Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Nomad Scrolls: Where in the World is K.N. Lee? San Diego!!

The Nomad Scrolls: Where in the World is K.N. Lee? San Diego!!: It's Thanksgiving week and my escapism complex really starts to kick in.  Where to go? Where to go?  I really need to finish L...

Where in the World is K.N. Lee? San Diego!!

It's Thanksgiving week and my escapism complex really starts to kick in. 

Where to go? Where to go? 

I really need to finish Lyrinian Blade (The Chronicles of Koa #2) and life and stress has really shoved its way into my creative path. I need to get away! First, I thought of going to Maine. 

Why not? Great scenery, it's quiet, I won't be bothered, and the deals for nice bed and breakfasts are abundant. Then, I realize that it's freaking cold there and I stand the chance of getting snowed in. Next! Hmmm...New York sounds tempting. Flights are cheap, there's tons to do, and I can quite possibly catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Yes, flights are so much!

What's this? An email from advertising great deals for sunny, always perfect weather, San Diego. I never thought about going there before. Let's do it! I skipped on the deal for the Omni in the Gas Lamp District, even though it was a pretty sweet deal and centrally located. No, my friends, I am clever traveler, with a few tricks up my sleeve.

 So, the Omni is a 4 star hotel with great reviews, and was on sale for $85 a night. Alas, I did my research on and and found a deal for a 4 star hotel, on the bay, with a 95% positive review rating, for $54 a night. I took a chance and took the deal without knowing the name of the hotel. To my surprise, it was the awesome, amazing, Manchester Grand Hyatt! Woohoo! We're off to San Diego, and traveling in style! I packed my lucky Jessica Simpson suitcase and grabbed my Betsey Johnson lap top bag, and said adios to chilly Charlotte. My flight was pleasant. I did have to make a quick stop in Utah, and was delighted by its excellent views.
What a magnifivent landscape! Before I knew it, I'd traveled back in time about 3 hours and landed in sunny San Diego! 

Whew. It's hot! 

I immediately took off my cardigan and hailed a cab. My lovely, Persian, cabby took me directly to my hotel, and viola...Super-Star-Status. My door was opened by a handsome man in uniform and a fedora. He took my bags out of the trunk and said, "Welcome to the Manchester Grand Hyatt, Miss Cooper."

Whoa. What just happened? How did he know my name? Were they expecting me? 

Oh. Wait. My real name's written on my luggage. 


Anyway, I walk in and am stunned by the beauty of the massive lobby. I'm checked in and upgraded by the hottie named JC at the front desk. Already I know...this is going to be fun!

Once I head up the sea side tower to my room on the 25th floor, I am thrilled to find my room is so spacious and nice. All for me! Yippee! I anticipate lots of "writing" getting done. No, no, I'm not here to fool around downtown and act all touristy. No way.

What did I do next? Set up my lap top, all nice and pretty on the glass straight outside to join the other hordes of tourists! Hey, Lyrinian Blade can wait until tomorrow, right?

Okay, okay, I assure you, I did get tons of writing done, but I'm also a travel blogger, and I needed cool experiences to write about! So, I ate many lovely meals on the bay, with views of boats and dolphins playing. 

I explored the Gas Lap Quarter where I met two lovely ladies who became my new best friends (all because of my pink tights and my lovely Betsey Johnson handbag in which we bonded over.) 

I made a fan out of a pedi-cab rider named Paul, who gave me a free ride in exchange for a signed copy of The Chronicles of Koa. 

I explored the San Diego Zoo, and realized that I'm a lazy girl, when I didn't feel like waiting in line for 45 minutes to see the giant pandas. What's wrong with me!? I just kept thinking...I can google a panda image right now. Haha.

Balboa Park was incredible. I wish I had more time to explore it.

The museum had a few amazing exhibits.

I met another pedi-cab rider named Melad from Lebanon (cutie) who offered to take me around San Diego and show me the sights, for free. Too bad I didn't take him up on his offer. But it was a nice gesture. Guess who's popular with the pedi-cab guys! 

