just because my mom told me, but readers who never knew me went through the trouble to get in touch just so they could tell me how much they like what I’ve written.

I love those moments. It’s such a boost to know that someone out there liked what I wrote.

But none of that takes away the fact that I basically turned away from centuries’ worth of conventional publishing wisdom in order to follow my own path. It’s a scary thought and for the most part, I’m completely alone in dealing with it.

Deal with it I must, though. Mostly by shoving it to the back of my mind. I try focusing on what I’m doing to make my career a success. I try setting big goals and small goals that are calculated to get me there. I remember that every little thing I do takes me one step closer to making it.

And then I write.

Anyone else struggling with a fear of failure? How do you handle it? 

About the Book

First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.


This had to be what dying felt like. Floating outside my body, waiting for that final link to my life to be severed, only vaguely aware of indescribable pain. More screams than I could count rose up around me. Hundreds of footsteps beat against tiles. I couldn’t open my eyes if I wanted to. Not when it was easier to listen and wait. People shouted for a doctor or an IV, or a thousand other things that made no sense. I listened to all the chaos, trying to untangle it in my thoughts.

Soon, I could go. The peace around me was so relaxing, completely out of place in the clamor I heard. I wanted it. To rest forever in that peace. Why not? There was a very good reason, but I couldn’t call it to mind.

A numb buzz shot through my body and shattered my serenity.

It happened again. Only this time was more of a sharp pulse. The third time jolted like lightning. The fourth…Hell. Suddenly, the screams were coming from me. My heart’s relentless thundering added to my torment.



My chest burned like fire. It hurt to breathe. Cold air drove down my throat and into my lungs, amplifying the inferno in my chest. My skin felt scorched. It couldn’t be. It wasn’t right.

I had to see. I had to understand why pain dominated my existence like this. My eyes were fused shut. My breaths grew shallow, trying to draw air when there was none. I tried to clench my teeth. I bit hard plastic. A pipe. Cold air suddenly forced back into my lungs, out of time with my own breathing. This was wrong. It wasn’t safe. I had to see. The best I got was a little fluttering of my lashes.

A high-pitched beep shot through my head. It repeated again and again. I wanted to reach over and slam my fist into its source. My arm wouldn’t lift. Something kept it trapped. A scream rose up from the depths of my soul, but the pipe jammed inside my throat stifled the sound. I only managed a whimper, trying my best not to gag. More air blasted into my lungs against my will. What was going on? I was trapped in my own body, but why?

I needed to move. I had to move. Now. Before… Even… Even though… Panic gripped me. The beeps increased at a frenetic pace. I needed to move. To be gone. Didn’t matter where. Just not here. Not defenseless. Not trapped.

The air sucked out of my lungs. I gasped, choking on nothing, strangled by invisible fingers. I tried to convulse my body. To twist myself free of what’s holding me.


The air rushed back in a cold flood. Seconds later it left, only to return in the same amount of time.

There was a rhythm to the air. In… out... in… out… The breaths were slow—sleep-like. I concentrated on this rhythm, striving to clear my head. If I wanted out, I needed to think. Calmly. Clearly. Eventually, those irritating beeps slowed. I tried to focus past the sound.

Voices buzzed about me, adding to my need to see, to do something to protect myself. No one seemed to pay attention to me. Good. I could use that to my advantage.

I centered my every thought on moving my little finger. It finally jerked, but collided against something solid. So the thing trapping my arm was physical and too heavy for me to lift. It was better to be trapped than paralyzed. With luck I could escape my restraints. I tried my other hand, but it was cemented stuck as well. Right leg. Left leg. Damn it! Both trapped. I had to move!


No, I needed to stay calm. I tried to make larger movements, biting the pipe in my mouth against the urge to scream in pain. There was no wiggle room.

Fearing that I might be blindfolded, I focused on blinking. It worked. My eyes opened and the blur faded, revealing ceiling tiles. Why would there be tiles? Where was the canvas of hospital tents? The distant sounds of bombs dropping? The power of their explosions rushing through my blood?

