Category Archives: Uncategorized

Time to Think

Last week, my computer decided that it wasn’t going to work. This concerned me, because I didn’t want to lose any of my files in case the cold metal box never breathed again, and also because I’ve known for a while that I’m simply addicted to my computer.

I sit at the screen, even when I’m not actively doing anything, expecting it to entertain me when I’m bored and hoping that its endless streams of information will educate me, and so on. Doing anything away from my computer for entertainment simply does not occur to me very often.

After researching what was wrong with the computer, I was able to assure myself that it would indeed work again and I wouldn’t lose anything. I would just have to wait a week for it to be fixed.

A week. I went a week without my computer (but not without internet, because I do have my phone and Kindle.) Here’s what I found:

It was actually…very freeing! Not that being on the computer doesn’t also equal the best way to write, but I found that I could think more clearly. I read three books! I went outside and took a walk in the snow! I did several things around the house. I started feeling like I could write again. And I did! I fired up an extremely old laptop that is so slow it’s good for absolutely nothing except word processing – and that’s what I did. In fact, it might be my new writing device. There is basically no way I could be distracted by using it.

Years ago, I was able to write so much because my internet was soooo sloooow that it wouldn’t even play a video. There were fewer things to be distracted by. No Netflix, no Youtube, no endless articles about writing or cute puppies and kittens. The struggle is real, and I am so easily distracted.

My PC is fixed now, but I’m trying not to go back to my old ways so quickly. Yes, I’ve still been using it a bit, but I’m also giving myself more time to completely turn it off, or to not even turn it on when I don’t have to use it. My goal is to read more and think more.

I spend a lot of time “off the grid” anyway as far as social media inactivity, but the truth is that my brain just can’t handle it. I need to learn how to write for love again and enjoy simpler things.


This all leads me to think about what I want to accomplish this year, and the main thing I want to do is to write. I don’t know how much I’ll publish, but that’s usually how it goes for me. I spend the first part of the year kicking back, and then I suddenly realize I’ve done nothing, and I really need to write/publish something.

In my downtime, I decided that there are 4-5 projects that I really want to work on this year, and I may wind up doing that. It would be nice if I could finish at least one completely new work, but more than that is also welcome. I’d feel proud of myself if I could complete something new without getting distracted by something else. As far as what I’ve just been working on, I’m not sure if it will turn out to be a real project or if I’m just messing around, but either way it feels good to record a few words.

After I finish this post, I’ll be shutting down again and will hopefully take that time to reflect and be productive.

Also, as a side note, Nevermor is now priced at 2.99 on Amazon. I’m not sure how long it will stay that way, but I was wanting to run an ad and see how it goes at the new price. It’s still my bestseller, and maybe it would help me get more attention if I put more time and effort into the books I already have out.

Once again, thank you for all the support!


A Good Year – A Good Ending/Beginning

Looks like I’ve missed posting for a couple of weeks. I hope everyone had a great holiday season! It’s a new year!

Does it feel like a new year to you? Somehow, I don’t feel it. All of the holidays have blurred together and I don’t quite feel that refreshing feeling that is often felt when the year changes. It’s odd. It likely has to do with work and not getting much of a break for the holidays. Nevertheless, it is a new year, and with that must come new plans!


The books I’ve released this year! (forgive the shoddy picture)

Here we are now at another year’s end, and looking back,  I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished. I released several titles (I won’t say new titles) I’ve gained knowledge, I’ve gained more time to dedicate to my projects, and I feel that I’ve grown as a person and as an author.

I was able to team up with 2 different book boxes – one for Nevermor this last July, and one upcoming this year with Indie Book Connect (I’m not allowed to share details for that one yet). I joined a great Facebook writing group called 20BooksTo50k which has a ton of information about indie publishing and is a link to many successful indie authors. There is so much information there and I have barely begun to scratch the surface, but that info will certainly help me as I go into the new writing/publishing year.