I took a ferry to Coronado. Hmmm...not much to see here. Although, I did hear much about Hotel Coronado, which I didn't get a chance to see. Next time! And La Jolla! I must see that next time as well.

I went to a bar and played trivia with a French-Canadian, a guy that looked like Michael J. Fox, and got put into a cage with a rep from the other teams at the final round. We all went into the cage, unsure of what to expect, looked at each other thinking "what do we do? What's happening?" What did I say?

I looked around at everyone, raised my fist, and said, "Happy Hunger Games!" Haha. That sure broke the ice and everyone loved it and joined in. One girl even exclaimed that she volunteered as tribute. One epic moment. 

When Tuesday rolled around, I noticed something a tad odd. The lobby and all of the common areas of my hotel were flooded by hundreds of people speaking Arabic. I never got the courage to ask exactly where they were from, because they looked at me as if I was pretty strange, but I did learn that there was a prince or something staying at my hotel, and they were there to see him and have a conference of some sort. Interesting! I never got to see this elusive prince though!

So, I arrived on Sunday and had to leave on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day.) And that's when the loneliness hit me full force. My flight didn't leave until 10:50 pm, so I went to a restaurant and had Thanksgiving dinner all alone.
Oh, poor me. Eating dinner alone by the lovely waters of San Diego. 

It wasn't so bad, honestly. Although I did notice that San Diego seems to be the land of the couple! Everyone was either with their families or their significant others. I was the only lone traveler in the land. Nonetheless, I had an excellent time, and I will return!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday SALE (The Chronicles of Koa)
 What would you do if a demon threatened your mother's life? If you're like Koa, you'd sharpen your enchanted sword and go after him...

Our world is threatened by the creatures of an alternate land called the Netherworld. Good thing Koa and the Netherworld division are there to keep the vampire population in check. Koa is a powerful half-blood with a mysterious past. Her best friend is her boss, she has a cursed mother, an enchanted sword, and an attractive human pet.

Koa also has a problem. A Netherworld serial killer, with a taste for little girls, threatens everything Koa has worked hard to protect. Not even Koa's boss, Halston can stop him. But he knows one prisoner that can. Too bad that prison is in the Netherworld.

Is Koa ready to journey to the Netherworld to release the one creature that can break her mother's curse and protect all that she holds dear?

The Ticking Ring (A World of Joy)


The Authors’ Social Media Support Group (ASMSG) is proud to present:

A World of Joy: A Short Yuletide Holiday Story Collection

Brought to you by Grey Mouse Publishing and the authors of ASMSG, A World of Joy is a collection of holiday-themed shorts. It is a Yule-tide celebration of joy, hope, renewal, and love. With stories from multiple holiday traditions, geared towards all audiences, this anthology is meant to infuse the reader with the holiday spirit of good cheer.

The cover art for World of Joy was provide as a gift by cover designer Lauren Jolles, AKA Filmchild,
of Filmchild Creations on Deviant Art. You can find other work by Filmchild at her DeviantArt location,
The authors who have made this collection of holiday themed inspiration are:
TIME—Andrew Lennon
WEEKEND WIFE—Elizabeth Rye (AKA Grace Rellie)
AXE MAN—Jessica Knauss
TOMMIE’S GIFT—James J. Murray

SANTA’S VISIT—Kirstin Pulioff
THE SNOW PERSON—Lorna Dounaeva
CHRISTMAS COOKIES— Gwendolyn Michelle


This gorgeous cover was designed and created by Laura Jolles, AKA Filmchild, of Filmchild Creations on DeviantArt

Filmchild creates affordable and professional quality artworks, and you can find her other work at: Filmchild at DeviantArt

Available on Smashwords

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We Are Off to California!

I was up at 5 am this morning. I lugged my bags downstairs, hopped into my chariot, and sped to the airport once again. 

