A Taste of “Finding Serenity”

The full moon in the night sky reflected in water

As I wait through the process of review and editing with “Mining the Dark,” I have been working on my Mountain State Vampire novella, “Finding Serenity.” This story is a bit of background on Dr. Rick Allstedt. Here’s a small taste. The tone is a bit different than the other books. Enjoy and Fang on! v–v

“Over several weeks I continued to acquaint myself with her, usually meeting at CBGB or another dank and dark club. Sometimes I just watched. Seeing her move in her world was like witnessing an epic adventure, a heroine navigating her way through the turmoil of the human condition, all while maintaining a dignity and grace that most humans can never claim. I was sleek in my observations, only making contact when the time was right…when she would be amenable to my advances. The last thing I wanted was for her eyes to fill with dread at my approach. Yes, I wanted her to excite when she saw me, a quick rush of blood through her veins, her skin warming a few degrees above normal, blushing her countenance with the anticipation of my attention, my enthrallment. To be sure, I was the one who was enthralled beyond my own imaginings as a vampire. When I was with her, there was no life, no death, no breath, no blood…just Serenity.”

A Call to My Tribe


I will not settle. I will not take orders. I am NOT defined by what others expect of me. I will not create myself in someone else’s image. I trust my own moral compass to guide my actions. I create my own happiness. I am grateful for all that I have. I embrace diversity as a path to enrichment. I accept the challenge to find the positive, to learn the lesson, in even the most negative situations. I am constantly becoming a more perfect ME, forever in progress.

Life is not without suffering. I have a unique opportunity to transform my own suffering into a bridge of understanding. Understanding only blossoms when the soil is rich with learning. The only constant in life is change. There is only meaning in change when we are self aware, when we learn. Through the awareness of my own experience, I continue to learn so that I continue to be a conduit for healing, touching the lives of people who have also suffered, comforting them through storytelling.

Chicago State of Mind


My daughter and I have successfully relocated to the Chicago area. My husband will arrive in a little over a week. Although tired, I feel so much more relaxed and content to once again be surrounded by family.

I have an interview for an office job tomorrow. I’m excited for new professional opportunities to help people learn and develop their careers. I just hope it doesn’t take away too much time from my writing.

Speaking of which, I’m reviewing/editing the last chapters of Mining the Dark. I’m going to write some new material for a plot arc, then finish the epilogue. After that, I’ll send the updated manuscript to my hard reviewers, make any necessary remaining edits, then it’s publishing time! So excited to have this novel ready for you all. It’s been much too long since the first book in The Mountain State Vampire Series (The Source (The Mountain State Vampire Series Book 1)). I personally think that Mining the Dark is a better book. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Cheers to positive life changes!

Mr. Grey, Have We Met?

Fair, Panic, grunge portrait man in gas mask

Yes, I have read the 50 Shades of Grey books. I was honestly intrigued about what all the hoopla was about. I was not impressed with the story when I read the books. I mean, Anne Rice had written about BDSM decades before and had done it much better. Still, I wanted to understand the Grey frenzy.

As a fellow author, I was willing to give E.L. James a chance. I didn’t like the writing style even more than I didn’t like the plot. But I was rooting for her, to witness her writing ability develop before my eyes. I saw hope in the second book. Unfortunately the writing in the third book was so much like the first, I questioned if any development was actually happening.

My hope was reignited for Grey. I admit, I haven’t finished reading the book, but, whoa! The plot is the same, but the writing style is SO much more improved that I’ve actually thought, “Is this the same author?” Yes, it’s still not at the same level as Anne Rice’s books, but the difference between the 50 Shades trilogy and the book told from Grey’s perspective is…almost unbelievable.

I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself a fan, but if the new book is truly an example of Ms. James’s development, brava to her. I hope that she keeps working at it for many years to come.

Paranormal fiction author


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