If you missed any of my releases this year, you can get them HERE!

I don’t know what this year holds, but I do know that I want to write more. That’s something that has been missing in my life, even as I work on my marketing. I need to figure out how to make that a priority again. It is so so difficult to find that place where the only thing that matters is the idea. I’m still stuck in the “I must earn money; I must produce product” limbo, and that’s not a good place for the creative mind to be.

I must claw my way out of this place!

What have I been doing lately? I did begin double-checking Nevermor for editing issues and I’ve changed the design inside. That will be updated when I’m finished, and then I can move on to the next work. Mostly though, I admit, I’ve been playing videogames and merely dreaming about writing instead of doing it. However, as I’m going along through my new edits, I’m also going to branch out to wide distribution again for some of the works that are not currently listed, so that will be a big help to those of you who use other devices to read on.

Thank you all again for being interested in my work! I feel blessed to have a following at all. I know I say this a lot and yet not enough: Thank you all for supporting me!

Vacation and Mid-December Lull

Hi everyone! It’s December, wow. I guess you’ve noticed that I haven’t written a post in a couple of weeks. I’ve been busy and yet not very busy at all, haha.

Last weekend, I took a trip to Chicago. It was the first vacation I’ve been on in quite a long time, and it was much needed. But there is something about vacation that is also exhausting. Now that I’m back home, I think I’m still recovering from the hectic travel, but the city was certainly a sight. I was so happy to see some snow! (Though it waited until we were getting back on the train to snow like crazy.)


Even though I prefer to ignore the idea, getting out in the world and having experiences is a valuable tool in creative writing, and I saw a few things on this trip that could definitely help to inspire me for something in the future.

Goodreads Giveaways

I got an email last week about how Goodreads is changing their giveaway listings. While offering more features and options for promotion, the giveaways are also no longer free to post. Instead of only paying for the cost of the book and for shipping, there is now a large charge for this service from Goodreads. They are within their rights to do what they want, but this upset me a bit. I considered the giveaways a nice way to let people know about my books, and now I feel I won’t be able to do that anymore. Unlike many self published authors, I simply don’t make enough money to fund too much promotion. So as of now, there will be no more Goodreads Giveaways from me.

Book box deal

On a much better note, I recently made another deal with an indie book box! Yes! This one is several months away, but I’m stoked! This one is for The Hallowed and promises to be for more copies than the last one I did — all of which I have to sign. But that’s great! It’s such a thrill to have more of my printed books out in the world and in the hands of readers.

What’s next?

I recently released The Hallowed and The Nutcracker Bleeds, and now I’m going to take some time to read and think about what needs to happen next in my publishing journey. I need to decide on a plan of action before I go forward. I’ve been doing a lot of research as far as book marketing, so before I make a move with another book, I’m going to have a plan. I’ve already published most of my written works, but I do have a couple more to go.

The main work that I have on my mind is The Mark of Thorn saga, which is planned for five books. I’ve already written two of them and started on the third, but I think that before I publish that one, I’m going to complete the saga. If you’re unfamiliar with this one, it’s a fairy tale mashup that I started years ago featuring a dark fantasy world where many fairy tales exist together. The fairy tales in this book do not (currently) include any of those used in my other books. This one is it’s own thing and so far the lore does not cross. For this one, I was able to look at some of the lesser known, more gruesome tales and add those into a larger story that I’ve always been very excited about. I think about this story from time to time and I’d love to get back into it. I just haven’t found the right time yet. Hopefully that will come soon.

My idea for now is that I’m going to finish all of these books before I begin to publish them, because I want the story to be complete and know that it all goes together, even though I already have a pretty strong vision for the main events. Then, based on what I’ve read about marketing, I may release the volumes in quick succession. Otherwise, I’ll have a year between books like with Nevermor, and I don’t want to do that again. I want to have a sound plan for success!

I’m not sure when this is going to happen, but I’ll definitely keep you updated.

