A Blazing Seal of Approval: An IDIA Short Story

Why, hello, everyone!!! It seems I’ve been neglecting this blog a teensy bit. The school semester has been crazy, but I’m trying to put together a few more posts for you guys before next semester. I’m also still working on the editing for Lightporter, and I’m hoping to have an update (with a release date!!!) for you guys soon! We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, I was looking over some of my older stories and I saw a short story I wrote as fluff a little while back that takes place right after Twinepathy, and I thought that would be a fun way to celebrate the new year with you guys! So I hope you enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

“It just makes absolutely no sense.”

I look over at Denver as I pour milk on my cereal, trying to decide if I should shake my head or laugh. The two of us are the only ones home. It’s Saturday, so the rest of our family is out shopping. We opted to sleep in, instead. “Denver, Brooklyn and I can speak to each other with our minds, and you don’t seem too weirded out by that. Why should teleportation make sense?”

Denver sighs, stirring his oatmeal. “I don’t know. It’s just weird. None of this makes any sense scientifically.”

I shrug. “It’s kinda weird, but I’m starting to get used to it.” I lean forward. “And I also told Blaze he could join us for breakfast, so be nice.” It’s been about three weeks since we officially joined IDIA, and while our family has met some of the IDIA members, Jen thought it might be a good idea for them to hang out some more. I think she just wants to keep an eye on our family, but that’s fine with me. As long as we don’t have to lie to them anymore, I’m happy.

Denver’s frown deepens. “Every time I’ve met him he seems sarcastic and rude. Why do you like hanging out with him so much?”

“You’ve spent five minutes with him!” I protest. “Give him a chance.”

He sets down his spoon. “His illusion stuff and teleportation don’t help. He could be spying on you when you least expect it.”

There’s a laugh nearby, one that I instantly recognize. “Like right now?” Blaze teases. He appears, grinning. “Hey, Jazz. ‘Sup, Colorado?”

Denver and I both look at him with blank expressions, and Blaze’s grin widens. “Your name’s Denver. That’s in Colorado…”

I groan. “Blaze, you are not helping his opinion of you.”

Denver takes a deep breath and turns back to his oatmeal, electing to ignore Blaze, I guess. Blaze sits down at the table. “Do you guys want donuts?” he asks. “Because I can go and grab some.”

“You mean steal some?” Denver asks, looking up at Blaze.

Blaze’s face reddens, and he glares at my brother. “I would never do that!”

“Sure, Blaze, I’d love some donuts!” I interrupt cheerfully, trying to break up the tension. “Maybe you could grab some more milk, too, if that’s okay? We’re almost out.”

“Definitely,” Blaze agrees tiredly. He disappears instantly, and I wave a hand through the spot to make sure he teleported and didn’t just turn invisible.

I immediately turn to Denver. “I thought I asked you to give him a chance! He’s trying super hard to impress you.”

“Does this really mean that much to you?” Denver asks with a sigh.

I nod. “Yes, it does. Could you just try to find some common ground, or at least not insult him by insinuating he’s a thief?”

“Fine.” Denver leans back in his seat. “I’ll ask him about his powers. Maybe he’ll like talking about himself.”

“Denver!” I protest.

He smiles. “I’m teasing. But just so you know, I do not give you permission to date him yet.”

“WHAT?!” I practically screech, but before I can protest further, Blaze reappears with donuts and milk in hand. I clamp my mouth shut and slump back in my chair, glaring at Denver. With Blaze here, I know I can’t protest about Denver’s statement because I’d never hear the end of it from Blaze. After all, we’re just friends, and Blaze said he doesn’t date… whatever that means.

Denver reaches over and picks up a donut out of the box. “So, Blaze, how exactly does your teleportation work?”

Blaze looks over at him, as if trying to decide if Denver’s trying to get valuable information on how to destroy him. “Well, it’s all based off of light,” he explains vaguely. “It’s kind of complicated, and I’m not sure I completely understand it, either.”

Denver straightens, actually looking interested now. “It’s based off of light? Really?”

“Yeah…” Blaze glances at me and back to Denver. “Why?”

“I did an in-depth study of light for a science project in high school.” Denver leans forward. “So if your powers are based off of light, I might be able to understand them.”

Blaze tilts his head to the side. “Maybe you can help me figure out exactly how my teleportation works, too. If you’re interested, that is…”

Denver smiles. “Definitely! You know, we might be able to use the physics lab at the college to run some tests, as long as you can make sure no one sees you teleporting or anything.”

Blaze brightens. “Sure! And I could bring in some other teleporters, too, if you want to compare the difference between our teleporting. Most teleporters’ powers work similarly, except for mine.”

“Don’t even ask Trav,” I add in. “She’s always so grumpy.” At least they’re getting along well. I should have known my nerdy brother would find something interesting to do with Blaze. I stand up, putting my empty cereal bowl in the sink. “I’m going to leave you two here to do your science stuff while I go… read or do something interesting.” I grin at the two of them as I leave.

A couple of hours later, I’m deep in a novel, laying on the couch in the living room, and Denver comes in, flopping down in an armchair. I ignore him, flipping a page in my book, but he clears his throat. I sigh and put my book down. “What?”

“You now officially have permission to date Blaze,” he says with a grin.

“Denver!” I protest. I consider throwing my book at him, but I opt for a pillow instead. “Come on! We’re just friends.”

He shrugs. “That’s what I always said about Ezra before we started dating.” I groan, but he grins at me, although his grin is a little sappy since he’s thinking about his girlfriend. “Anyway, Blaze and I are going to get some teleporters together next month to work on some tests and stuff to figure out exactly how his teleporting works. Do you wanna be my lab assistant?”

I give him a fake grumpy frown. “Not if you’re going to keep teasing me about Blaze.”

Denver leans forward. “But if you’re just friends, why should it bother you?”

I want to wipe that teasing grin off of his face. “Because…” I groan. “This is a losing battle, isn’t it? Fine, I’ll help you.”

He stands up. “Good. I’ll let you get back to your book.” He ruffles my hair when he walks past. “And you were right, by the way.”

I lift an eyebrow. “As usual. About what?”

“Once I gave Blaze a chance, it turned out he wasn’t so bad.” Denver smiles at me. “I may be your big brother, but you can still teach me a thing or two, I guess.”

I grin. “Well, that’s what I’m here for.”

I hope you enjoyed that fun little story! What did you think? Would you like to see this published as an ebook on Amazon? Comment below! I’d also love if you’d leave a review on Goodreads if you can!

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Winner of the IDIA Fan Creations Contest!

Hullo, everyone! The IDIA Fan Creations Contest officially closed on Monday, which left me with the difficult task of… deciding a winner. I have absolutely loved seeing all of you guys’ creations, and it was so hard for me to just choose one winner. All of the submissions were so awesome, and I got so excited every time I got a new submission. 😀 So I thought I’d share all of the submissions with you before announcing the winner. I’m putting them on here in the order that they were submitted. Enjoy!

Madeline J. Rose – Quote Pictures

Twinepathy Quote “Change” – Madeline J. Rose

Twinepathy Quote “Antarctica” – Madeline J. Rose

Twinepathy Quote “Friends” – Madeline J. Rose

Aren’t these awesome??? I especially like the mask on the last one. 😀

Esther – Quote Pictures

Twinepathy Quote “Blaze” – Esther

Twinepathy Quote “Together” – Esther

These two are so pretty! And that second quote is one of my favorites that I forgot about writing. 🙂

Jemma – Character Drawings

Albany – Jemma

Maddie – Jemma

Brooklyn – Jemma

Blaze – Jemma

These are officially the first character drawings done for the IDIA series! Eeeep!!! 😀 I was so excited to see these! Jemma did a great job, and I love how the clothing reflects the characters and is pretty much exactly what the characters would wear (especially Albany’s Flash shirt).

Elizabeth – Character Art

Blaze – Elizabeth

Maddie Through The Peephole – Elizabeth

Aren’t these so amazing??? They look exactly like I pictured them. Plus, the perspective on the picture with Maddie is so cool!

Sara – Quote Pictures

Twinepathy Quote “Shower” – Sara

Twinepathy Quote “Teleport” – Sara

These are so cool! Pun intended. 😉 I really love the design on the shower quote, and that’s one of my favorite quotes from the whole book. 😀

Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah – Cosplay

Sisters – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

Albany and Brooklyn Cosplay – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

Brooklyn Profile – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

Albany Profile – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

IDIA Comic Book Cover – Shay (elvenpadawan) and Sharah

These are so amazing!!! Shay and Sharah did amazing on these pictures! “Day job: Teenager”.  😀 Also, I love that comic book cover that they made. It looks so cool!

 

This was such a hard decision to make, because I really loved all of these! They were all amazing and I am so glad we had so many people participate. I had to actually use a scoring sheet to help me decide. 😀 So, without further ado, the winner is…

Elizabeth with her drawing of Blaze!

Blaze – Elizabeth

This was seriously so close! But I absolutely loved this drawing that Elizabeth did (as well as the one of Maddie 😀 ), and this is exactly how I pictured Blaze! Great job, Elizabeth! I’ll be contacting you about your prize shortly.

And I have to say a very special thank you to everyone who participated!!! You guys are so awesome, and I loved getting your submissions. If you weren’t able to put together a submission this time,  don’t worry! We’ll probably do something like this again. 🙂

What do you think of the fan art? Would you want to participate in another contest like this? Comment below with your thoughts!!!

 

Blaze Takes Over: 6 Pieces Of Advice For New Superheroes

Hey, peeps! Blaze here! So today is the last day to submit your creations for the IDIA Fan Creations Contest, so make sure and fill out the submission form before midnight tonight! We’ve received some awesome submissions, and I think C.B. is dreading picking a winner, with so many amazing creations to choose from.

So, in my last post, I talked about the life of a superhero, and in the comments, Sarah suggested that I give my advice for just-starting-out heroes. I thought that was an absolutely brilliant idea. So I present you with my amazing advice for new superheroes!

Blaze’s 6 Pieces of Advice For New Superheroes

  1. Listen to Data. (This is the one piece of advice Data approved of.) Always listen to what Data says. She’s been doing this all longer than you have, so she knows what she’s talking about. Plus, reading people leads to a pretty big knowledge base, which means she’s much smarter than you. If you disobey her, you’ll figure this tip out the hard way. (I’m looking at you, Jazz!)
  2. Explore your abilities. Not only is it fun to explore your powers, it can also come in handy when you’re on a mission. If you’ve tested your powers to see how far you can go, or different ways you can use your abilities, then you’ll be able to find more ways to use them on missions. That’s how I figured out that I could teleport, after all! That was a very weird day. Side note: Apologies to that Australian person I accidentally teleported behind. That was my bad. I had no clue what I was doing. Sorry. 
  3. Meet new people. People with powers come from all over the world, from very different backgrounds, and unique powers. Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. I got to meet an elderly man from China who could speak with animals, and he introduced me to his pet panda. Plus, he taught me Chinese! It’s fun to meet new people and learn their histories. But also make sure not to be too invasive with your questioning. Everyone else wants to keep their secret identities under wraps, too.
  4. Bring food with you. I guess you should probably bring money too, in case of emergency, but food is more important, am I right? Seriously though, you don’t always know how long you’ll be at HQ or if you be able to go get food. I can teleport, but if you can’t, definitely bring food.
  5. Explore IDIA. It’s good to know the layout of HQ, so that you’re prepared for emergencies. Just be careful where you explore, because there are a few off-limits areas, and you could get in very big trouble. There are also a few really dangerous areas, too… so maybe you should explore with a lot of caution.
  6. Have fun. IDIA is a place where you can spend time with other superheroes, and you can be yourself and use your powers. Have some fun with that! Sneak up on other heroes, pull pranks, try to find Anvil’s secret stash of homemade candy… Have fun with your powers and your new superpowered friends! And if you actually try to find Anvil’s candy stash, watch out for booby traps and lots of pointy objects.

And those are my six tips for new superheroes! Did you guys like these? I’ve had fun taking over the blog, so maybe I can convince C.B. to let me present the winner of the IDIA Fan Creations Contest. Don’t forget that today is the last day to submit. Got any questions to ask me? Comment below!

Blaze out! 😎

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Blaze Takes Over: The Life Of A Superhero

Hi, peoples! It’s Blaze here. So for some odd reason, C.B. agreed that I could kidnap her blog for the last week of the Fan Creations Contest. Speaking of which, there are only three days left to submit your creations! You can also go check out some of the awesome fanart you guys have submitted, including some very nice portraits of myself.

So I was trying to figure out what to do with the blog now that I’ve taken it over, and since C.B. said I couldn’t post a snippet from Lightporter (something about spoilers and editing and blah blah blah), I decided to look around for some suggestions, and Hazel West suggested that I talk about the life of a superhero, something that I’m definitely an expert on.

I guess this post is going to be introspective, which I am usually not. So I’ll just dive right in.

One of the top concerns for superheroes is this: who knows that we have powers? For myself, none of my family knows that I have powers, and the people who do know that I have powers don’t know my true identity. To put it more simply, my two identities, superhero and normal, are completely separate. Except for Data, that is. She is the only person in the world who knows who I am when I’m not Blaze.

And since that’s quite uncomfortable territory to talk about, I’m going to move on now.

I have it easier than most superheroes. My power is easier to hide, considering I can turn invisible or make illusions of myself doing other things. Teleportation is also handy for getting out of tight spots, although I have to be careful not to use any of my powers when I’m not acting as Blaze. The nice thing about having my personas completely separated is that it’s easier to just… become a different person when I put my mask on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still me. I’m just a more outgoing and heroic version of me, and I’m more willing to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I feel like this is true for a lot of superheroes, and supervillains, to an extent.

Being a superhero has given me opportunities to do a lot of cool things. I mean, come on, I have teleportation. I’ve traveled all over the world, eaten so many different foods, and made friends in tons of countries (and a few enemies, thanks to some unfortunate accidents). I’ve actually learned bits and pieces of a few different languages as well.

But the best part about being a superhero is working with other superheroes and saving people. That’s the whole point, right? If I don’t use my powers for good, then what’s the purpose of them? Other than going out to buy food whenever I feel like it, that is. Saving people is what being a superhero is truly about.

I feel like that’s enough musing for now. I’m going to try and keep control of the blog for as long as I can, so comment down below and let me know what you think I should post about! Did you like this post? Got any questions to ask me about the superhero life?

Blaze out! 😎

Live Q&A Post And A Short Writing Update

Hullo, friends! Since July is halfway over (whaaat????) and we only have about two weeks left for the fan art contest (and we have a few new submissions, too!). I have a cover reveal scheduled for tomorrow, but for this week, I thought it would be fun to do a live Q&A with you guys! A while back, I made some post idea suggestions, and many of you liked the idea of a live Q&A post, where you guys post questions in the comments, and I answer them! You can ask me about anything from writing to reading and books, or my own books or anything (within reason, of course). I’ll be answering those questions throughout this week, so ask away!

And while you’re coming up with questions for me, I have one for you! What writing-related topics would you like to see me post about? Comment below with your questions for me and what writing posts you’d like to see me do!

And a short writing update: I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m working on a superhero retelling of Snow White for the Rooglewood Press Contest, and I’m super excited about it! I just hit 10,000 words, which means I’m at least halfway done. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to see where it goes (and let you guys read it, too!).

Now, enough about my writing! Unless you want to ask questions about it, that is. 🙂 Post your questions below, and I’ll be sure to answer them as soon as I can! And don’t forget to suggest some writing-related posts, too! Thanks, friends!

Inside IDIA: The History of IDIA

Before I get started on this post, I just want to remind everyone that the IDIA Fan Creations Contest is open for submissions! You can see the entries I’ve already received on the new IDIA Fan Art page. Go check them out! They’re so cool, and they may give you inspiration for your own creations. 🙂 Now, on to the post!

Hullo, friends! Remember that poll where I asked all of you what you wanted to see me post? Well, one of the top things was an Inside IDIA series, where I talk about various Easter eggs, characters, and behind the scenes info for the series. I decided that the best place to start this would be with a history of how I came up with the idea for IDIA. So let’s begin, shall we?

I may have talked about the origins of IDIA a few times, but mostly just in vague mentions, never in detail. I was rereading some old stories and realized that the tale of IDIA is one worth telling.

The first thing I came up with was the name: The International Defense and Intelligence Agency. To begin with, it had absolutely nothing to do with superheroes. I actually first used it as a normal spy-type government agency in a sci-fi novella I wrote, partially for a creative writing class. I was honestly really proud of coming up with an acronym that made a (sort-of) real word and sounded official. I finished the book and even used a few characters in one of my Tales From The Writer’s Desk, but I ended up deciding that sci-fi wasn’t my thing and left that novella on my computer to gather virtual dust. (I actually went back and read that story, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Although if I ever decide to publish it, I’ll have to rename that spy agency…)

A year or two later, I came up with the idea (he-he) for Twinepathy, and I was looking for a name for the organization of superheroes. Somehow, IDIA came to mind again, and I decided to give the organization a revamping. Lo and behold, the IDIA you know today was born! I had a ton of help from beta readers smoothing out the organization. The various ranks in IDIA (alphas, betas, deltas, gammas, and omegas) weren’t added in until a later draft of the story, and helped make IDIA more structured and official. So thanks to beta readers and creative writing class, we have the IDIA you know today!

What do you think of how IDIA came about? Have any similar stories? What did you think of this post? Comment below with your thoughts!

A Few Updates And A New Project

Hullo, everyone! I haven’t gotten a chance to write any of the posts that you all voted on in that poll a while back, but I did have a few updates to share with you. Most of you probably saw the cover reveal for Lightporter, of course, but several other cool things have happened.

First, I got to do an awesome author interview over at Books and Teacup Reviews! I had a lot of fun answering Yesha’s questions. You can also check out her review of Twinepathy here.

Second, I’ve been getting feedback from betas on Lightporter, and I’m super excited about how close I’m getting to editing. Editing may not be fun, but it means it’s one step closer to being in your hands, so that’s worth celebrating! I’m excited to see how this book turns out.

I also have a post planned for a few days from now with a review of a new Christian dystopian novel that I got an eARC of, and I really enjoyed, so stay tuned for that!

I’m also super excited to tell you about my new project! I’m actually not working on book 3 of the IDIA series yet. I’ve worked on some plotting for it, but I chose to start a different project first–a superhero retelling of Snow White for the Rooglewood Press short story contest! I’m really excited about this story, and even if it doesn’t win the contest, I hope to be able to share it with all of you. It’s definitely been an exciting change from the IDIA universe, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

And a final announcement that I’m hoping you can all help me with. Twinepathy‘s one-year birthday is July 4th! Because of that, I’m going to be holding the first IDIA Fan Contest. In this contest, you’ll be able to submit any fanart, fanfiction, or other fan-created material to win a prize (which is yet to be determined). I also haven’t decided if I’ll be picking my favorite or if you guys will be voting for your favorites. The contest will open July 4th and run through the end of July. I’m announcing it now so that you’ll have plenty of time to think of ideas! There may be prizes for different categories, depending on the number of submissions. You will be able to submit anything IDIA-related: quote pictures, drawings, fan fiction, costumes, pictures of the book, your own mask, recipes, anything! (If you’re looking for ideas, you can check out the IDIA group board on Pinterest!) Comment below with any suggestions or ideas you have for the contest, and if you’re excited about it or plan on participating!

Thanks so much for reading through these updates! You guys are awesome, and thanks for sticking with me even with the irregular blogging schedule! 🙂

Big Book Award News And Indie E-Con Wrap Up!

Hello, friends! Can you believe that Indie E-Con is already over??? It’s been a crazy, fun week, and I enjoyed every minute of it! If you missed the posts I did, you can still check them out. I’m doing my best to reply to comments, but sometimes the internet doesn’t like me. I was so excited to post about plot twists, Photoshop, and blogging! Don’t forget to check out some of the other authors’ posts. I didn’t get to read all of them, but the ones I did get to read were great!

And you remember how I mentioned the Indie E-Con Book Awards? Well, Twinepathy won two awards! First, it won Best Trip to Space (or Antarctica!), or the Best Sci-fi Award. The second award was the Best Set of Clues, or best mystery. Thank you all so much for your votes!

If you’d like to read more about the future of Indie E-Con, check out this link. And as a final reminder, Twinepathy is on sale for only a few more days, so pick it up while it’s still $0.99!

Thanks so much for your votes in the Book Awards! What was your favorite part of Indie E-Con? Are you excited for next year? Comment down below!

A Week of Fun! (Indie Author E-Con)

Hello, friends! It’s the start of a new week, which means it’s the start of something else, too!

That’s right, the Indie Author E-Con starts today! I’m so excited, and I hope you are, too! I’ve been going through a lot of the pages, and there’s so much! If you’ve created a cosplay picture for Twinepathy or any other indie book, you can add your link on the cosplay page here, and if you have any fanart, you can post a link to it on the fanart page. (Here’s a hint: you can use a dollmaker online to create your favorite characters! This one is super fun, and the site has a ton of different dollmakers!). If you’re a writer, you can join in on the weeklong word war, too!

And I have some cool stuff going on today, too! There’s an awesome Q&A where you can ask me any writing-related question you want, and there is also a post I wrote about plot twists, which you can read here.

Plus, don’t forget to head over and vote on the 2017 Indie Book Awards! Enjoy the Indie E-Con, my friends!

100 Pages, Indie Author E-Con, and Sale!

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve actually written a post, but I have big news!

100 pages!!!

Yup, I just hit 28,670 words in the sequel to Twinepathy, which, if you haven’t found out, is titled Lightporter. I’m not far enough along to post a blurb or a snippet, unfortunately. But I have several other things to announce!

indie-econ-1

First, I’m going to be participating in my first e-conference! From March 20th-24th, Kendra E. Ardnek will be hosting the Indie Author E-Con. There will be tons of awesome blog posts on a bunch of different blogs, and there’s also going to be contests that you can participate in! First, there’s a writing contest, where you can write a story to fit one of the covers. There will be prizes, and if you get Best-Of for the cover, you get that cover! Go check them out and see if any inspire you. There’s even one I made! 🙂

The second Indie Author E-Con event I wanted to tell you about is the fanart and cosplay showcase for Indie books. I’m very excited about this, as it’ll give some of us indie authors a chance to see how much our readers love our books. If you have an idea for fanart or cosplay for Twinepathy or any other indie books, get started on it now! Trust me, it’ll be fun. I might even be doing some for my favorite indie books, if I have time.

And finally, as celebration for hitting a hundred pages in Lightporter, and because of the Indie E-Con…

Twinepathy is going to be on sale until the end of March! If you haven’t picked up a copy of the book yet, this is your chance! Still not sure if you want to buy it? Read some reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. If you want super detailed reviews, I’d suggest Deborah O’Carroll’s review and Christine Smith’s. They both basically wrote their own book about my book, and they’re super entertaining, so go check them out!

I hope you pick up a copy of Twinepathy and join us for the Indie Author E-Con! Comment below with random ideas for Twinepathy fanfiction, fanart, and cosplays for the E-con. I’d love to see your IDIAs!