I need your help! Book Cover Idea

Betwixters Front Cover Idea 2

 

As many of you know, I will be releasing my first book in The Betwixters Series soon, and am now in the process of designing my book cover. This is one idea I came up with and will be exploring more in the near future. In the meantime, please tell me what you think! I need all the feedback and constructive criticism I can get!

 

 

Where Fantasy Lives

THE BETWIXTERS COMING SOON Slider lighter

 

Once upon a time, the world was enchanted. Her caretakers were magical beings who worked side-by-side with humans to create harmony and balance for the earth to grow and thrive. But then something went disastrously wrong, and humans were banished from the enchanted realms forever . . . or so we thought.

This fall, I will release the first book of my new series in which magic is restored to our ordinary, mundane world. Those feelings of awe and wonder that we’ve allowed to fade from our lives will be recaptured as we journey along side my three protagonists into unbelievable and captivating adventures. Feel the shock and bewilderment when Noah, Skye and Ethan find Neevya (the faerie you met in Grum’s Tales) in a haunted forest where the Darkness has awakened. Experience elation and joy as we learn just how real magic is. But not all is fun and games. The heroes will find themselves in a race against time to help Neevya return to her realm, while discovering themselves and their own magic within.

Between now and the release date, I will post updates about the novel. I also plan to include some short stories, and although many of them will take place in the same mystical realms that will be explored in the novel, they will not interfere with the main storyline.

I invite you to join me on this journey and allow the enchantment to unfold and the magic to take hold within your lives.

As Ol’ Grum would say, “Best to click that blasted follow button so you can take time for a good sit down and a nap without missing out.”

Kindle Paperwhite Vs Paperback

When it comes to Kindle Paperwhite Vs Paperback, the war is on!

To begin, I find it prudent to ask, “How to you choose the books you read?” Do you search libraries and bookstores, determined to only read paper editions? Or do you search online and read e-books on your portable devices?

Personally, I do both.

I recently read a post that got me thinking about my own preferences and ideas.  For your reference, I have posted a link at the bottom of this post.

I have bookshelves overflowing with paperbacks and hardbacks. Per my husband’s request and the lack of room, I tried to narrow down my titles. Until I got my e-reader, a lovely Kindle Paperwhite, it was a losing battle. Books were scattered everywhere throughout my home. At first, in an attempt to solve this dilemma, I tried reading e-books on my computer and my phone. Reading with a backlight caused constant eye strain and discomfort, so I quickly gave up my mission. At that point, I was convinced e-books were definitely not my friends. Then came the recommendation of an acquaintance. She argued that the Kindle Paperwhite would be easy on my eyes, and solve my problem of overflowing bookshelves. Boy was she right!

In my opinion, reading on a Kindle Paperwhite is even better than reading a paperback! It is light, the perfect size, and I can read it in any lighting condition. The screen is not backlit, so I no longer suffer from eye strain. Best of all, I can keep all my books in one place! Not only does this mean my home no longer looks messy, but I can have my entire library with me at all times. How amazing is that?

Is there a con to go along with the pros when it comes to using a Kindle Paperwhite? Unfortunately yes. My lovely device requires more charging than I thought it would. It doesn’t matter if I use it or not, I have to recharge it at least every other week. For some, this may seem fantastic. For me, however, it’s a nuisance when I put it down for a month to read a few paperback editions not available in e-book format.

Some people argue that self-published authors are saturating the e-book market, and for this reason they will not convert to e-readers. Their claim is that the level of  writing is poor and inconsistent among self-published writers. In my opinion, those days are passing. Readers are demanding a higher level of writing. Just read the reviews on Amazon and you will see. “Those reviews are fake,” you may say. For your protection, Amazon is now monitoring reviews. If they feel a review is false, they will pull it without thinking twice. Amazon wants their book selection to be just as pristine as you do. So why not give e-books a try? You might find that you like them.

I would love to know your opinions. How do you choose the books you read? How do you weed through the e-book market? Do you prefer paperbacks or e-books?

Reference to post link: http://keepwatchingthewords.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/the-paperback-vs-ebook-debate/

*Note: I have not been paid or hired to endorse any products. These are simply my views.

Becoming an Author -Self Publishing Surprises

When I first began writing, I was intimidated by what I considered a steep learning curve. Never before had I attempted to write a novel, a short story, or even a blog. Heck, it was a challenge for me to write an email! I was definitely a newbie. Even now, I constantly question my choices in grammar and sentence structure. My editor and publisher, Karen Crowell from Serendipity Digital Media KC, combs through my novels with a fine toothed comb. Be warned, however, these blogs are all me…which means there is no editing or grammar checker here. Hehehe!