First, let's answer a quick question. Why am I flying to San Diego? The answer is simple. I've never been, it's warm, and I need to get away and complete Lyrinian Blade (The Chronicles of Koa #2.) My choices were broad...I almost flew out to Maine...but then I realized that there was a chance of being snowed in. It's cold in Charlotte, so I chose Cali. It's cheap, warm, and full of sights to see!

Okay. Back to the flight!

My first flight is to Utah. I am thrilled that I ended up with plenty of space in my row once again. Another girl and I smiled at each other when the other patrons who had seats in our fully booked flight never arrived. 

Now, as glance out my window, I am astounded by the beauty of Salt Lake City, Utah!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Koa's First Book Trailer!!

What would you do if a demon threatened your mother's life? If you're like Koa, you'd sharpen your enchanted sword and go after him...
Our world is threatened by the creatures of an alternate land called the Netherworld. Good thing Koa and the Netherworld division are there to keep the vampire population in check. Koa is a powerful half-blood with a mysterious past. Her best friend is her boss, she has a cursed mother, an enchanted sword, and an attractive human pet.

Koa also has a problem. A Netherworld serial killer, with a taste for little girls, threatens everything Koa has worked hard to protect. Not even Koa's boss, Halston can stop him. But he knows one prisoner that can. Too bad that prison is in the Netherworld.

Is Koa ready to journey to the Netherworld to release the one creature that can break her mother's curse and protect all that she holds dear?

**Bonus Material**
Someone has stolen classified documents from the Netherworld division's vaults. Read the secret interviews that were leaked to the press, and discover the hidden clues of Lyrinian Blade (The Chronicles of Koa #2)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Write Like A Wizard: Top Amazon Kindle Book ‘The Chronicles of Koa’ Aut...

Write Like A Wizard: Top Amazon Kindle Book ‘The Chronicles of Koa’ Aut...: Top Amazon Kindle Book ‘ The Chronicles of Koa ’ Author Releases New Bonus Material for Readers Beloved fantasy novel, The Chronicles o...

Thor: The Dark World

 Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, and Anthony Hopkins return in the sequel to Thor. This time, they are fighting none other than...dark elves! 


It's no secret that I'm a fan of elves of any sort, and what a delight to have the good ole Doctor, Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) as the villain. However, I have to admit that I was quite disappointed. 

The Dark World takes place mostly in Thor's home, Asgard, but there isn't much of that fantasy that I adored in the first Thor movie. In the first Thor, I was captivated by the different powers and skills that Loki, Thor, and the others displayed. We didn't get nearly enough of that this time. The pacing is quite slow, and the characters aren't quite as developed, and sadly, most of the action scenes fell flat.

Wait a minute...

Maybe I'm just upset that Kenneth Branagh (My hero) didn't direct this version. 

Let me take a moment to evaluate.

No, I'm still disappointed. No bias. I promise. 

Back to the review!

Loki has been brought back to Asgard to face his father and accept his punishment. After being sentenced to the dungeons for all eternity, Thor cannot think of anything other than to team up with his old stepbrother to exact revenge upon this evil elf. The leader of the dark elves wants to return the entire world to darkness, but somehow, his only source of power has been consumed by Thor's love interest, Dr. Jane Foster (Portman). 

They speed through the film to take us back to the human realm, where we get to meet a cute Brit, Ian (Jonathan Howard) and have a not-so-epic battle in London. I surely hope they do better next time. 

Oh, and what was that strange addition of Zachary Levi (Tangled & Chuck) as Fandral? 

**shudders** Creepy! 

I much rather have Josh Dallas (Once Upon a Time). Bring him back!

P.S. The new Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer looks much better than its predecessor. We can only hope so!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The 5 Apps I Could Not Live Without in England!

The following is a list of the apps that helped me make it through my journey to England all alone!

Whatsapp enables you to text people from all around the world, simply with a wifi connection!
Tube Map London was essential for getting around central London. I love this app because you can input two stations and it will map out your journey for you!

Couchsurfing helped me make it around England without spending tons of money on hotel rooms, or trying my luck with hostels. 

Pocket Guide was incredible. There are tons of tours to pick from. Stand outside of St. Paul's Cathedral, or any museum, etc, and it'll direct you to the great spots with audio history and more.

Yelp helped me chose places to eat, sleep, and shop. Read the many reviews and find the perfect restaurant in most countries!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sundays in England!

It's Sunday in Brighton, England. I slept in once again. You can't blame me. I've been either too excited or too afraid to sleep so far, so my body was seriously craving a little rest. Anyway, my lovely host, Sarah, had a repairman fix her boiler. 

Hooray! Hot water! 

I took a wonderful hot shower and prepared myself once again for the cold and strong winds of Brighton. To my surprise, I stepped out and found the sun shining and the air as warm as a fall day back in North Carolina. I peeled my coat off and began my descent down the steep hill towards the pier.

The sea was calm and beautiful! It was so calm that it practically blended with the horizon. 

Making it to the pier, I also noticed that the winds were a little milder. And then, I saw something magnificent.

The Royal Pavilion!

Once the home of Queen Victoria as well as King George, the architecture and design was astounding. I purchased a ticket and explored the inside of the palace. Wow. I was thoroughly inspired. Heavily influenced by China, the palace was simply decadent. 

I made my way through the palace and resisted buying souvenirs from the shop. Good job! And then...I was taken in by the shops that lined Brighton's streets. Oh boy. It took some serious willpower not to go mad with shopping fever. I did however buy a new suitcase. Hmmm, that makes 4 suitcases now. 

The one thing I knew I simply had to try was fish and chips. And yes, I found some! Yum! 

It was good...but I didn't get it served in paper since I dined in, and I didn't get I try the mushy peas. Nonetheless, it was pretty good. 

Time surely does fly and it is time for me to head to the station to meet my next host, Brad. I'm excited because I have also been penpalling him for some time. I caught a taxi and hurried to Sarah's house to collect my things. I lugged my bags down her two flights of stairs and my friendly taxi driver, Clive, put then in the taxi. The ride to the station was quiet, and then, Clive saved me a ton of trouble by offering to take me to the town where I was to meet Brad.

Whew! That was a relief. By this time I was so sore and tired of carrying my heavy bags everywhere. So I was willing to pay Clive the price of a train ticket. I was pleasantly surprised by Clive's sudden change. The next 40 minutes were spent discussing the various accents of the British people, American politics, and little known facts about Brighton and Sussex. I learned so much. It was glorious! Clive dropped me in from of the Worthing station and I said farewell to one of my favorite new friends.

Now, I stood on the curb and glanced up at an older woman who stared at me as if I was a strange new creature. Perhaps I was. This area was clearly more rural than London and Brighton. I pulled my bags inside and waited for Brad. He arrived right on time. With him, he brought a sense of confidence that perked me right up. He came right up to me, kissed me on both cheeks, and took my bags from my hands.

Yes. A true gentleman...and shall I say...quite dreamy. Ha!

We headed to his car and I met his younger sister, Laura. She was a beautiful girl with lovely blondish brown hair and a friendly smile. I already knew I was in for a fun night with great English folk. We drove thought the dark streets of Worthing to Pulborough and arrived at Brad's lovely home.

Wow. It was remarkable. Newly built, but designed to look older and traditional. Inside I was greeted by two adorable cocker spaniels and Brad and Laura's father. 

We went up to my bedroom and they made the bed for me. What hospitality!

Ah. A warm bed and hot water. I feel spoiled. Haha.

I headed down and Brad's father made me an excellent cup of coffee. My goodness. I've never drank so much coffee in my life, but I must say, the coffee is delicious here.