No. That wasn’t right. I wasn’t there.

Where was I, then?

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Just 100 words: can you do it?

Something I don't usually do is continue the story. But this week's word is 'elan' which means energy, style, confidence, panache. I immediately saw the character of Denny, from my last Drabble Promises going confidently about his life despite his blood lust, or maybe because of it.

Denny put the dog on the bun and handed it to the officer. "Condiments to your left. Help yourself to the potato salad."
"No. Thank you. This will do. We still haven't located your wife." Officer Demetri said as he added onions and mustard to his hot dog. "You did all this work yourself?" He surveyed the new patio. "Damn lot of concrete."
"The professionals did that. I just watched with a beer in hand." Denny laughed. "Janet left me a 'to do list. I expected her back before I finished. I guess she's having too much fun down under."

Yolanda Renee © 2016

To read other Drabbles @Fantasy Boys

go HERE!

Friday, May 13, 2016


FB3X Drabble Cascade Every TuesdayFB3X Drabble Cascades

Welcome to the FB3X Drabble Cascade, a weekly blog hop where we want you to share you drabbles, or flash fiction inspired by our word of the week. To join in, just post your piece to your blog/social media/website and add your link to the list with Title (Rating, Genre), e.g. A Little Bit of Fun (PG, Science Fiction) and then to perpetuate the cascade, add the list code to the bottom of your post :)

This week's word of the week is 'impede'.

Today's Drabble is dedicated to Susan
and is in answer to her comment on the last drabble 'Curses'.


The new patio base had been prepared. Dug out to the perfect level, soil tamped, gravel added, then rebar and wood framing before the cement pour.
Denny wiped the sweat from his brow. Waiting for the cement truck to arrive he surveyed his back yard and smiled. He could envision the fire pit, and family cookouts, just as Janet had designed it.
Kneeling, Denny placed his hand on the gravel pad in an almost caressing way.
I told you I'd have the final word. You made a promise when you vowed to honor and obey. Divorce was never, an option!

Yolanda Renée © 2016

To read other Drabbles @Fantasy Boys 
go HERE!

Okay, so I'm blogging when I'm supposed to be taking a break. 
Honestly, it's impossible to take a complete break 
from the computer when you've just released two books. 
Murder & Obsession
Parallels: Felix Was Here
I've been trying to stay on top of things and 
I've used FB and Twitter to keep the 'momentum' going. LOL
Am I writing? Yes, and this is just a little post.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


FB3X Drabble Cascade Every TuesdayFB3X Drabble Cascades

Welcome to the FB3X Drabble Cascade, a weekly blog hop where we want you to share you drabbles, or flash fiction inspired by our word of the week. To join in, just post your piece to your blog/social media/website and add your link to the list with Title (Rating, Genre), e.g. A Little Bit of Fun (PG, Science Fiction) and then to perpetuate the cascade, add the list code to the bottom of your post :)

Welcome to FB3X Drabble Cascade #159 - This week's word of the week is'turbulent'.


Jessica paced and searched the sky for the lightning promised with each loud explosion of thunder. As the storm intensified in strength so did her anxiety. Her nightly prayers the same, a plea to the gods, please lift this curse and free me from captivity?

Despite the worsening weather, Arnold was on time. Jessica hurried into the kitchen to make sure dinner was ready.

She poured his martini and opened the door to greet him.

Lightning filled the sky and it seemed as though time stood still, but Arnold didn't. The strike threw him into the neighbor's yard.

Curse lifted!

100 words
Yolanda Renee © 2016

I said I was taking a break to write. This one I couldn't resist.
Join me if you dare - Fantasy Boys!


I'm thrilled to announce that 
Nancy Lynn Jarvis has just released her 6th 
Regan McHenry Mystery!
Congratulations, Nancy!