Anyway, the first time I spoke with Karen I was extremely excited to make my book available to the public. I was gung ho! I imagined immediate book deals, interviews, book signings, and even a movie deal. To say the least, I was more than inspired and even a bit unrealistic. After Karen read my novel and decided to take it on, she told me that she believed in it, but she also told me the road to success can be long and arduous. Then she proceeded to educate me about the publishing and marketing processes.

The biggest lesson I learned is as follows:

Do not rush into publishing your book!    Editing, revising, and formatting are your best friends! Once you think you have it finished, test it out and revise again.

Here are the strategies I followed to get my book self-published.

1) Professional Editing: I hired two professional editors to take a look at my book and make the necessary changes to prepare the book for publication. The experiences I had with each were like night and day. Below are my accounts of each.

a) The first editor I hired took a “hands-off” approach. He simply asked me to pay him up front and send him my manuscript. Once he received payment, he promised to edit my book and send it back to me. In the meantime, we did not communicate. When I paid him, I assumed I would receive a novel that was pristine, grammatically correct, and ready for print. As I said, I was a newbie. The manuscript I received from the professional editor had tons of grammatical errors, and it was definitely not ready for print. I contacted the gentleman and told him of my expectations and my disappointments. He proceeded to inform me that if I wanted him to prepare the manuscript for print, I needed to pay more money and hire him to do it again. This time, he said he would concentrate more on grammar. As you can imagine, my inner Laura was screaming, “What the F$*&% did I pay you for in the first place?” I thought hiring someone to edit my work was basically saying, “Please help me prepare this for publication.” Boy was I wrong. Lesson? Communication is key…and…Be careful who you trust with your work and your money!

b) In comes Karen Crowell; editor # 2. My experience with Karen made me believe in people again. Not only was she professional, she was (and still is) very supportive in how she worked with me. The first thing she did was read my book. It is my understanding that she read it to determine the amount of damage she would have to correct. She gave me fantastic feedback and pointed out areas in the story that could use more work. I followed her advice and resubmitted my manuscript to her with the changes she suggested. Then she began editing. During the editing process, she kept me informed of the major errors and inconsistencies she found, and she taught me along the way. I was learning where to place commas, how to use ellipses, and when not to use the word, “very.” Hahaha! Although I am still learning, Karen inspired to become a better writer and storyteller. She edited my book for flow, continuity, grammar, structure, and other variables I would never have thought about. The process seemed long because I was racing to the finish line, but looking back I realize it was quite short for all the work she did. After this fantastic experience, we talked and decided to continue working together.

2) Releasing the novel in parts: Once the book was edited, I told Karen that I couldn’t wait to get the book out. She slowed me down and advised me to release the book in parts. Her reasons for suggesting this were foreign to me at first. Later, however, I understood her logic. Hindsight is 20/20. Below are her reasons for releasing the book in parts.

a) Releasing a book in parts and in digital format can be a useful editing tool. If people like your overall story, but think part of it is less captivating than the rest of the story, that particular part will most likely receive unfavorable reviews. For example: Let’s say part 1 of your book contains chapters 1-10, and part 2 contains chapters 11-20. If you get stellar reviews on part 1, but not on part 2, you know there is a problem between chapters 11-20. You do not have to revise your entire book to make the necessary changes. The reviewers will let you know, trust me. So now I would like to say, “Warning: be prepared!” Most reviewers are candid, even to the point of making their reviews personal and hurtful. They have no qualms about ripping a novel apart and will let you know each and every mistake you made. What is the good side to this?  You learn the book’s weaknesses and have the opportunity to make it better. This process is invaluable.

b) Ratings. Releasing a book in parts affords you the opportunity to make your ratings higher. The more work you have up on Kindle, the better. Also, if you enroll your book parts in KDP select, you have more time to advertise your books for free.

c) Readers get to try the book before investing in your final version. If they do not enjoy reading a certain part, the readers may not continue the series. Therefore, your ratings are more likely to be more positive on the subsequent parts.

3) Digital Format: Karen and I decided to release my books in digital format because changes can be made easily. Once your book is printed on paper, it might as well be set in stone. You will always have copies floating around that no longer reflect the growth of your masterpiece. Only after I have my novels in what I consider to be pristine condition do I commit them to paper.