For now, I think I’m going to take a break from publishing to read more and to make this plan. As I mentioned before, I’ll also be reviewing my previously published works to check for errors.

Thank you all once again for the support! I’m so amazed to see readers purchasing copies of my books for the holiday season, even though many of them have been out for years. I appreciate you!

The Nutcracker Bleeds is Available Now!

Whew! That was a rush! For the first time, I was beginning to think that I wasn’t going to meet my deadline. I was doing another proofread even though I’d already made most of my corrections, and when I finally finished that, I had to update the file and reformat the print version. It was a bit close, but I did it! The Nutcracker Bleeds second edition is live!





I put in the request for the book to be updated for those who have already purchased the ebook, but I haven’t heard back from that yet. When it happens, it will have to be done manually, I think. So if you’ve purchased the book before, you can either go back in and re-download or re-sync your Kindle.

So! What’s different?

rat 1Obviously, the cover is different. The description is new, and now there are adorable little mice in the chapter headings! AND they are different for each chapter!

There is no new content, but I did some editing and cleaned up the text a bit. I think it reads better now. I added a few lines and took out lines as needed, but the story is the same.

line art 3For the last few books I’ve released this year, I’ve moved away from the numbered sections I once used in my chapters. That was a good way for me to keep up with it for a while, but I’ve decided it looks neater just to have dividers within the chapters to signify the breaks in scene and pov.

In the print version, the text is still a bit small, but I had to do that in order to keep the page count reasonable. The page count makes the price of the book go up, and I wanted to make sure to keep it in a good place.

Full justified text in the print version! This is something I didn’t realize I needed until all of a sudden I did.

During my first edit, I tried to rewrite some of the sections so they would be in my usual third person limited pov, but that was not how I originally wrote it. This time, I decided that it was breaking the flow in some of the sections, so I got rid of some of the dividers and decided to keep the text omnipresent. Some of the sections now move seamlessly from one pov to the next, and even though that’s not how I usually do things anymore, I think it works for this book.

Oh! It has a commentary now! Some of you may have read most of this before if you followed the book while it was online, but the commentary just gives a bit of info on some of the characters and some of my thought processes while I was writing the book, and how it all came together. I think it’s a fun part of the book. I haven’t successfully done a commentary for any of my others works — not quite like this one.

Is that all? That might be all, but I am so proud of it now!


Reviews and Ratings

I hate to ask, but I want you all to know how reviews and ratings help. You don’t have to say much, and sometimes you don’t have to say anything at all, but having those ratings out there for others to see is very helpful.

If you could take a moment to rate and review my books book whenever possible, that would be so helpful! Books with more reviews stand out, and anything you have to say will boost the book and make it more noticeable.

The Holidays

I hope you are all having a fantastic holiday with family and friends! (You know, if you want.) My mind kind of skipped Thanksgiving this year and went directly to Christmas after Halloween (Nutcracker helped) so now I’m definitely in the spirit! I’m ready to put my tree up finally, but I wanted to do it weeks ago. This weekend I had a nice family dinner with some close but out-of-town relatives that I don’t see often anymore, so I don’t want to take these chances for granted…no matter how much I think I just want to be at home. :p

You’ll hear from me again soon! Thanks for all your support this year!

And also, hey, The Hallowed is free right now. 😉

The Nutcracker Bleeds: Ultimate Edition

I’ve been feeling a little stressed lately and lacking focus, so I’ve made a decision: I’m holding off on my NaNo novel until I can focus on it exclusively. When I began writing it, I realized that I didn’t have as many details as I needed, and trying to write in the midst of my major Nutcracker Bleeds edit just isn’t working out. I feel that I need to drop one in favor of the other, so that’s what I’ve decided to do. Since I’m trying to get The Nutcracker Bleeds out before Christmas, that one wins.

So, finally, I’m ready to talk about it and show it off!

omrikoresh.comLondon 1905—It begins when a toy-maker comes bearing a unique Christmas gift for his favorite niece, Olivia—a handsomely carved nutcracker doll.

Anne, Olivia’s young governess, believes that a girl of fourteen is much too old for toys. Olivia, however, refuses to grow up. She cares for the dolls as if they are dear friends. They speak to her. Anne merely humors the girl’s pleasures. She has never had much use for fantasy.

Yet not even Anne can deny the curse.

At the stroke of midnight, Anne is immersed in the horrific world of her unstable charge when a bite from a mouse makes her the size of a doll. She must brave a world of mangled and demented toys that have come to life. Each has his own agenda—the most unrelenting of which is the mysterious Nutcracker, who becomes Anne’s only sane ally.

There is war in the lower levels of the Ellington house between the rodents and the toys, yet Anne’s only concern is getting Olivia and herself back to their own world before they are stuck in this twisted reality forever, or worse: become subjected to the terrifying Rat King.

The Nutcracker Bleeds is a mature, unusual, and horrific retelling of the classic Nutcracker story.

Isn’t it beautiful?? And terrifying. This cover was created by Omri Koresh, who I always praise, but he really outdid himself this time. I love this image because at first glance, you see Anne and the darkness around her, but when you look more closely, you see the seven rat heads. For those who have read the book before, look! –you can see the sugar on her cheeks! And don’t worry; the back cover of the print edition is just as impressive.

I’m calling this version the Ultimate Edition — secretly though. It won’t be listed like that. Officially, it’s just the second edition, but everything about it is better. It is what it was meant to be, with an amazing new cover, new description, new interior, and with commentary. (And again, I am so sorry and so embarrassed over the copies I sold that were in poor condition. I could make a lot of excuses, but in the end, it was a lack of care on my part.) So! I have to make it better this time. And I have!


This edition is going to be on the same Kindle book listing (since it’s a second edition. Same ASIN.). So there will be no preorder for this one. I’m still planning to have it updated for those who have already purchased it, so you don’t have to purchase it twice. You should get the new cover and everything. The paperback edition will be an all new book with a different ISBN, but it should be linked on the Amazon page.

I’ve decided to release it on November 24th (Black Friday, fitting) so it’s only a week! I haven’t decided on the price of the ebook yet. The print book is likely going to be $14.99 because of the size of the book.

I am sooo excited about this one. I think it’s going to end my year in a good way. Reading over it, I feel that everything is in place and it’s much better than it was. I still think that, overall, The Nutcracker Bleeds story is one of my best stories. I was very crestfallen at seeing all the errors in it when I went through it the first time, but I feel confident in it now.

I’ve recently found some online software called ProWritingAid, and I’m hoping that this will help me out with catching errors. I still have to sort through the text manually, but this software can help to remind me of grammar rules and to quickly spot issues. I have high hopes in using it.

The next step for me:

I’ve decided that following my recent editing issues, I’m going to take some time to review my other works and make sure that everything is the best that it can be before I try to release anything else. I hate to think that I might lose readers over a few errors and formatting issues. One thing that I am grateful for is that readers are pretty forgiving about this sort of thing (not that it’s alright) but reviews still say “Lani Lenore can write” which is the highest compliment, in my opinion. Even if a person doesn’t like the story, if they still say that I’m talented, I feel happy. :p

I’m going to spend some time sorting through my other works, and I also want to spend more time reading. I feel that I need to explore written worlds that are not my own.

So! November 24th for The Nutcracker Bleeds! And don’t forget to get your copy of The Hallowed!

The Hallowed is here! So is Nanowrimo!


My original Gothic horror books! They look so pretty together. 🙂

My weekly blog post was delayed just a bit so that it could coincide with the release of The Hallowed. So here it is. I’m making it official!

The Hallowed is finally out in the world!

Current stats!

Those numbers are promising so far! I’d love to see it move up in rankings. I’ll bet it wouldn’t take much to get it to the top, so if you’re thinking of snagging a copy, now is the time! It’s still listed for the special preorder price of $3.99. As with all my new releases, the preorder and first day price is a little cheaper than the regular price of the book, so get it now at a special deal!

Hallowed front coverA beautiful woman. A handsome man. A secluded manor, and a family with wealth and intrigue. But it only sounds like a fairy tale…

Celia wakes up to a room she doesn’t remember, in a house she cannot recall. Suffering from amnesia, she doesn’t even recognize her own face.

Her circumstances only get stranger from there.

She meets the LaCroix family, who took her into their home after an accident that left her unconscious and confused, but there is something unsettling about them. Twin maids keep watch over the house with hard stares.

Then there is Adam.

Celia doesn’t remember him, but they share a common bond: they were in the same accident. Somehow, he doesn’t remember her either. They must rediscover each other to unlock the past, but the attraction between them is so strong that neither want to complain. They are invited to stay as long as they’d like while they recover their memories, but it doesn’t take long for Celia and Adam to decide that they don’t want to stay in the sprawling mountainside chateau.

All around them, doors are locked. Someone is always watching. Celia and Adam must rely on one another as they plan for a means of escape – and try to uncover the secret of why the family will not let them go.

In addition to this new release, I have a couple of other things going on. It’s November, so I’m working on my new book! I’ve fallen just a little behind in my word count, but I’m hoping to catch up today. I hope to keep up the blog posts this month, but I’m really busy trying to focus and keep my word count up.

Did you catch that? I’m writing a new book! I know! I can hardly believe it myself!

I can’t say when this book will be finished or when I’ll release it, but I’m happy to be working on something new again.

For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you may have seen my recent comments about editing The Nutcracker Bleeds. I’m finishing that up, and pretty soon I’ll be ready to show off the new cover. I can’t wait! The new edit is going well, and once I’m finished, I hope to update the Kindle version with the new one, so that any of you who have already purchased it in that form will be able to have the current version.

It’s going to be amazing!

Stay tuned!

Happy Halloween! Scary Stories, Creepy Houses, and Reflections on The Hallowed

Not long ago, I gave release details for my upcoming novel, The Hallowed, to prepare for publishing later this year. After reading the Gothic horror novel for the first time in a long while, one thing that I decided quickly was that it needed a bit more detail in the timeline and setting.

In my past writings, I’ve always been very vague about the setting, always seeking something fictional and fairytale-like; a hint of ‘once upon a time, in a land far away’. I’ve always been content with that, but recently I’ve felt a need to assign a time period to my stories, at least so that the reader will know that it’s a historical piece going in. Otherwise, how are they to know for certain?

It was not too difficult to decide on this for The Hallowed. I chose the Pyrenees Mountains of France, late 1700s, during the French Revolution. Though this information will play a small part in the story overall, it gives a hint of realism and an acknowledgement of the outside world beyond the story.

This got me thinking. When writing a Gothic horror piece, atmosphere is important. Which brings focus to one of the most important elements of all: the house.


I daresay that the house (or castle, or whatever the setting might be) is as important as any character. The creepiness of the house, the secrets it offers, cannot be overlooked. These places must be precisely mapped, so that the reader feels that they, too, are wandering the hallways at the character’s back.

In The Hallowed, the house is an old chateau in the mountains, built along treacherous terrain. Despite the size of the house, the family is small and there are few servants in the place, creating a dark and quiet setting for the characters to wander about in. It creates a creepy, lonely, afraid-of-the-dark vibe. And of course, there are plenty of hidden secrets.

Perhaps it would have been nice to release The Hallowed before Halloween, in this month that everyone seems happy to focus on the creepy side of things (even those who don’t really like it), but I say that it’s fun to read scary stories all year! In fact, some of us would rather have that in a book.

While all of my fairy tales have a dark twist, I have a select few that are definitely more on the horror/gothic/weird side, which capture the essence of loneliness, despair, and terror — usually in a creepy house setting.

I like spooky houses. What can I say?

Here are a few of my books that go along with the Halloween vibe:

The People in the Rickety House — Did I ever tell you that this book was inspired by a house that one of my childhood friends lived in? It was this big historical house and seemed so open and endless to me — just old and cold and empty sometimes — but I always loved it. Sometimes it seemed like we were the only people in that house, but other times… This book is about a girl and her sister, who lose both of their parents and are sent to live with their aunt in a rickety house in the sticks. At first, Leah’s only concern is her sadness, boredom, and neglect. But then she discovers the ghost in the attic.

The Needle’s Eye — This one is about a secluded island castle instead of a house, but the idea applies. A creepy childhood story, an ominous fog, and a decaying castle (evil spirits included). Three sisters are cursed by three dead princes, and are destined to spend a night on a hidden island, snared by an old story that they are forced to relive. This one is…not for the faint of heart, but it’s mysterious and intriguing all the same. Keep the lights on.

Roses and Black Glass: A Dark Cinderella Tale — Most of my fairy tale retellings are dark fantasy, but this one leans more on the gothic horror side. In early America, our Cinderella works in a morgue. If that’s not enough, her prince is also pretty intrigued by dead bodies. A perfect match, some might say. Throw in a “fairy godmother” who might be a witch, and a prophecy that promises a body count, and you’re in for a ride that gives you everything you’d expect from a Cinderella story (evil step-family, a ball, a beautiful dress, and a glass shoe) plus a few elements that you never would have expected in this bloody good love story.

The Hallowed — Now, I know this one isn’t released yet, but you can get a head-start to reading it over on Wattpad, where I have the first few chapters posted (updated to match the published version). This one is definitely a love story, but not as you might expect. It’s about a man and woman who both have amnesia, and find themselves in a strange house with an odd family. The only link they have is to each other — and they must use that to discover who they are, what brought them to the house, and why they cannot seem to leave…until certain things happen, which may lead a reader to wonder: can they even trust each other? Also, it can be preordered on Amazon. November 7!!

(I didn’t include The Nutcracker Bleeds, because I’ll be revamping that one soon, as I mentioned in my last post, but it is also very horrific, and focuses on a house. And I love it!)

What’s your favorite scary moment in my books? (But without too many plot spoilers please!)

51L5wU1+DnLI’ve decided that in the midst of reading (proofing) my own works, I also needed to read something spooky for Halloween, so I’ve chosen a book called Elizabeth.

It was originally written in 1972, and recently republished. It’s about a fourteen year old girl who might be a witch (or is at least a sociopath). I really enjoy this type of psychological story where you don’t quite know if the narrator is reliable or not. It reminds me of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, another of my favorite books. I’m enjoying it!


So not long ago, I said I would try to read/promote more indie books, and it occurs to me that I already have one to talk about! Especially for this spooky time. A while I ago, I read a book called Ripper by Nikolai Watson. I wrote a review for it over on Goodreads.

As you might guess, it’s a re-imagining of the Jack the Ripper legend. Along with Elizabeth, this one is also a psychological horror, and the best thing about this book is the voice of the narrator as you witness him slipping further into madness and after a while, aren’t even sure whether to trust him.

It’s definitely for horror-lovers, and there are a few cringe-worthy moments, but I really enjoyed reading it! Check it out and show some support for the indie community! We’re not all bad. :p

This week, I finalized The Hallowed and began reading The Nutcracker Bleeds for my second edition edit. That’s going well, but I truly hope to have the first read complete by Tuesday so that I can prepare myself for NaNo. I have a lot of notes for my new book, but I really need to sort through them and get a clear idea for what I’ll be doing when NaNo officially begins on Wednesday! My intention is to go above and beyond with this one — maybe double the word count each day and actually manage to finish this book by the end of the month. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen, but that’s my goal.

Oh hey! There is a Goodreads Giveaway listed for The Hallowed! US only. Check it out!!

And the new Nevermor covers have been updated for the print edition!