Do you like sci-fi? Paranormal adventures?

If so, you might like my two fiction novels, Who Saw the Deep, a sci-fi romance, and Disintegrate, a young adult paranormal. They’re both on Amazon! And you can get Disintegrate in paperback, too.

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Publisher’s Weekly said that Who Saw the Deep is “… is well written, original, and clever.” It’s also an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) 2012 Semi-Finalist Winner!

 

Disintegrate is my first young adult novel (and I hope to be writing more soon)! What do people think of it? “Full of action and non stop suspense, Disintegrate was an intense read.” – Out There Reviews and Stuff —- “The story was fast paced and well written.” – Indie Authors, Books, and More

Shadow and Shade by Matt Gerrard now available!

A good friend of mine has just released a new fantasy novel! Check it out!

Shadow and Shade

Shadow and Shade by new author Matt Gerrard now available!

Genre: Fantasy, dark fantasy, suspense, romance

Word count: 86,442 (203 pages print length)

Logan doesn’t just hunt with wolves. He talks with them. He can also see in the dark, heal, and feel the emotions of the forest itself. If only dating were so easy.

Marissa, the missionary’s stepdaughter, captivates him with her fiery spirit. Logan’s taste for trouble and strange ways fascinate her. Marissa’s stepfather fears that Logan will drag her into darkness with his heathen ways. Logan’s mother is outraged because she thinks Logan is abandoning the blood of their people.

Angry words turn to vengeful deeds. Logan and Marissa become ensnared in a web of bitterness that was spun hundreds of years before they were born. Blood demands blood, and it refuses to be denied.

Buy: Amazon

 

Story Excerpt:

“Walk into the creek. The middle of it.”

Logan stared at it. The water wasn’t that deep, but the rain was beginning to swell the banks, making it run faster. Not to mention the lightning. “Is it safe?”

His father’s face hardened. Wolfmark pointed toward the creek with his staff. Logan hid his glare and waded into it. He was afraid, but his father was really getting under his skin now, and he wanted to get this over with.

The depth was deceptive. The spring dug an uneven channel through the rock, and he found himself in water up to his knees by the time he reached the middle. The staff helped him keep his balance. He was careful to shove the rocks aside as he walked, so that he wouldn’t jam his feet between them. Legs broke that way, and people drowned with the water barely over their heads. Boy, I really pick what to think about, don’t I? The icy touch of the water reached around his feet.

His father looked up at the sky. Logan saw a whip-sharp flash over the tops of the trees. Thunder that he could feel in his chest rolled over them. “Start meditating,” Wolfmark said. “This time I don’t want you to bury your fear.”

Logan stared at him. The shine of the water on his face and the clinging web of his hair made his father look mad. Only his eyes only told Logan that he knew what he was doing. “What should I do?”

Wolfmark ran over to some rocks on the bank, checking the sky again. The wind blew spray into Logan’s face. His father seemed to be looking for something, or waiting. “What should I do!” he repeated.

“Meditate.”

“But don’t–”

“Do it!”

Logan swallowed. This wasn’t good at all. Every time the spray reached around his body it made his hair stand up, and every time his hair stood up he waited for the bolt that would turn his chest into a charred, black hole. Darkly, he reflected that being struck by lightning had to be one of the most unique ways to die in all creation. Laik would probably like it that way. Make sure the people remember how you died.

Logan fixed his staff between a pair of heavy rocks. He settled down into a horse-riding stance, his legs straddled and his body lowered almost down to the water. He felt tiny branches and weeds under the surface tugging and snagging at the hair above his ankle. It soaked through his shoes and mushed the leather against his feet, blackening them with grit he couldn’t see. Gooseflesh prickled his chest and arms. Logan exhaled, staring into the trees where the grove edged the creek. Above them he saw the sky, and his hair stood again with fear as a streak of lightning rippled across the grayness.

“What are you afraid of?”

Logan didn’t reply. He imagined himself as a boulder, and settled even more heavily into his stance. If his father was going to be this way, then he’d just have to do it right and show him. The feeling of the water coursed through his body. Logan raised his arms over his head, spreading them out as if he felt a glass dome against his hands.

Lightning flashed again, and again. The thunder reverberated in his chest. Logan telescoped his hands in and out. He wanted to jump. He wanted to run. A bolt shattered the sky, like a hammer shattering glass over his head, and the thunder bolted the muscles in his chest. He wanted to scream.

 

About the Author:

Matt Gerrard is a lover of fantasy, science fiction, and all things wildly creative. Shadow and Shade is his first novel. It came from a firm conviction that wizards should sweat and get dirty instead of wearing pointy hats. He currently lives in Massachusetts, where he works, practices yoga, and invents little fictional universes.

Website: The Daily 400

Facebook: The Daily 400

Pinterest: The Daily 400

 

Reading at Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center Sunday!

Come one, come all–I’m reading at Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center Sunday, May 4!

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When: Sunday, May 4 at 3:15 pm (doors open at 3 pm)

Where: Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center, 419 Green Lane (rear), Philadelphia, PA 19128

Why: Because!

I’ll be reading a selection of new poems and maybe a few old favorites. I’ll have copies of my poetry chapbooks and fiction novels for sale. Hope to see you there!

 

First Crocus of 2014

My crocuses finally bloomed, even though we had snow on the ground this morning. :-)

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First Crocus

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

The crocus don’t see this as they chatter
beneath a cheerful petal of spring sky.
They ignore the air’s brisk arm
as they peer at their fresh stems, step
on the leftover fragments
of old leaves.

When the night wind twists them to pieces,
they will die like this: laughing,
tossing their brilliant heads
in the bitter air.

 

—first published at About.com in 2007

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Don’t forget! NaPoWriMo starts tomorrow! If you want to try writing a poem-a-day, register at Autumn Sky Poetry/Forum

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NaPoWriMo 2014 (egads!)

napowrimo 2014

It’s that time of year again: flowers, singing birds, snow… WAIT. What? Snow? No way, it’s almost April! It’s almost time to do the write-a-poem-a-day-every-day-for-a-whole-month thing that overtakes so many of us again and again, year after year. I almost missed it! I thought it was still WINTER.

Ahem.

If you would like to participate in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), I have set up an online workshop forum where you can post your daily poems, privately, in community with all the other crazy poets who think they can fool the Muse into a giant burst of creativity. If you’d like to come and play with us, CLICK HERE and register.

Also, please send me an email chrissiemkl AT gmail DOT com or a note via FaceBook so that I know you are a real human and not a spambot from hell. Please include your name so I know who you are when I hover my mouse pointer over the approve/disapprove button. I only approve membership for real actual human beings.

That is all.

Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place – preorder!

I’m excited to announce that a short story of mine (Cipher) will appear in Sundress Publications’ new anthology:

Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place
Edited by Erin Elizabeth Smith, T.A. Noonan, Rhonda Lott, and Beth Couture

In this 300+ page eclectic and engaging multi-genre anthology of contemporary women writers, you will find literature that transports readers across the entirety of the globe. Writers in Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women & Place, include Marjoie Maddox, Wendy Call, Barbara Crocker, Marthe Reed, Karyna McGlynn, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Dianne Seuss, Sarah Sloat, and many, many more!

“Miniature celebrations of place, the writings in Not Somewhere Else But Here deftly maneuver through imagined spaces and bustling Manhattan streets, the impossible page and the architecture of Japanese homes. Here, place is questioned and subdued: it is the hot gloss of sun on concrete.”
-Lily Hoang, author of The Evolutionary Revolution and Changing

You can preorder at this LINK.

5 ways to jumpstart inspiration

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A lot of people ask me where I get my ideas from for writing. For many years when I was younger, I had trouble with inspiration. Ideas were like birds I could see only in the distance, in a sky I could never reach. Bits of them floated to the ground once in a while—useless, discarded feathers. It wasn’t until I spent more time writing, every day, that the ideas started flocking into my head. I developed some habits that called them to me, like scattering mental birdseed around to draw them in. Here are some of them:

1. Exercise/meditation/hiking: spend some time alone in your head. If you’re like me, sitting around doing nothing may drive you crazy, so I have found that if I do something physical while I’m wandering the pathways of my mind, ideas float into my consciousness with almost no effort.

2. Listen to music: let your favorite melodies calm your brain so that you can relax enough to stop doubting yourself. Doubt kills creativity.

3. Stop and look around: give yourself thirty seconds on the way to your car, or the grocery store, or even just walking down the hallway, to stop and observe one thing with great attention. I tend to watch birds, look for stars, examine snowflakes or flowers in a way that helps my mind create mental pictures. When writing, a good sense of imaginary places is essential. Looking at things develops the ability to envision spaces in your head.

4. Be nice to yourself: stop stopping. Just start writing something, even if you think it sucks. It probably does, but you can always fix it later. Writing is like running: you need to warm up sometimes. And telling yourself that it sucks just reinforces your ability to doubt yourself. Stop that.

5. Skip the depressing things: don’t read the horrible news story, avoid the annoying friend on Facebook, stop watching war movies right before you go to sleep. Sometimes the bad stuff lingers in your psyche and you’re not even aware of it. This is probably my greatest difficulty, but I have been trying to get better at allowing myself to not feel the bad stuff. Don’t let others steal your joy and replace it with misery.