4) Enrolling in KDP Select: As we all know, Amazon is the largest online bookseller in the world. For this very reason, Karen and I chose to release my novels as Kindle books on amazon. Plus, Amazon has a fantastic program for self-publishing authors. It’s called KDP Select. I enroll all my novels in KDP Select. By doing so, I can run promotions and make each novel free every 90 days. Within those 90 days, I can choose 5 days to make each book free. Otherwise, according to Amazon’s rules and guidelines for the KDP Select program, I must price each book between $2.99-$9.99. Having the ability to offer free books can help create “buzz” around your books. It can also help you get those needed reviews. With this in mind, I would like re-explore a bit about releasing a book in parts. The first part I released free in the KDP program received about 300 downloads during the promotion. Each subsequent part received more and more free downloads. By the time my complete novel came out, my free downloads were skyrocketing. During my initial promotion for my first complete novel, I received 4028 free downloads, which made my book #1 in Mythology, #9 in teen, and #11 in fantasy. As a result, Amazon decided to advertise my novel. They sent an email listing my book as a top recommended book! Imagine my surprise when a friend of mine sent me an email from Amazon with my novel, Xandria Drake: Ancient Rising, as the first book on the list! So you see, releasing your book in parts really can help the progress of your overall book sales and ranking.

5) Social Media Marketing: The last subject I will dare to touch is social media marketing. Of course, volumes could be written on this, and I am not necessarily the one to write them since I am still learning. However, I have learned a few useful tips. First and foremost, get out there! Join goodreads, facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, and any other social media website you run across. Actively participate in groups, get to know people, and enjoy! Do not go to these groups for advertising. Trust me, I tried it. Now I participate for fun. Believe it or not, people will become interested in you as you become interested in them. Once you let go of the idea that you must make announcements that people don’t actually care about, unless you’re someone like J.K. Rowling, you become free! You learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. It no longer becomes a game about getting to the finish line. Instead, you do what you love because you love it. Now, doesn’t that sound like a happy ending?

I hope you have found this post useful.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to leave your remark below.

Best!

Picture This! Meet the characters personally :)

I’ve been thinking about the books I absolutely adore. When I read these books, I invest myself, and I spend my precious time to get to know the characters. I even come to care for them. When the book, or the series ends, I get an empty feeling inside because I feel suddenly cut off. I want to know what happens next, even if their lives turn out mundane and seemingly boring. Sometimes, I also want to know about the main character’s friends. What are they up to? What happened to them? What did they think of certain situations in their story?

In an effort to make my book more interactive, I decided to have a “talk” with the characters in my story, and asked for their cooperation. So far, Xandria and Viktor have agreed to help me out. (LOL) Xandria started her own facebook page and is posting updates and pictures of her life. Don’t worry, she is trying to post any spoiler alerts.

Viktor has agreed by telling his side of the story when it comes to certain events in Xandria’s book, Ancient Rising. He is not a writer, so it’s going a bit slow, but I have faith that he will come up with something within the next month or so.

Anyway, To ask Xandria questions or to comment on her pictures, feel free to visit her facebook page by clicking the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/XandriaDrake

Wanna know about the pics you will see on her facebook page?

See where she went on vacation for spring break. See pictures from her latest ballroom competition. Also, a mysterious package arrived that contained pictures from the opening scene in her book.

 

Self Publish vs Dancing

Good morning!

The self publishing process is underway!  I am learning so much from this process and am still very excited about the finished product.  HOWEVER, it may take a little longer than originally expected due to an interesting turn of events in my dancing world.

I created a performance team called Rising.  The team consists of dancers, singers, musicians, and other incredible talents that have a lot to offer individually.  As a team, I think we are a powerful group of performers.    It is our goal to perform on America’s Got Talent in the up coming season.  Recently, we procured an audition scheduled Dec 2, 2012.  As you can see, it’s coming up quickly.  We are all very excited and are working hard to get our routine perfected.

So now my time is divided between self publishing and preparing the team for our upcoming audition.  It’s a lot of work, but I am grateful to have the opportunity to be involved in such incredible projects.

On a side note:  After we audition for AGT, it is my understanding that we will be unable to speak of our involvement with the show.  Therefore, please tune in to America’s Got Talent in 2013, look for us (Rising) and VOTE for us!!!