Little did I know, but I was in for a real treat. It's Sunday, and I get to enjoy a traditional Sunday roast with the family. While Laura finished making dinner, Brad and I headed to a local pub for a quick pint. Excellent conversation ensued and I took in the interesting decor of a real English pub. 

Once again, a wave of inspiration wafted over me. I perhaps took too long to finish my pint and jabbered quite a bit, because we arrive to dinner late. No worries. We sat down to a table of sliced roast, crispy potatoes, roasted carrots, Yorkshire pudding, wine, and cauliflower with the most delicious cheese I've ever had!

Wow. Everything was incredible. I wish I remembered to take pictures!!!

I was intrigued by the television shows we watched during dinner. A man chased sheep up and down a hill, a show about farming, and the British equivalent to dancing with the stars. Very interesting stuff.

After dinner Brad and I somehow got on the subject of ghosts and told each other out best ghost stories. He then showed me his newest purchase. A real...RED COAT! Oh yay! We are truly in England!

And then, before bed, I sat down with Laura and Brad and watched Downton Abbey! Awesome! But before we went off to bed, I suggested a popular American tv show...American Horror Story. Oh boy. That was probably a bad idea. Even I was a little astounded by the first episode of the third season, the Coven. Yeah...Laura looked horrified and Brad politely told me that it was "quite dark." 

Hahaha. Oh well. That's America for you!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

The World Fantasy Convention! Brighton, England

It's Saturday and I am finally ready to make my debut at the World Fantasy convention! Woohoo! It's time to make some connections, promote my book, and possibly land a literary agent. 


I pulled myself out of bed (remember that I told you my host's boiler broke?)

Yeah...that means no heat or hot shower!

I managed to begrudgingly take a very frigid birdbath and hurried to layer up my clothing. Once I was reasonably warm and ready to face the bitter winds of Brighton, I headed out and began my way to the coast. It was a lovely walk, I must say!

After a thirty minute walk, and a lot of wind trying to pull me into the air and fly me back home, I made it to the Hilton Brighton Metropole. 

Oh yeah! We made it!

I made my way directly to the registration desk and picked up my lovely badge!

Then, I was directed to a table full of FREE BOOKS! Yay! This is already a success!

Oh...but wait a minute...something is missing. 


Yes! That's better. The Chronicles of Koa looks grand on that table.

I grabbed a handful of books and put them in my lovely WFC bag. I then set some business cards on a table covered with other author's promotional literature.

Now, it's time to network!

Within minutes I found a group of authors, publishers, and aspiring authors who became my new best friends! 
I managed to make a fan out of most of them as well!

And then...something happened that made me shake and nearly cry and shout for joy.

I met Brandon Sanderson's agent! Do you know how major that is? Brandon Sanderson is one of the biggest fantasy writers in the world right now! And I went to this convention specifically hoping to meet his agent. When I found out that he was literally in the same room as me, I got right up, walked over to him prepared to pitch and...

Stood there giggling...

Ha! Sounds like me all right!

The men with him looked back at me and the other girls with a perplexed look and asked if we needed something. OK, time to be professional.

Stop being awkward!

Turns out one of the men was an agent from Zeno! I got his info and turned to my main target. The owner of Jaberwocky, and Sanderson's agent. He was very friendly! He actually listened to my pitch and told me to send him an email! 


Talk about giddy!

He left and I could have started dancing and jumping for joy. That's when one of my new friends said, "All right, no fan-girling until we leave the room."

Ha! I love this new term "fan-girling!"

After lunch, still beaming about my early success, I went to a few workshop panels. My favorite was a panel of publishers who gave their best advice and input on what they like and don't like. I took pages of notes! Incredible information that I cannot wait to utilize.

I also went to a panel about Machen and how fantasy and realism collide. Very interesting stuff!

After the panels, there was a...PARTY! 

Woohoo! Bring on the passed appetizers and free wine and beer. Ha!

Bring on the cute Belgians!

Bring on Neil Gaiman!

Whew! Welcome to Brighton!