Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gideon's 300

For almost two years, my wife and I have been living on an income of $1200/month. Our bills came close to or exceeded $1700/month, yet God came through with the shortfall every single month. Although that shortfall came in many various forms - royalties from my novels, help from the church, assistance from friends, mysterious monetary findings - we were provided for.

A few weeks ago, my wife's job of 4+ years ended, leaving us with an income of $120/month.

During this walk, I've heard it said many times that because our circumstances change that maybe that's God's way of telling us that He's changed his mind or the plan we thought He laid out for us. I've come to learn that simply looking at your circumstances cannot be trusted as a clear indicator of God's will for your life. If that were true, when things get hard, we'd turn tail and run in the opposite direction God intends for us to go.

No, most times God expects us to follow Him regardless of our circumstances. And sometimes, He works those circumstances to bring us victory and Him glory.

Take Gideon for instance. He had 32,000 men at his disposal to do away with the Midianites and Amalakites that had been tormenting the people of Israel. But God thought that was too many. If they went into battle with that many and Israel won, Israel would credit themselves for the victory.

If you read through the text - Judges 7 - you'll see that God ended up leaving Gideon with 300 men to go into battle against 135,000 Midianites and Amalekites. I love the description in Vs. 12: "Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore."

God could have easily granted Gideon victory with his 32,000 men. But he wanted to show Gideon - and the rest of Israel - that he could grant victory even with only 300 at his disposal. And in doing so, Israel had no choice but to give God the credit.

God can do what He needs to with $120 as easily as he can with $1700. And He has. For the last couple weeks God brought in enough to pay our bills, either with spare jobs that came up or assistance from unlikely sources.

Don't get me wrong. This walk is difficult. To trust that God will be faithful with the promises he made - it can be hard when the waiting gets long like it has. We live in an age of instant gratification. But God does not change. He doesn't operate on our schedule. He has a master plan, and that plan will come through in His timing, which is perfect.

I am happy to say that my wife did find a great job last week that should bring in enough to pay the bills completely. We walked through the fire of trial and came out holding a crown of victory. Not just because we believed. Faith is crucial, because without faith we cannot please God. But we came through unharmed because God is faithful. Ever faithful, ever true.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

As Worlds Collide

When I was twelve years old and first decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, I was just beginning work on the characters who would later show up in Endangered Memories, my latest young adult science fiction/fantasy novel. And when I first started the Expired Reality series - which Endangered Memories is pulled from - I pictured the series running at least a dozen books.

I still picture the series running at least a dozen novels, in addition to some shorts stories and novellas I plan on throwing in there every now and then. But when I started my Black Earth series - a sort of prequel to the events that occur in the Expired Reality series - I planned on the series running about four or five books. And then the fifth book would bump up against the first book in the Expired Reality series and the novels would continue down the line.

But something changed the other day. Something happened which was a bit unexpected and I guess all the blame can fall on my characters.

That's right - my characters.

As long as I've been writing, I've come to realize that my characters have a mind of their own. I can do my best to try and kill them, but if they want to live badly enough, they'll find a way to live. The reverse is true as well, and nothing saddens me more than to watch a beloved character die. I'll admit that it does scare me a bit that my characters can have such a mind of their own.

This brings me to my main point of this blog post. The other day I was working on Dark Horizons, the third installment of my Expired Reality series, and a couple characters showed up unexpectedly. Both are from my Black Earth series. Both are unique in that they were able to survive and live through the 100 year gap between the events of Black Earth and the events that serve as the beginning to Endangered Memories.

These characters, for those who have read the books in my Black Earth series, are Griffin and Pearl.

I originally planned on having Pearl show up in the Expired Reality series, but much later down the line - like maybe the fifth or sixth book. But she just strolled on the page while I was writing Dark Horizons and revealed herself to me and some of my other characters. "Hi," she said as she waved to the rest of the cast. "Just dropped by to make my presence known."

Griffin on the other hand wasn't a character I planned on revealing in the Expired Reality series...ever. The scenes I have been working on in Dark Horizons have a young man who paired up with one of the heroes - Veronica Amorou - as she attempts to escape the police. Throughout the scenes I wrote, he's only mentioned as a young man. I had no name for him, figuring I'd come up with one by the time the second draft came along. But it seems my characters got sick and tired of him not having a solid identity and finally pressed him to reveal his name.

"My name is Griffin," he said.

So there you have it. Two worlds, two unique novel series, thrust together, joined with a bond that cannot be broken. All because of my characters. Characters who refuse to die, who refuse to remain in the shadows of the past and strive to remain immortal.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Full Steam Ahead

Now that Endangered Memories is out there for all the world to love or hate - and I have a website design that I can take pride in - I can move forward on the many other projects I've had on the burners for a while now, including the sequel to Endangered Memories, and even the third volume in the Black Earth series.

This week starts a very strict daily schedule I put together to make sure I stick to my goals and make progress each and every day. With that implemented, here's a rundown of what I'll be working on the next couple months.

1. My first priority is to format Picture Perfect and Endangered Memories for paperback release. I released them in ebook format first so readers could read them and because the paperback conversion process can take a while.

2. My second priority is getting Lost Birth, the sequel to Endangered Memories, finished. I just got my editor's edits back on it and now I have to sift through those and make some changes of my own before the manuscript will be ready for ebook format. I'm also working with my cover designer, Jelani Parham, on another awesome cover for the series.

3. My next task is to finish Dark Horizons, the third book in the Expired Reality series. I have about half of the manuscript written, but my goal is to hand off the complete draft to my editor in mid-July. That means I have to get my butt in the chair and get to writing!

4. Another item on my list is my email newsletter, The Lysallis Times. When my laptop bit the dust a few weeks ago, it took Microsoft Publisher with it and I don't have another copy. So, I'm going to be using Publisher Pro to put together my newsletter, but I sort of have to start from scratch when it comes to the design process.

5. Phew. I'm getting worn just writing these out. The final project on my list for this year is the third book in my Black Earth series, The Dark Lighthouse. (The title is tentative). The manuscript for this hasn't even been started yet, but my goal is to hand it off to my editor by the end of August, right before the baby is born. Can I pull it off? Sure can, but it's going to take a lot of hard work.

So, there you have it. In between all of this, I'm working on some new merchandise to post in my Zazzle store, running two blogs side by side - including a new one that details my family's walk of faith, and playing through the Xenosaga series on my PS2. A writer/gamer geek's work is never done.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Endangered Memories Ebook Edition Now Available!

It's Tuesday, and that means the release of the ebook edition of Endangered Memories, the first volume in my Expired Reality series! It's available for only 99 cents on your Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, etc, and will be available in paperback through Createspace very soon.

To celebrate the release, those of you who follow this blog can grab a free copy of Endangered Memories today in whatever ebook format suites your fancy. Just head to Smashwords via this link - - and enter code - MK55C - during checkout to get your free copy. This code is valid for today only, so grab the book while you can.

On top of the free copy of Endangered Memories, I'm also revealing my new website facelift today. Head over to - - and let me know what you think!

And so, without further ado, here is Endangered Memories, the first novel in the Expired Reality series....

When ex-hero David Corbin receives an unexpected wedding invitation from the girl he once loved, he sets out on a journey to South Ryshard to crash the event and proclaim his true feelings to her. With help from his close friend, Veronica, and a girl named Kimberly, David battles his way through crooked agents, a crazed farmer and a demon hybrid to reach the wedding on time. Only when he runs into Turquoise, a mysterious woman on her own mission to stop the wedding and procure an enchanted timepiece, does he realize that the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

Carrie Green is days away from marrying Jerad Montlier, one of the richest men in the world. Lacking any memory of her past, and displaying a peculiar spiral birthmark on her shoulder blade, Carrie is spun into further confusion when a diary with her name on it falls into her possession. Reading the entries inside sparks a recollection of her past and reveals the horrifying trap that’s been set.

As heroes’ paths collide, the beginning of the end launches in this epic first volume of the Expired Reality series.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Endangered Memories Sample

Well, it's Friday. Made it to the end of the week without too many issues. Got the cover design for Endangered Memories done. Finishing up a new website layout today. Just getting everything ready for the official ebook release on June 14th.

With that, I decided to post a sample of Endangered Memories today to give all of you something to read this weekend.


Endangered Memories
an Expired Reality novel
Copyright 2011 David N. Alderman

Chapter 1

Tuesday, November 10, 1998

The icy wind rushed against Kimberly Sebastien’s face, sweeping through her long blonde hair as she bounded through the vacant dirt field. The blue crescent moon lit up the ground just enough for her to see her way across the damp surface. The chilly air induced a burning sensation in the mark on her right cheek, causing it to sting more than when she received it only an hour ago.

The cell phone jostled in her hand, the blue screen illuminating her beaten face. The time on it read 6:34 p.m. She hit the redial button on the keypad, her heart wishing that this time someone would pick up on the other end. Holding the phone to her ear, she heard a steady busy signal, just as she had the last three attempts. This can’t be happening. She closed the phone and shoved it into the pocket of her jeans, glancing behind her briefly to make sure the monster wasn’t closing in on her. No one. Well, no one she could see anyway. That didn’t mean he—it—wasn’t there.

She scanned the tops of the giant trees in front of her, making out a small orange spire glowing on top of the roof of the stalus beyond. The stalus—a building designated by the government for weddings and funerals—was the only building she could hide in for miles, and she hoped it would, by some miracle, be open. Her body relentlessly quarreled with her, scolding her for pushing so hard, pleading with her to stop and rest. But she couldn’t rest, not yet, not when her life was at stake.

Plowing through the trees, thick leaves that hung from crooked branches slapped Kimberly, each one a stranger’s hand reaching out to snatch her and carry her off somewhere dark and dangerous, somewhere she would never be able to escape. She fought through them and stumbled into a parking lot, her knees meeting the asphalt with a flash of pain.

Kimberly stood to her feet, ignoring the pain swelling through her kneecaps, and pressed on across the lot, finally slamming herself into the glass doors of the building. Inhaling a deep breath, she grabbed the door handle. Locked. Panic seized her as she tried the next door and the next, all of them locked as well. She pounded madly on the glass. “Help! Somebody, help me! Open up!” Her voice came out hoarse, and she suddenly realized that wasting her breath would do no good if nobody was in there to hear her pleas.

She turned and leaned her back up against the door, clutching the burning cramp in her side. Gazing into the distance, she saw nothing but the trees reaching into the wind. Her heart throbbed, threatening to leap out of her chest while she fearfully waited for something to lunge at her. Don’t be scared, she thought. Keep moving! Get away from him! A gust of frosty air slipped through her white sweater, chilling the sweaty mess that spread itself under her tattered clothes. The chills warned her to run.

She peered through the glass at the dark lobby inside. She could see the desk where the receptionist who handled the wedding and funeral parties sat during operating hours. Stacks of flyers covered the counter, accompanied by mysterious shadows that seemed to dance around as if a party was going on in the desk owner’s absence.

Kimberly had nowhere else to go. Only orchards and farms stood between her and the city. The closest house was too far to run to, unless she wanted to backtrack, which was impossible without risking running into him.
Turning back toward the lot, she pulled out her cell phone and hit redial. Her heart skipped a beat with the brief silence that ensued, but then the busy signal droned in her ear and she sighed loudly, despair covering her like a dark blanket.

She shoved the phone back in her pocket and watched with fright as the tree branches shook vigorously in the distance. Her eyes narrowed, trying to make out the figure stumbling through the barrage of giant leaves. A face peered out, red eyes glowing in the night.

Kimberly’s voice caught in her throat.

Swinging around, she tugged at the handle again. This time the door swung open, almost knocking her off balance. A bit confused, she passed into the stalus, not stopping to ask herself questions. She pulled the door shut and turned the latch, locking it. She swung back around toward the desk to try and make out what little she could from the light that shone in from the parking lot lamps.

The large round government seal hung on the wall in the foyer. The symbol of the Enera Government—three triangles overlapping each other at different points—was etched into the stone slab surrounded by the words “SECURITY, EFFICIENCY and CONFIDENCE.” The first time she had seen the seal was when her parents died and she had been forced to come to a stalus for the funeral.

She shook the thought away and peered to the left and right of the desk, where double doors stood tall and erect—doorways to other dark places. Farther to the left and right, hallways swarmed in shadows. I should be able to hide in the main sanctuary until daylight. She approached the left set of double doors and made her way through them.

She couldn’t see anything in the sanctuary except for the red glowing EXIT signs and the doors they perched above on each side of the room. Kimberly stepped forward and bumped her leg on something hard. Reaching down, she felt the glossed wood of a bench. She knelt down and crawled underneath, creeping through the sanctuary until she figured she was in the center of the room. Lying still, her back to the floor, she closed her eyes.

The quiet stillness invited her mind to wander. Thoughts flew at her at lightning speed: Where is he? Why did this have to happen to me? I can’t believe he’s dead! It’s all a dream, just a nightmare. Tears broke from her eyes and streamed down her cheeks as her gut convulsed with torment. She wanted her family back. She wanted this man—this creature—to stop chasing her. Events rushed through her mind: the man with the dark eyes at her doorstep; the chunk of cold crystal her uncle gave her from the freezer; her uncle being broken like a toothpick in the jaws of a giant.

The vision of her uncle’s face blurred into view each time she remembered him begging her to “take this and keep it safe.” He handed her that piece of crystal, wanting her to flee with it. But the man with the dark eyes had just as quickly slapped her to the floor, knocking the crystal from her hands, taking it for himself.
Kimberly remembered getting to her feet and running from the house, the man yelling for her to come back. His face couldn’t be placed exactly, just dark and round, with an evil, hollow gaze peering out from under his bald head. He had an uncanny familiarity about him, something that seemed to have escaped from the nightmares Kimberly had when she was younger.

Only a miracle can save me now.

Her thoughts diminished and fatigue kicked in. She slipped in and out of consciousness. It was hours to daybreak, and there was no way for him to get into the stalus without her hearing him first. At least that’s what she told herself. She needed to drown everything out long enough to regain her strength for her journey to the city in the morning.

A clicking sound echoed through the sanctuary, waking her senses. Her eyes shot open as a door creaked slowly and then thudded shut. She knew it was him by the dark presence she suddenly felt seeping into the room. Kimberly held her breath. His squeaky footsteps passed the aisle she hid in. She followed that sound to the other side of the room and then back near the door he entered the sanctuary through.

She quietly bent her arms and legs, rolling onto her stomach, and shuffled out from under the bench. Moving to her knees, she glanced up at the red EXIT sign over the hallway door. That was her only escape, and there had to be only a few rows of benches in the space between.

The footsteps stopped and silence thickened. Her heart thrashed in her chest like a caged animal. She took a few quick breaths and sprung up, rushing for the door. She maneuvered and stumbled around the benches, relying on all of her instincts to get her through the maze of wood and darkness. Her body plowed into the door, and she grabbed the cold metal handle to open it.


She turned around slowly and found herself staring at two glowing red wedges that seemed to float in the air. Her voice caught in her throat again, like she was trying to vomit up an apple. Her nails clawed frantically at the surface behind her, scraping against the hard wood, peeling away part of her fingertips.

“Kimberly Sebastien.” The man’s raspy voice released a foul smell into her nostrils as he came under the red light, the crimson eyes matching the EXIT sign’s glow. The repugnant scent turned her stomach in knots.

“Wh…wh…wh…,” her lips quivered. She turned her face to the side, attempting to avoid the stench that permeated the air between them.

“Your sssoul, Kimberly. That issss what I want.”

She closed her eyes as he moved in closer. She could feel the sensation of his breath floating across her skin. His hand touched her cheek, turning her wound cold and sending vibrations through her whole face. The wound stung and then burned like fire. She let out a yelp, and the hand retracted for a moment. She started shuffling across the wall toward the front of the sanctuary.

“Go where you want. You can’t essscape me. I am everywhere and in everything.” He moved in front of her, like an ethereal arrow, so quick. The red eyes dangled in front of her like demonic puppets suspended by shadowed strings.

She felt tears crawling into her eyes. “What do you want with me? Why can’t you leave me alone?” The tears broke out and she cupped her hands over her mouth, terror engulfing her. “Why can’t you leave me alone? You killed my uncle. You killed my uncle! What more do you want with me?”

“I need you. I need your sssoul, your ssspirit. Then I will leave. Then you can rest in peace, without the nightmares, within the darkness.”

She shook her head and fell to her knees, her face covered in a moist film. She had a boding feeling that she wasn’t going to make it out of the building alive. The doors to escape seemed so far away. This is where I’m going to die.

He reached his hand out to her again, the silence in the stalus falling on her like a ton of bricks, allowing her to experience the dreadful sound of her sobbing. The thought of her life ending here, in this place, was violent and yet comforting to her. She could be with her uncle soon…


The man retracted his reach and spun around. Kimberly looked up through her blurry vision at two silhouettes in the open doorway at the back of the room. One was tall with the chiseled build of a man. The other had the thin, hourglass shape of a woman.

“You?” the evil stranger squealed.

They stepped into the stalus and allowed the doors to shut behind them, darkness swallowing everyone in the room.

“Let her go,” a female voice demanded.

Kimberly wiped the tears from her eyes and slowly started to her feet, her mind racing to figure out who these people were. Probably Anaishan Sentries. If that’s the case, they’re no match for whatever he is.

The man grabbed Kimberly from behind, wrapping his arm around her neck. His fingers moved across her throat, and she felt the cold tip of his long, sharp fingernails begin to etch their way through the tender surface of her skin.

“Show yourssselves!”

Kimberly’s neck burned, and her body drooped in his arms like a sack of manure.

The two strangers said nothing, yet their shuffling movements could be heard throughout the room.

Kimberly, a female voice whispered in her mind. We are here to help you. When he releases you, leave this stalus and go to the city of Lysallis. Wait for us there. We will catch up with you. Her eyes struggled to stay open as she tried to put together the words floating through her thoughts.

The dark man’s fingernails pressed harder into her neck, carving through the skin. She felt a small amount of blood trickle down.

“I told you two to show yourssselves. I will ssspill her blood all over thisss place!”

“Not tonight!” the female shouted. A strong force slammed into Kimberly and the dark stranger, knocking them back to the floor. Kimberly rolled to her side, her strength rapidly coming back to her, allowing her to scramble to her feet. The creature reached out and tried to grab her, but only managed to rip the bottom edge of her sweater as she escaped from his clutch and reached the exit. She grabbed the handle and swung the door open to the dark hallway.

“Go, Kimberly. We will meet again.” The confidence in the male’s voice filled her with ease. She darted out into the hallway.

Kimberly made her way to the front doors of the stalus and retreated outside. She stood in the lot for a moment, taking deep breaths and staring at the line of trees, picturing the field that stretched behind them. Across that field stood the housing community she had escaped from. I can’t go back. There’s nothing left for me there. The only place to go now was Lysallis and hope these strangers were true to their word. Doesn’t really matter. As long as they’re keeping him occupied, I have a chance to escape.

She cautiously made her way around the stalus and headed into the orchards that stood between her and the city.

***Check out more of Endangered Memories in ebook format June 14th. Paperback coming soon.***

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Endangered Memories Cover Art Sneak Peek

I've been off the radar for a while now, but I'm back with some goodies in regards to Endangered Memories. I'm happy to announce the cover art is finished - thanks to my good friend Jelani Akin Parham, the back cover copy is finished, most of the formatting for ebook editions is finished, and now I'll be spending the next few days getting the website ready for the book's release the beginning of next week. My official release date is Tuesday, June 14th, and on that day I'll be giving away ebook copies of Endangered Memories so stay tuned to the blog for more details on that.

The first piece of cover art I want to give everyone a glimpse of is Carrie Green, one of the main characters of the book -

I am more than happy with the job he did with her character design. I wanted to give the cover a young adult feel but nothing too juvenile. I think his artwork captures the balance between the two perfectly.

Next in line is the background, which Jelani did as well -

The city is South Ryshard, where Carrie is living at the beginning of the book. I almost cried when I saw how beautiful the cityscape was and the coloring he implemented in the scenery.

The third element that comes into play with the cover design is the font. I spent many hours trying to find the right fit for the book. When I self-published Picture Perfect, I ended up changing the cover font later because it didn't fit the feel of the book. I'm happy to say I found the perfect fit for Endangered Memories though. The font is called Chocolate Box and you can grab it for free at

I'll be spending most of today putting all of these elements together into a coherent cover design. This Friday I will be posting a sample of Endangered Memories to get everyone geared up for the release next week! And next Tuesday I will officially release the first novel in a series that has been near and dear to my heart since my youth.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Going Nuclear

Today I start the formatting stage for Endangered Memories. Seeing how the paperback version takes significantly longer to create because of proof ordering, mailing times, and the process scrutinizing the book for formatting errors, I've made the decision to release the ebook version of the novel first, hopefully in the later part of next week.

With the formatting stage for the ebook version upon me, there comes with it a process called "nuking the manuscript." I first read about this approach in the Smashwords Style Guide, and have employed it with every ebook I format. Essentially nuking a manuscript is the process of copying your entire novel out of Microsoft Word, pasting it in Notepad, and then recopying it back into a fresh Microsoft Word file. This is to strip the manuscript of all formatting blunders and/or corruption that Word might have in it.

The big pain that goes along with nuking a manuscript is that I have to go back in and redo all of my formatting, including italics, bold, spacing and the like. It's a bit of a tedious process, but it really pays off in the end because it almost guarantees the file will turn out error-free when published on the Kindle, Nook or Smashwords.

There's no better way to spend a Friday afternoon than to bomb a manuscript. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

R.I.P. Dell Inspiron 1501

If any of you have been wondering where I've been for the last week or so, wonder no more. My laptop - the main computer I do most of my work on - took its last breathe and completely died on me. Blown video card from what I'm told. I've had the computer for 3-4 years now, and when I purchased it, it was a refurbished model to begin with. But, she's been a good computer and will always remain in my memory.

Luckily - and most importantly - the hard drive was able to be salvaged. Most of last week was spent getting my email and files back up and running on an old Compaq Presario R3000 that friends of mine gave me. The system works great for what I need to get done, and I am more than grateful for their generosity.

With that frustratingly horrible ordeal behind me, I'm off to try and have a productive week. The cover art for Endangered Memories is guaranteed to be finished by this Saturday. I've gotten a beta read of the book back from one of my biggest fans and received a slew of positive comments about it. I also finished reading the book to my wife and am now working through the final edits. I'll be spending most of the later half of the week and the weekend working on the formatting for the ebook version which I hope - and will be striving very hard - to release sometime late next week. Paperback will be released shortly thereafter.

Well, I have a load of work to do, so I'm off to do it. Just wanted to say I'm back and I hope to see you all on the other side of a productive and hopeful week.