Thanks in advance 🙂

Publishing Process

Hello again,

I’m writing to update you on the process of creating a self published book.  I’ve decided to release the ebook first on Kindle only.  Since Kindle is the largest seller of ebooks, I thought it would be best to take advantage of their promotional offers and sign exclusively with them for a limited time.  After this promotional stage is over, I plan to release the digital version in other popular stores such as IBooks and such.

Also, I am working on getting a paperback version printed through Createspace.  I’ve purchased my own ISBN numbers and created a publishing imprint called Peaceful Dragon Publishing.  I thought that sounded much better than something like Createspace publishing division.  To me, Peaceful Dragon just sounds more…well…peaceful.  lol!

Anyway, the folks at Createspace told me the the process for publishing paperbacks should take about 2 months. I find myself being a bit impatient, but I’ve waited this long.  What’s a few more months?  🙂

If you are interested in ordering either a paperback or ebook version, please let me know so that I can either reserve a copy for you, or tell you how to get it.  You can contact me at info@lauracantu.me

Smiles and best wishes!

Archetypes, Alchemy & Literary Agents

Hello my friends! 

Welcome to Archetypes, Alchemy & Literary Agents.  Since the last post, I’ve had several people pull me aside to discuss personality types.  Being a student of Oriental Medicine, rather than a psychologist, I can only answer basic questions and rely on my own logic.  (Actually, I suppose that’s not quite true, I can always call my twin sister, the counselor, to get my facts straight.)  Anyway, in this post I will discuss a couple of Xandria’s archetypes. For the Alchemy portion, I shall speak of the art of transformation.  Lastly, in the Literary Agent section, I will inform you of my understanding about the processes of trying to get published.  Shall we begin?
 
ARCHETYPES
 
By now, you may know that Xandria’s main personality type is INFP (Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceptive)
For those of you that have never heard of an archetype, I will attempt to define it below:
 
     It is my understanding that an archetype, for our intents and purposes, is symbol that is universally recognized.  For example, when you think of a witch, many of you will probably automatically assign certain characteristics to said witch.  Likewise, the same can be said if you think of a mother figure or a father figure.  Therefore, an archetype embodies a set of attributes commonly associated with a certain personality type (the villain) , a known individual (the devil), or a symbol (the serpent).
 
In Ancient Rising, I tried to make the characters realistic, identifiable and relatable.  Therefore, I included certain archetypes that I believe exist in all of us, yet are sometimes ignored or denied.
 
For example.  A few of Xandria’s archetypes may be seen as the following:  (I’ve not included all of them.  If you would like to add more, or form a discussion, please feel free to comment and let me know how you see Xandria)  🙂

-SEEKER: Xandria is not often satisfied with an incomplete explanation of things.  Instead, she constantly strives to understand the world in which she lives, as well as the motivations of herself and others.

-WOUNDED HEALER: Xandria has the desire to help others, but often suffers for her efforts.  Being an empath, she not only has the ability to take on their suffering, but she has the inclination to do it without even knowing it.  Because of this, unless Xandria protects herself she may be “wounded” very easily.  Being wounded, however, is just half of the equation.  The more important part to emphasize is that Xandria is a healer.  She learns and heals through suffering and chaos.  It is her path to accept what is, without resentment or fear, therefore creating space for true healing to occur.  Ultimately, it is Xandria’s destiny to move through the archetype of the wounded healer,  become the healer, and eventually the high priestess.

Also, within Xandria exists the SABOTEUR.  but I’ll let you figure that one out on your own.

 
 
ALCHEMY

Diverting your attention to a previous post yet again, I attempted to answer the question, “Why did you write Ancient Rising?”  Looking back, I realized that I only gave you a partial answer.

If I examine the actual purpose of this book, and others to come in the series, I believe the best way to answer the question would be to say:

Other than for the enjoyment of writing it,  the purpose of this book is not only to take the reader on an adventurous and entertaining journey, but to help the reader question and discover his or her own motivations, characteristics and potentials, therefore creating opportunity for growth and transformation. 

Within this first book, Ancient Rising, I had the daunting task of introducing you to the characters and the storyline.  Although Xandria grows and changes from beginning to end, more of her time is spent discovering and learning about herself, as well as the world around her.  The books followingAncient Rising, will get into the meat of Xandria’s true character.  She will face the most terrifying and dangerous parts of herself, and like Sebastian, she must go through a “dark night” to come to terms with who she really is.  Then, through darkness she shall find the light.  Whether she choose the light or not…well… you will have to wait and see.

Regardless, Xandria will go through a complete transformation, becoming something completely different than what, and how, she was at the beginning of Ancient Rising.

LITERARY AGENTS

So now it’s time to blog about my experiences in researching about how to get this book published.  So far, I have discovered a few plausible possibilities. 

1.  THE TRADITIONAL METHOD:
It is my hope and dream to persuade a literary agent, or a publisher to say “Yes, We want to publish your book.”  The task of finding said agent and publisher, however, is just as daunting as Xandria’s expected journey to the dark side.  From what I understand, I must write personalized query letters to individual agents.  Each must meet specific guidelines, which varies from agent to agent.  The most difficult part of this scenario, is the waiting.  One agent posted on her website that it could take up to 6 months to for her to send a response to a query and that she does not appreciate simultaneous submissions.   That leaves me, the author, in a pickle.  If it’s a difficult as “they” say it is to get an agent, will I be wasting my time in submitting to this agent?

2. A POPULAR METHOD:
Another way to get my book published is to do it myself.  There are quite a few publishing houses that, for a fee, will publish my book for me.  Advertising and publicity are then left up to me to do on my own.  This method costs money up front, requiring me to pay expensive editing fees, printing fees, and the likes.  If I am unable to find an agent, I will probably choose this method…and then plan some road trips in an effort to sell it.

3.  THE TECHNOLOGICAL METHOD:
The last method is to publish it digitally.  This method requires less expense up front and allows me to make the book available to thousands of readers fairly quickly.  The drawback, however, is that the book would only be available through e-readers.  If I choose to self-publish, I will probably include this method as well.

Thank you again for your support and friendship. 

Big Smiles and Best Wishes!

Laura

Revising the Revision

THE BEGINNING:

It’s difficult to believe, but this month marks the one year anniversary of the birth of Ancient Rising.  It took a little over three months to write the first draft.  Since, it has been through almost three revisions, each adding new characters, new grammatical errors (LOL), and new plot twists.   I am happy to say, that the third revision is coming to a close.  I expect it to be finished within two weeks, making March a significant month. 

When I began this journey, I had no clue how much time and effort my endeavor would take.  As I discussed in a previous blog, I sat at my computer and let the story flow from my fingertips.  When the first draft was finished, something interesting happened.  I put the book down for a while, and focused my attention on ballroom dancing.  When not teaching, however, my mind would wonder. Inevitably, I ended up daydreaming about my story, observing its characters and sometimes even interviewing them.  The information I gleamed during this time period was invaluable.  Not only did the characters develop into more complex personalities, their connections and motivations became more clear.

THE MIDDLE

The second revision of the book focused on bringing the characters to life.  I analyzed each character and determined their personality type according to a popular psychological test called the Myers-Briggs.  The choices for each character were determined according to the following:

DichotomiesExtraversion (E) -(I) IntroversionSensing (S) -(N) IntuitionThinking (T) -(F) FeelingJudgment (J) -(P) PerceptionFor instance, I believe Xandria’s predominant personality type can be described as:
INFP  (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceptive.)
Therefore, her views on the world, and the way she acts within it, are influenced by these forces. With that in mind, you may also notice that she sometimes acts outside of the INFP personality type…which I feel makes her more complex…and more human.
A brief personality profile of Xandria:
INTROVERSION: I believe Xandria is more introverted than extroverted.  She enjoys living alone, and is content in her own space. She takes after her father, and is more of a quiet type, unless around close friends.  One-on-one interactions are also more comfortable for her than being in a crowd. Hints are scattered throughout the book that point to her tendencies to recharge by withdrawing into herself, instead of spending time with a group of people, or being the “life of the party.”
INTUITION: Although Xandria does not always act upon her intuition, she has hunches and insights into situations that compel her to pay attention.  Part of her journey is to grow from self-doubt into self-trust, therefore, accepting her intuitive nature.   
FEELING: Xandria tends to make more of her decisions based on feelings rather than logic.  Although she often tries to use logic, she usually reverts back to her feeling nature.  
PERCEPTION: Xandria prefers to keep her options open, rather than make quick decisions.

THE “END”

The purpose of this “final” revision is to make the text grammatically correct, the story more cohesive, and the motivations that drive the characters more clear.  Of all the revisions, I would have to say this one has been the most difficult.  Knowing when to use commas and quotes has been quite the task. LOL!  Also, I’m reading each page and asking myself, “Does this page make me want to turn to the next?”  If the answer is “No,” the page is revised.   Therefore, I should be able to begin reading from any page in the book, and get hooked right away. hahahaha! Happy Reading!!!

To find out more about your own personality type, you can take the tests at this website:
http://www.mypersonality.info/

 Big Smiles and Best Wishes to you all!

-Laura

Ancient Rising -The Horror, The Story, and The Myth

Hello again…and welcome to my blog. 

Today, I made a ton of progress on the book.  I worked many hours to change an entire section, attempting to make it easier to understand andmore engaging.  As many of you know, there is a ton of information that must be conveyed, and a mere 100,000 words to do it in. lol!  Yes, I know 100,000 words seems like a lot, but for me…I’m just getting started.  hahahaha! 
But enough of that. Let us now move on and tackle The Horror, The Story and The Myths.

THE HORROR:

  In this section, I’ll tell you about an alarming experience I had today. 

     As I sat down to write, a fleeting thought of the need to save my work, flittered through my mind.  Usually, I head such feelings.  Today, however, I blew it off and thought, “Oh, things will be fine.”  Needless to say, things were not fine.  There I was, pounding away on the keyboard during an essential scene, when suddenly, my computer froze!!!  I was so shocked that I didn’t know how to feel.  I just kept thinking, “Please Microsoft Word…please save it.”  Well, thank goodness…Microsoft heard me. Yay!   I restarted my computer, opened Word, and there it was…almost as I left it.  Sure, I had to retype a bit, but it could have been so much worse. 

THE STORY

Now that I’ve shared my excitement for the day, I will answer an often asked question:

Q.  What is Ancient Rising About?

A.  Boy, is that a loaded question. 🙂   Actually, it is very difficult to describeAncient Rising, for it has so many twists, turns and elements that are difficult to fit into a neat and tidy box.  I will try, however, to satisfy your curiosity without ruining many surprises. 

    Ancient Rising is about a quirky, 21-year-old girl, named Xandria Drake,  that unexpectedly finds herself in the midst of a supernatural disaster.  Previously unaware of the existence of vampires, dragons, time-travellers, and a host of other creatures, Xandria must come to terms with her new reality.   At the same time, she is forced into new roles of responsibility, turning her once normal life, into a whirlwind of uncertainty.  Throughout the story, Xandria makes significant discoveries and, consequently, experiences an empowering and inspiring “coming of age.”  Introduced to ancient philosophies, Xandria learns not only her unique position within the universal scheme of creation, but is also initiated into new truths of self-discovery. Concurrently, Xandria also embarks upon an impossible romantic adventure that untangles her past, and promises an adventurous, if not dangerous, future.

THE MYTH

I’ve included this section because quite a few people have asked if my book contains information that is true/real…or if it’s all just fiction/myths. 

Simply stated, the answer is YES.  lol!

The book contains a mixture of fact and fiction.

Here are a few examples of the Facts:
       1.  The majority of the story takes place in Johnson County, KS…which is a real place.

       2.  Xandria works for Louis & Company Ballroom Dance Studio…which is a real place.

       3.  The concoction Kevin offers Xandria, to cure her hangover, is an actual drink to help replenish electrolytes and “cure” soar throats. (I actually drink it quite a bit and it tastes pretty good…it’s made of honey, lemon and salt.  here’s a couple of links to check it out if you’re interested.
               A. Electrolytes:  http://superforest.org/2010/03/lemon-honey-salt-hot-water-super-hydrating-natural-electrolyte/
               B. Sore throat:   http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070713131330AAtTAuD)

       4.  Dong Quai, the herb Xandria offers Megan, is an actual herb used in Oriental Medicine for menstrual problems.

       5.  Throughout the book, philosophies of Oriental Medicine, homeopathy and a host of other doctrines are placed.

(Now here’s my disclaimer:  People seeking medical advice or assistance should contact a physician.  Should you choose to follow a remedy stated in the book, you do so at your own risk.)  There…now my bases are covered. lol.

Now for the Fiction:  (or is it?)

    Seeing that this is a fantasy novel, I would say 90% of the book is fiction…or at least it is deemed as fiction.  I think Xandria’s potential boyfriend, Viktor, states it best when he says, “I cannot attest to what is true, or real for you, and what is not.  Who am I to say that imagination, dreams and fantasies are not as real, or more accurate, than that which you consider reality?  The only reality that I can honestly attest to, is the truth of love. Love lasts forever.  It never dies, nor does it ever truly change.  It simply is, or is not.  For me, you are my reality because you are my love.” 
     

With that, I will leave you to ponder the possibilities.  🙂

Big Smiles and Best Wishes!

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