Waking up to gunshots and discovering the body of their neighbor just outside their bedroom door is bad enough, but when the Coroner rules the death a suicide, Realtors Regan McHenry and her husband Tom Kiley don’t believe it for a minute. Never mind what the physical evidence says; they heard their dead neighbor arguing with someone in the moments preceding his death. 

What really happened has become more than just a mystery they’d like to solve because the circumstances of their dead neighbor’s past keep interfering with their present and putting them in danger.

It’s unnerving to be awakened by gunfire, but when it’s in your back yard, that’s hardly something you can ignore. When a body is the result of what shocked you out of sleep, you don’t get over it easily. And when it turns out the dead man is your next door neighbor, well, that calls for some serious questioning. At least that’s the way I see it.
 Regan McHenry

My Review

A Neighborly Killing
Nancy Lynn Jarvis

What would you do if someone died in your back yard? You're certain it was murder, but the evidence clearly indicates suicide.

As well as an absorbing mystery, Ms. Jarvis takes us on a journey many would fear to tread. However, this time, it's not only the heroic Regan McHenry who's anxious to find the truth. Her husband, Tom, whose usually the reluctant one, leads the way, much to the shock of Regan and their loyal but fearful Santa Cruz Police Ombudsman Dave Everett.

Death occurs every day. Can you answer the question; have you bought a place where a murder occurred? If there are laws regarding such in your state, it's usually three years. Would you want to know?

The premise of A Neighborly Killing is unique, modern, filled with intrigue, and has a compelling and satisfying ending. Well done, Nancy Lynn Jarvis, you have an award winner!

Nancy Lynn Jarvis invites you to take a peek into the real estate world through the stories that form the backdrop of her Regan McHenry mysteries. Real estate details and ideas come from Nancy’s own experiences. She is working on the seventh book in the series.


What do you think about knowing the history 
of the property you've bought or are buying. 
Do you want to know the deaths 
that have occurred there?
I own a house that's over 100 years old, 
and I haven't asked. 
Not sure I want to know! 
Would you?


The Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh's awesome co-hosts are Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, 


As far as insecurities go. I've at least a dozen this month, but no time to dwell on them. I'm pushing them aside to get back to the mundane stuff for awhile, but before I go I'll do my A to Z Wrap-Up!


I did it, and from what I understand so did you! We finished the A to Z Challenge, and while I fell behind a few times, I managed to catch up. The oddest thing that happened was when I realized, right after my Z letter posted, that I hadn't added the official letters to my Murderous Imaginings Blog. No big deal right. It was 2 AM, but I quickly replaced the A to Z logo with the proper letter. I bet none of you even noticed.

I know the A to Z reflection posts are being scheduled for the 9th through the 13th, but I may not show up for that. It depends on too many variables and I did want to say Thank You, for a great A to Z Challenge. To the organizers, hosts, minions, participants and especially the commenters! Well done! Don't forget to pick up your survivor badge!

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting new bloggers and loved all the different themes. I really, and I mean categorically appreciated the shorter blogs. Those blogs made my day! However, to be honest, some of those longer ones, where I was hooked on the continuing story, well; those were wonderful too, because damn it, I just had to know what happened next. LOL

These are just a few of the blogs that impressed me the most:

 & Dog Rescue
Kathleen Valentine & Meet My Imaginary Friends
Light Traveler Kate & her Paris Journey
Megan Morgan & The Worst Romance
Melanie Schulz & Flash Fiction UBook
Patricia Garcia & The Prophet & the Child
Rosa Temple & It's Just Coffee
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles & The Case of the Cursed House
Vidya Sury & Mindful Living 
Zeljka & Traveling thru Eastern Europe

Anyway, it's over, and I'm going to take a break. I really, really need to take a break. Therefore, for the rest of this month, I will be doing anything but blogging. I will be writing, daydreaming, and repairing family connections that I've been ignoring.

I wish you all a great month, but I think a few of you will be joining me. Rest, write, and soak up that great spring sunshine (it's supposed to rain all week, oh well). I'll see you all again in June!

The winners of the drawing for a copy of all three books in my Murder Trilogy are:

Defending the Pen – Sophie Duncan

Murderous Imaginings – Melissa Sugar

Everyone, have a great month!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Enter the realm of parallel universes!

you've won an ebook copy of

Parallels: Felix Was Here!

What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L.G. KeltnerCrystal CollierHart JohnsonCherie ReichSandra CoxYolanda RenéeMelanie SchulzSylvia NeyMichael Abayomiand Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!



Release date: May 3, 2016
$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 218 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Science Fiction/General ( FIC028000) and Fiction/Alternative History (FIC040000)
Print ISBN 978-1-939844-19-4 eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-20-0
Order through Ingram, Follett Library Resources, or from the publisher
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

“Pensive and manifold views into parallel earth not without a glimmer of hope.”
- Edi’s Book Lighthouse

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, two Facebook groups, and a monthly newsletter.


Freedom Fox PressA division of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 383, Pikeville, NC 27863-0383

Monday, May 2, 2016


The A to Z Challenge is over but the world of book publishing moves forward and today I have the honor of introducing 
Libby Heily and her latest release
Welcome to Sortilege Falls.

But first!
I'd like to announce the winner 
of the drawing for the A to Z Challenge!


Sophia Duncan!

Now take it away, Libby!


Thanks Yolanda for having me over today!

Writing Character Journals

Thankfully, or to my own detriment, I've been involved in many areas of the creative life. I fell in love with words as a small child so I've always written. I've also studied acting, film making, and I now perform in several improv troupes.

All those endeavors have influenced my writing but none more so than acting. Oddly enough, I wasn't a very good actress despite my commitment but hey, we can't win them all. But all that studying did give me valuable tools. One of the many techniques I learned was to write a character journal for any role I played. I read the play and took detailed notes. What did my character say about herself in the play, what did others say about her, what were her actions and how do those actions reveal her true self? Armed with that information, I would open a brand new spiral bound notebook–my favorite type of notebook–and I would write entries as my character. 

All my classmates had their own way of doing this and I definitely experimented for a while. The process I grew into was to start with an entry using known information. Maybe I would write about a scene in the play and how I felt about it–“I” here is the character, not Libby. Then I would tend to branch off and write a bit about my childhood and my ambitions and my hopes and fears. I would ask myself questions like “what do you most want?” and try to answer these questions fully. This was so incredibly helpful because writing a character journal provides you with a backstory inspired by the text. Your life as the character becomes so much richer and fuller because you've given yourself a life outside the world of the play.

As a writer, I've used this technique several times. Characters can be tricky to nail down.  Human beings are complex and rarely have one motivation in any given scenario. I don't write character journals for every character but I do write them for either the main characters, or the ones that are giving me the most trouble. For Tough Girl, I wrote a character journal for the MC and through that, I created the character of her best friend, Leon. This was a huge gift to the novel. Leon allows for so many layers to develop emotionally for Reggie, and he never would have come about except for the journal. Writing as Reggie also let me nail down her voice and tap into her strength and sadness.

If you're thinking of adopting this method but you're scared of the added word count, don't be. My journals run about 5-15 pages. It's not really about the length or the events that you cover. The exercise is really about trying to see the world through that character's eyes. Realizing how their world view differs from your own can be extremely helpful. Next time you're having a hard time getting a character to come off just right, try a character journal. It will take maybe 2-3 hours max but might save you weeks of pounding your head against the keyboard.

What writing tools have you pulled from other areas of life?

 Libby's latest novel: Welcome to Sortilege Falls

The blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn't right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape's life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape's life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. 

Mandy's friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models' parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

Welcome to Sortilege Falls will be out in May/June of 2016. You can enter a contest to win one of five copies by clicking here.
(goodreads contest link-in case hyperlink doesn't work:

I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.

Fun facts about me:  There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.

Connecting with Libby:

Fire and Ice YA Publishing link: