Back to Top

What You Are (Audioslave) #playlist #scifi #chaos

Playlist: Music for a King — Song # 12 What You Are

What You Are (Audioslave) #playlist #scifi #chaos @kayelleallenI keep What You Are on a disc in my car and play it all the time. It’s often on repeat. It also fits the character Wulf. When I was writing Jawk (the third book in my Tales of the Chosen series) I must have played What You Are about 300 times. I dedicated the original version of the book to Audioslave in thanks for the music. But it fits Pietas because of the line “Now I’m free from what you are.” Listen and you’ll see the progression of freedom in the song.


Six gazed out at the lake. “I love this place. It’s peaceful here.”

“You say you love it here, but my senses tell me you’re homesick.”

“Well, sure. I miss my family. Don’t you?”

How to answer without a lie? Pietas brushed hair out of his eyes. “I miss what made me sad.”

Six squinted one eye. “How’s that again?”

“When you’re with someone you love, they can break your heart. Annoy you. Make you sad. But when you’re away from them, it’s those things that you miss.”

Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas
Immortal. Warrior. Outcasts. Traitors took everything. Except their honor.
Free on KindleUnlimited

What You Are – Audioslave

(I couldn’t find a direct link to Audioslave on Youtube, but this is the same version of the song I listen to, not a cover.)

Song: What You Are
Artist: Audioslave
Album: Audioslave
Copyright: 2002 Audioslave

Giveaways – Free Downloads

Download and print three PDF Bookmarks. The first features Six, the human warrior. The second is Pietas, the immortal warrior. The third is the two, back to back. This drawing is to scale: Six is 6′ (1.8m) tall.
Pietas and Six
Download a free adult coloring book you can print and share. Relax and color with friends. It’s fun!

Requiem of the Gods (Critical Mass) #playlist #chaos #scifi

Playlist: Music for a King — Song # 13 Requiem of the Gods

Requiem of the Gods (Critical Mass) #playlist #chaos #scifi @kayelleallenThe third (and final for this list) is Requiem of the Gods from The Critical Mass. Another amazing movie trailer song. I put Requiem on repeat when writing scenes where Pietas faced his foes. It has huge sweeps of music that reflect both power and danger. Most of chapter six was written with this song and Queen’s Breach (song 9). Considering he is fighting a group of reanimated special ops soldiers called ghosts, requiem fits. But it also fits the very opening lines of this book, where Pietas hears the human side reporting their losses.


Aboard the Uurahkal, a holovid screen in the council chamber replayed news from the Siege of San Xavier. In one report, a half dozen Ultra warriors crept over concrete battlements. In a voiceover, a human reporter called the subsequent slaughter of a hundred human soldiers an atrocity.

“Atrocity?” The Chancellor smacked his hand on the podium. Beneath the blow, the wood compressed. “Why do none of these channels show the truth?” Pietas rubbed at the ache forming behind his eyes. “Humans killed over two hundred unarmed Ultras first. We defended ourselves. But we come back from the dead, so our suffering doesn’t matter!”

Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas
Immortal. Warrior. Outcasts. Traitors took everything. Except their honor.
Free on KindleUnlimited

Requiem of the Gods – The Critical Mass

Song: Requiem of the Gods (Trailer Music)
Artist: The Critical Mass
Album: Out of the Ashes: The Critical Mass Collection
Copyright: 2014 David Reynolds

Giveaways – Free Downloads

Download and print three PDF Bookmarks. The first features Six, the human warrior. The second is Pietas, the immortal warrior. The third is the two, back to back. This drawing is to scale: Six is 6′ (1.8m) tall.
Pietas and Six
Download a free adult coloring book you can print and share. Relax and color with friends. It’s fun!

Writing emotions without “telling” #books #amreading

It’s easier writing emotions when you can just say what the character feels. We’ve all read books where the writer tells us exactly what the main character likes about another person. “He liked her pretty smile. He liked the way she walked. He liked her winning attitude. He liked everything about her.” Or how about using cliches to show emotions: “He faced another day of boredom. Doing the same things, eating the same food. Going to the same places. Nothing but the same old same old day in and day out.” *insert the reader crossing eyes in his/her own boredom here*

Readers don’t want to be told how a character felt, what he liked, hated, desired, or how he felt about his mother. But they will be all over books by an author who is writing emotions without telling them what the characters feel. Trust me — they can figure out the emotions for themselves.

Writing Emotions vs Telling

Now, let me say here that you must do a certain amount of telling. You must mWriting emotions without "telling" #books #amreading @kayelleallenove character A to point B. You don’t have to describe every inch of the journey. It’s enough to say “They took the red-eye to London.” Or “Having crossed the room, he stood in the corner and waited for his enemy to make the first move.” That’s telling, and it’s fine. It’s not fine to say that he waited nervously, or with anticipation, etc. Show us his nervousness or whatever emotion he’s experiencing as he waits. Writing emotions means more than stating what they are. It means showing how the characters acts because he/she is experiencing them.

When I wrote Surrender Love in 2009, it won the EPIC eBook Award for Science Fiction Erotic Romance. I have since learned a few things about writing, and decided I could do an even better job if I rewrote it now. I will release this book with Surrender Trust as soon as both are finished. I needed to write the villain’s story first, because I did not understand Pietas at all. Once I finished Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas and released it, I immediately started on the Surrender duo.

Incorporating emotion is vital in any story. How much more in a romance? I have changed Surrender Love from erotic romance to sweet by removing the explicit content, but not the sweeter aspect of the characters’ sensuality. At its heart, writing emotions into Surrender Love is vital: it is a romance. I believe the book and its sequel will have a wider audience and a stronger appeal.

Fair warning — you are unlikely to write shorter versions of your scenes when you add layers of description and begin writing emotions. But enough of me “telling” you I’ve changed it. See for yourself. I’ve given the opening of the original, followed by the same material of the revised. You be the judge. Which version better shows you the world in which the story takes place, and pulls you in to the emotional center of the characters? Please feel free to leave a comment.

Surrender Love Original (577 words)

While his android driver docked the hoversine with the rest of the fleet, Luc took three steps to the railing. The cool, damp breeze, heavy with the scent of rain, blew up the sheer sides of the building and buffeted his skin. Tarth City lay below in all its splendor, lights ablaze in every direction all the way to the horizon. Their glow cast a white sheen against flat clouds so close he could almost reach them. He closed his eyes, listening to the muffled roar of a sleepliner docking far off at the starport to the west. To the east, a rumble of thunder began and rolled overhead, threatening storms.

Luc gripped the handrail and braced himself against it, arms stiff, head down. No matter how late he worked, when he returned, the empty penthouse taunted him with memories. Some nights, it was all he could do to get out of the car. It had only been three weeks.

You’d think Wulf died. His heart ached as if he had. He shook his head, taking another sighing breath. Luc shoved himself away from the railing and trudged toward the Loft. You were lovers for five years. Give yourself time, old man. You’ll get over him. Maybe you’ll fall in love again someday. You’re immortal. Wulf isn’t. It would have happened eventually. You’ll get over him. After all, you have plenty of time.

Outside the entrance, he stopped, fingertips against his brow. He lifted his head, straightened his shoulders, and opened the door.

“Good evening, sir,” McDoth greeted him. The android butler bowed politely, his black-and-white uniform immaculate. “Welcome home. How was your day?”

“The usual, McDoth.” He shrugged out of his coat. “Busy, but accomplished nothing.”

The android took his coat and draped it across one arm. “Shall I see to your dinner, sir? Or did you eat at your club?”

“Not hungry, but thank you.” He headed for the bar and picked up a fresh bottle of Kelthian whiskey. “I’ll be in my room.”

“Very well, sir.” McDoth, the referee serving Luc as a butler in this lifetime, offered him a glass, but didn’t release it until Luc met his steady gaze. “I miss him as well.”

Luc swallowed, tongue jammed hard against the back of his teeth. When he could trust his voice, he cleared his throat. “Don’t worry over him. He’s made his choice. He has a new life.”

“It’s not him I’m worried about.”

Luc grunted. “Well, stop it. I’m fine. I’m over him.”

“I’ve served you too many lifetimes not to know when you’re lying. And I will worry over you if I wish. Please” — McDoth released it — “use the glass.”

Luc turned away, smiling despite himself. But in his room, he set the glass on the dresser and carried the bottle to his canopied bed. He sat on the end of it, refusing to face the man in the mirror across from him.

He opened the whiskey, tilted it up and drank half, wiped his chin, and grimaced. No alcohol affected him; he drank it for the memories of the people he’d loved and the times they’d shared. Luc wiped the top of the bottle with the heel of his hand and finished off the rest in two big gulps. Might as well have been tea. Nothing.

Drawing back the bottle in one hand, he paused and then hurled it at the mirror above his dresser. Glass shattered.


Surrender Love Revised (1475 words)

While James docked the car with the rest of the fleet, Luc trudged to the railing. Atop the Nizamrak Building, over two hundred stories above ground, he drew in the crisp evening air of autumn. He let it all out, lifting his face to the night sky.

A chilled breeze, heavy with the scent of rain, blew up the sheer sides of the building and buffeted his skin. To the east, a low boom of thunder began and rumbled overhead, threatening storms. A sleepliner docking at the starport to the west vibrated the air, its roar muffled. Tarth City lay below in all its splendor, lights ablaze to the horizon. The white marble of the Conqueror’s palace shone as if lit from within. Its walled grounds took up eight square city blocks.

Closer in, the Destine Pietan Stadium sent its bright glow upward, casting a white sheen against flat clouds. He refused to look toward the Thomas Gabriel Stadium, named in honor of Wulf’s father. Built at Luc’s personal expense, the massive complex had been presented to Wulf as a gift for their fifth anniversary, three weeks prior. Days before they parted.

He gripped the handrail and braced himself against it, arms stiff, head down. Up here, the hustle and hubbub of the city and the whoosh of traffic faded into the background. He rolled his shoulders. No matter how late he worked, when he returned, the empty penthouse taunted him with memories.

Stop it, old man. You’d think Wulf died.

Luc held his breath until his lungs screamed for air, but he waited, letting the pain build. At last, he released it, and drew in the night’s damp coolness.

Guess I’m still alive.

He pushed himself away from the railing and plodded toward the Loft.

A human got over old lovers and fell in love again. So should an immortal, accustomed to the brevity of emotion and the peril of mortal relationships. So why couldn’t he? Why did the weight of the empire crush his chest?

Luc was Sempervian. Immortal. Wulf human. They would have parted eventually. Mortals, no matter how much you loved them, died. Perhaps he needed more time. If there was anything he had plenty of, it was time.

Outside the entrance to his home, he stopped, fingertips against his brow. He lifted his head, straightened his shoulders, and opened the door. The scent of polished wood and fresh flowers greeted him. A hint of baking bread beckoned him, and his stomach growled in answer. He should eat.

Instead, he headed straight for the bar.

As usual, McDoth waited for him. The attentive look on his butler’s face was as predictable as his immaculate tuxedo uniform. With his graying hair and wrinkles, most people mistook him for human. A kindly, aging grandfather who still worked for a living. Like James, inside, the android was steel mixed with firepower and grit. More tyrannical than a nagging wife, and more tenacious than a weed. No matter how far Luc went, McDoth would follow, protecting him, serving him, while refusing to let him forget a single detail or obligation.

Had it been his choice, he would have fired McDoth years ago. Or killed him. In truth, the android deserved a medal. His tolerance and patience knew no bounds. Their strained relationship had lasted hundreds of years, and would for hundreds more. Luc would never be rid of him.

“Welcome home, sir.” The refined accent he’d been programmed with for this lifetime fit his aging outward appearance.


The android dropped a few ice cubes into a tumbler and set it on the bar. “Your whiskey, sir. Do try to limit yourself to one this evening.”

Here we go. The daily lecture. You eat too little. You drink too much. You work too late.

Luc reached past him and picked up a bottle of Kelthian whiskey.

“Allow me to take your overcoat.” The butler reached for it.

He turned to give his servant access, changing the bottle from one hand to the other as he slipped out of the garment.

“It’s quite late, sir. You must be tired.” He folded the coat over his arm. “How was your day?”

“Same as yesterday. Busy, but I accomplished nothing.” He darted toward the stairs.


He halted, gripping the banister so hard he expected to see marks when he let go. The promise of solitude in his chambers above beckoned, but there would be no ignoring McDoth and his usual third degree. He checked an impatient sigh, and turned back. “What?”

McDoth came to even sharper attention, his habitual passivity giving way to concern. “Shall I bring you dinner? No records show you ate today, unless the earlier visit to your club included dining on someone else’s account.”

“I’m capable of asking for food if I’m hungry, and I don’t need a reminder you keep electronic tabs on me. I have no illusions about being your true employer. I’m not hungry. I’m fine. Stop fussing over me.”

“As you wish, sir.” The butler brought him the tumbler. “Remember, just one.”

Luc lifted the bottle of whiskey and wagged it right in the android’s face. “I will. Goodnight. I won’t need help. I’m going to bed early.” Luc had taken three steps up the stairs when McDoth spoke again.

You are not the only one who misses him.”

Luc halted. He jammed his tongue hard against his teeth. While his android servant offered compassion, the knowledge he would report changes in Luc’s behavior prickled a bite of anger. When he trusted his voice, he cleared his throat. After taking a lower step, he turned back.

His expression must have been a warning. The android backpedaled.

“McDoth, forget Wulf. He made his choice. He has a new life with another immortal. I gave them my blessing. Don’t worry about him.”

“It is not Master Wulf who worries me.”

This again. Fighting to be civil, he clutched a handful of his short curls and tightened his grip to the point of pain. He dragged his hand back through his hair. Wulf he had let go. Would he ever recover from the loss of love? Would he ever recapture the openness and trust he’d craved?

“Sir?” McDoth crept closer. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. Stop worrying about me. I’m over him.”

“I have served you too many lifetimes not to recognize a lie. As I do not directly report to you, I will worry over whom I wish.”

Temper flaring, he had to bite the inside of his cheeks to refrain from lashing out. He needed no reminder whom McDoth served, nor why. The fact that neither of them had a choice in the matter kept him silent.

McDoth offered the tumbler again, and Luc snatched it, making the ice inside fly out. He pounded up the stairs to his room.

He slammed the glass on the dresser. When a chip flew from the base, regret flashed over him. He’d promised McDoth he’d stop breaking glass, but the chip didn’t give him the satisfaction he’d sought. With a perverse sense of pleasure, he picked the tumbler back up, and smashed it down even harder. It cracked, and then split in half. One jagged edge stabbed his palm.

He savored the hot flow of blood across his skin, and spread his hand, opening the wound. The momentary spike of pain took his mind away from his heart. By the time he’d lifted his hand to examine it, the bleeding had slowed. The wound closed, leaving him with his never-healing heart threatening to tear itself out of his chest.

He dragged himself over to his canopied bed and sat. Refusing to face the man in the mirror across from him, Luc opened the bottle of whiskey, tilted it up, and drank half. Alcohol didn’t affect Sempervians. They drank the way they healed–and fought: with elegant efficiency and the determination of the damned.

Nothing hurt for long, except loneliness. That persisted, clamping itself closer than a shadow on a snowy winter day.

He drank more, using the whiskey to launch memories of people he’d loved and times he’d enjoyed sharing the drink. Since Wulf left, those memories brought him more pain than pleasure.

He finished the liquor in gulps. It might as well have been tea. Nothing. The empty bottle held no more promise than the full one, and drinking it fast was the same as sipping.

A man had a right to a good bender now and then, but Luc’s immortal metabolism denied it. He drew back the bottle, and hurled it at the mirror above the dresser.

Glass shattered, as fragmented and ruined as his life. A shambles no one could reassemble. Like the love he’d wanted with Wulf, pieces would always be missing. Empty scattered places nothing could fill.

There you have it. Writing emotions takes up more space, and is more time-consuming to do. But the powerful enhanced scenes make a story that’s exciting to read. For more about Luc and Rah (his younger hero from Surrender Love) visit their Pinterest page.

What are the emotions Luc is displaying here? Leave a comment and share your opinion. I’d love to see what you think.

To know when these books are released, you can do one of the following. 1) Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and you can download free books and get news about new books coming soon. You’ll get one free book immediately and two more free, full color illustrated books the next day. You can unsubscribe at any time. 2) Follow my Amazon Author Page and get one alert from Amazon when a new story is available. 3) Sign up for AuthorAlarms and the app will send you one email when I release a new story. You can add other authors and remove one or all at any time.

The problem with a bad #bookreview 7 things to remember

The problem with a bad book review is accepting it as truth. It’s not. Seven things to keep in mind when reviews don’t go as you’d hoped.

Do you have a book review problem?

Someone gave the book you spent months (or years) laboring over a one or two star review. The world has stopped spinning, and all you can think about is that you’ve failed. The review is going to cost you lost revenue because readers won’t buy your book. It’s completely unfair. The reviewer should have said nothing. Isn’t that what our mothers taught us about not being able to say anything nice?

Problem is, the world isn’t like that. Some reviewers have no issues about lambasting an author. They probably don’t even consider the fact that their review will hurt you financially (let alone emotionally). Or maybe they do. Maybe they get their jollies by seeing authors freak out when they write something bad about them. Maybe that’s how they get a sense of personal power. More likely, they don’t care one way or another, and that feels just…insulting. Face it, no one likes hearing what they did wasn’t as good as what the other person expected.

Your real problem…

In any case, their bad review is not your problem. What is your problem? Letting go and moving onward. Writing the next book. That is your focus. To do that, you need to keep reviews in perspective. Here are seven ways you can do that.

1) Foremost, keep in mind no review is the truth. Reviews are OPINION. Everybody is entitled to one. Did you gush over every movie you ever saw? Every book you ever read? No? Well then no reason to expect anyone else will feel that way either. Let them have their opinion.

2) Sometimes poor reviewsThe problem with a bad #bookreview 7 things to remember are bait to see if you’ll react. Don’t say anything back. Trust me, it will not end well. Just don’t respond.

3) Look at your other reviews. Are you consistently getting 4 and 5 star reviews and out of the blue you get a 1 or 2? Chalk that up to opinion again. Obviously that book wasn’t their cup of tea.

4) You are under no obligation to share any review. Ignore the bad one. People can find it on their own. You don’t need to point it out. Whining about it makes you look… Let’s just say less professional.

5) Vent to a writer friend you trust. Never in public on social media. Ever.

6) Keep writing. A bad review does not mean you are a bad writer. It means that person didn’t care for the book, and that’s all it means.

7) You are not alone. The Holy Bible is on Amazon, and it has 1 star reviews. So does any book with a large number of reviews. Statistically, this problem is bound to happen eventually. But it’s not the end of everything. It will be okay.

Make the most of your good reviews. Share them everywhere and brag, brag, brag. They don’t call it shameless self-promotion for nothing. Besides, you might not deserve the bad reviews but you sure as shootin’ deserve the good ones. Right? You’ve had good reviews and now someone disses your book. As my Kin people would say “Ffffftt that.” Don’t let the one-star hater make you forget the five-star fangirls and fanboys who squeed all over the place about the story’s awesomeness.

Personal advice — if you are consistently getting poor reviews, it might be time to talk to an editor. If that’s you, ask authors you love and who write well who their editors are. You can also find one by posting on Marketing for Romance Writers, and asking for recommendations. Contact me offline. I’d love to tell you about the ones I know.

Did you ever have this problem happen to you? How did you handle it? Share it in the comments.

Crab Nebula: crushed core of a collapsed star #scifi #science

The Crab Nebula supernova remnant is the crushed ultra-dense core of a collapsed star. It’s now pulsing like a wildly beating heart at a precise 30 times per second. Due to the neutron star’s rotation, it ejects twin beams of light like a lighthouse.

Crab Nebula

Core of the Crab Nebula

Even as a child I loved astronomy and stargazing. Is it any wonder I spent 30+ years creating a universe for my characters to play in? Articles like this excite me. I can’t wait to share them with others. I hope you enjoy the beauty as well as the amazing science behind these images.

Clicking on them will take you away from this page. If you right click and open in a new tab, you will be able to see both of them without losing your place.

Crab Nebula in Multiple Wavelengths

I compiled notes from my 30 years of worldbuilding and created the Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series. The manual provides a look inside the magic that makes my worlds tick. I’m working on additional companion books for different sections of my universe. This book covers one empire. I have dozens. I’d like to create one book that’s dedicated to the immortals in my universe. Pietas and the other Sempervians have a rich history. They are “immortal” because of science, not magic. Genetically designed as superior servants to mankind, they became instead superior masters. The Sempervians have far more background than my books can show.

Crab Nebula: crushed core of a collapsed star #scifi #science

Available at Amazon and in print

Crab Nebula Image credits:
Crab Nebula (top) from
Multi-display based on file: Crab Nebula in multiwavelength.png by Torres997  Radio: NRAO/AUI and M. Bietenholz; NRAO/AUI and J.M. Uson, T.J. Cornwell Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Gehrz (University of Minnesota) Visible: NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University) Ultraviolet: NASA/Swift/E. Hoversten, PSU X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward et al. Gamma: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT/R. Buehler [CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Triple Suns? What SPF is that? #scifi #science

Imagine you live on a world with triple suns. Each morning you see a binary pair and a single star, and your world orbits the three of them. That means triple sunlight. Sound like scifi? No one believed such a set up until Hubble found HD131399.

Triple Suns

Imagine life on a world where triple suns rule the solar system. For one thing, during part of the year, as the single sun sets, a binary pair rises. Your day, no matter how many hours long, or what shift you worked, shines a bright sun in the sky.

During other parts of the year, feel a bit deprived of sun? And how much SPF (sun protection factor) does a world with triple suns need? SPF 1000 anyone?

If you had seasonal affective disorder, the sun-days make for awesome sun-filled days of bliss! But the rest of the year, not so great. Training for a trip there means spending time at the North Pole — or at least close. My husband was raised in Anchorage AK, so long summer days are no stranger to him.

Triple Suns? What SPF is that? #scifi #science @kayelleallen

According to the HubbleSite news, a team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona has directly imaged with the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope the first planet ever found in a wide orbit inside a triple-star system. The orbit of such a planet had been expected to be unstable, probably resulting in the planet being quickly ejected from the system. But somehow this one survives.

Research, Research, Research

Triple Suns? What SPF is that? #scifi #science @kayelleallen

Creating a believable world means research. Articles like this provide a good look at alien planets, and give me ideas for worlds to create. A world with triple suns exists outside the Tarthian Empire, in the Colonies of Man. Tour the major worlds in the Empire with the free book Tarthian Tour Company Top Stops.

In Top Stops, you’ll discover which planet the Terraformers Circle of Fellowship created first. You’ll discover which planets harbor mysterious ruins known as the “Gates of Life.” Do the ruins point to visitation by aliens, or settlement by common ancestors? The powerful Thieves’ Guild rules on at least one world. Visit Sanity IV — a planet torn apart, harvested to build new worlds. All roads lead to Tarth, the Empire’s capitol and shining star… plus much more.

Whether you love seeing the background of how science fiction worlds are built, or just enjoy a fun read set on different planets, Tarthian Tour Company Top Stops is for you.This book is available exclusively to members of the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group. Members have access to pages of my website not available to the public. Get your free copy here:

%d bloggers like this: