Daemoneum Cover Reveal

Okay guys, this isn’t exactly the usual thing you’re used to seeing on here, but this book is by a friend and I’ve read it and it kicks ass even if you aren’t into all that ooey gooey lovey mess. Really though, this is a solid read that’s action packed start to finish. This series is a must have. 

Laney McMann
(The Primordial Principles #2)
Published by: Jagged Lane Books
Publication date: July 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Boulder, Colorado is too quiet, and no one needs to remind Cole Spires how unnatural that is.

In the aftermath of Dracon’s death, the Daemoneum have gone into hiding. Every known Hive has been shut down and evacuated, and for the first time in Cole’s memory, the Brotherhood, Kinship, and all common houses across the country and abroad are considering lockdown. Leygates are being systematically closed around the world, and the Primordial are waiting …

In the bunker underneath the Brotherhood, Kade Sparrow is as safe as she can possibly be, or that’s the idea, but no one can explain how her Astrum necklace found its way into her bedroom. There were no footprints, no traces of breaking and entering, no evidence of any kind that someone had infiltrated the Brotherhood common house. Yet the necklace still sat on her night stand, wound in a perfect circle of gold, the tiny star glinting on its chain. And the only person who could have put it there … is dead.

In the second installment of The Primordial Principles, strange occurrences are happening across the globe. Relationships will be tested, old players will become new, foes will turn into allies, and an unlikely adversary will force Cole and Kade to go on the run.

As the fallen rise, the Primordial must unite as one.

Or all could be lost.

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Sequel to:



Author Bio:

Laney McMann is the author of The Fire Born Novels, The Primordial Principles, and The CrossWorld Chronicles (coming soon)

The product of very creative parents and the most imaginative grandmother ever, she has an untapped passion for the supernatural and all things magical. Her voracious appetite for reading fantasy started really young ~ and so did her love of words.

She writes young adult dark urban fantasy novels mixed with a spike of romance, a hint of history, a dash of mythology, and lots of paranormal.

On the non-writing side of life, Laney is a former classical dancer, music snob, chef, and a right-brained thinker to a fault. When she’s not dreaming up new dead ends to torture herself with, she spends her time running and playing her music way too loud.

Laney is published by J. Taylor Publishing and formerly by Booktrope Publishing.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



Dark AND Fun (A sort of Mad Max Review) #MondayBlogs

I recently watched Mad Max: Fury Road and holy fuck that was a fun movie. I expected to watch people drive through the desert in lunatic clothing screaming incoherent thoughts. Something like a remake of the California Love music video, you might say.


Caaaalifornya Looo-ve.

What I did not expect was the damn fine movie that it was. The entire 2 hours were insane and dark and gritty and entertaining. More than once I had to laugh, not because anything particularly funny happen, but just at the fact of how much joy the set and rig designers must have had making this movie. There is one entire rig where the back side hold 4 guys drumming and the front has a guitarist suspended by bungee cords wailing away for the ENTIRE movie. What other movie could pull some shit like that off?

Now, stepping away from Mad Max, the movie reminded me of a Joss Whedon quote. I’m not much of a quote fanatic, but there are a few that stick with me and this is one of those: Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of god, tell a joke.

That very statement is what’s wrong with DC movies, Batman in particular. The Dark Knight Rises was so heavy and tried to hard to be important and grim and whatever else, that it forgot to be fun. That could be forgivable in some instances, but when your screenplay comes from a comic book? Nah, bruh, it has to be fun. It came from a goddamn cartoon.

Coincidentaly, this is one key aspect of story-telling that I think horror movies do well. How many scary movies have you watched that made you laugh out loud? More than one, I bet. Horror writers (The good ones anyway. Well, I’m assuming, I don’t care all that much for scary movies anymore) understand that if you are going to spend 90 minutes ruining someone’s (or everyone’s) life, you need to spruce it up with a couple jokes. Otherwise, your audience might actually kill themselves mid-movie.

Hell, Nightmare on Elm Street frightened the hell out of a good 3 people and Freddy Krueger still wound up being a singing, dancing, Ace Ventura with bad acne scars. Evil Dead? Scary as ten dammits before it became more funny than terrifying. And that’s the human response, right? We make jokes to get through a bad situation. How many times has the shit hit the fan and you’ve been like ‘well, at least I just bought this new shitproof shirt. Now it’s just my pants that are dirty.’? Okay, that might not be my strongest example, but you get the point.

Are we all going to die in a blaze of burning knives coated in cyanide with a witty retort on our lips? Probably not, but hey, they’re movies, they have to be a little liberal with ideas. But otherwise, that’s life. Bad shit happens and we make jokes to feel better. So, to me at least, when there is a story and bad things happen repeatedly with no lightening of the mood, it legitimately gets me down. A while back I came across a list: great movies you’ll never want to watch again. I read over the blurbs for each of the movies and never wanted to watch them in the first place. They all just sounded like a lot of awful things happening. I don’t give a damn how good the acting or screenplay is, I don’t want to watch a movie where a pregnant woman gets stabbed in the gut with scissors. (Yes, that was actually in a movie on the list. Maybe not exactly like that, but something close.)

Story-tellers, wordsmiths, scribes, best sellers, and hacks; no matter what you think of Whedon, remember those words and for god’s sake, tell a fucking joke already.

Knuckle Up Chump. Writing is a Deathmatch #MondayBlogs

I’ve said it before, I’ll probably say it a million more damn times. Writing ain’t easy. And when I say that, I don’t mean writing 80,000 words of coherent story. Don’t even get me started on the countless hours of editing. The soul crushingness of beta readers and further editing. Not to mention the sore throat from reading the entire novel out loud.

I suppose it could end there, but after you’ve written and edited a novel, you probably want to sell it, right? And when I say writing ain’t easy, I’m still not talking about the fight to craft the perfect fucking query letter. Is this concise? Does it convey the right tension? Do I include previous works? What if they didn’t sell well? Should I tell the agent about my overwhelming fear of praying mantises (Manti?)?

After that there’s the always smooth sailing of rejections. Form letter after form letter after slightly personalized form letter, the highlight of the rejection process. But hey, even J.K. Rowling got rejected, right? So you keep plugging ahead. Eventually move from agents to small presses. That shouldn’t be as strict and then you find one and discover that you should have been building yours social network months ago.

It goes on and on. The struggle for sales is real. What about this technique? How about this marketing service? There are probably a million different questions and ten million different answers. And every last one of them leads to work. How much work you put in can decide how successful you will be.

A friend sent me something to the extent of this: Only 5% of people start a book. Of them, only 5% finish the first draft. Of those only 5% have the tenacity to stick through edits. 5% through queries and so it goes. On and on. So do you have what it takes to be in the 5% of the 5% of the 5% of the 5% or whatever? Yes, good. Write a novel and sell some goddamn books. If the answer is no, that’s not a bad thing. Maybe you just really enjoy writing books.

To be honest, I’m at a bit of an impasse. I started writing books because I love it. I started selling books because I’m a narcissist who needs constant approval. Now, I’ve got 4 novels out there that, quite frankly, aren’t selling worth a damn. Recently, I’ve signed up with a book marketing badass (C.D. Taylor) and she has given me a ton of instruction (Read: Work) to market myself. If I follow every bit of direction I’ve been giving, I will surely sell more books, but I will also not have any time to write any more books if I follow all of the instructions. Selling books means a lot to me, but so does writing them. I’ve got a decision to make about how hard I’m willing to work to be successful. So do you. Life is all about finding a balance, my friends. Sometimes that comes natural and sometimes you have to work for it, but whatever you do, never assume writing is easy and know that it doesn’t stop as soon as you get words on the page.

Whiskey & Wasted Words Episode #1

Hey all, Prose Bro Chris Smith and I have started our very own podcast. And I’m so excited I want to share it with y’all. So I think I’m going to embed it.

Right here:

And if that’s not good enough, here a link to just download the whole damn she-bang: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0Jh39f9rE17SW8yOFdOcnU0SHc

There are probably a million people I need to thank, but I’m blanking right now. For sure these two though:

We owe thanks to @EveyJacob on Twitter for sending in the icebreaker question and my friend Chris Suggs for donating some great music for our theme. You can find more of his works at  http://mortarstn.bandcamp.com/

SO tune in and listen to Chris and I babble about music and writing and why we are completely unqualified to give advice.

#13WeeksOfHorror Black Cats

“Do it, ya fuckin’ pussy.”

“Yeah, come on already.”

“Dooo it. Dooo it. Dooo it.”

The crowd of kids gathered close around. Well, close enough to see the show and still avoid any gore if things went bad.

Tom stood in the middle of the circle of anxious kids. He gripped a sheet of mini-explosives in one hand, polished steel Zippo in the other. He didn’t smoke, but always carried the lighter. Not a pyro, per se, Tom like to have options. And if any of those options included setting something on fire, so be it.

Even still, this stunt was above his usual level of stupidity.

He flipped the lighter open with his thumb, flipped it back with his index finger. The steady clack of the lid relaxed him. These weren’t cherry bombs or M-80s for Christ sake, just a few firecrackers. But still…

Why did I take this stupid bet again?

Toward the back of the group a pair of blueish, blue eyes watched Tom’s every move. He wished he could come up with a better name for those eyes, but Tom was neither poet nor romantic. Tom was a daredevil. Years of excellent stories revealed themselves in scars along his body like a road map to glory. Pain is but a moment, right? He’d heard that somewhere.

“Yeeaaarrghh,” Tom shouted as he thrust both arms in the air.

The crowed took a cumulative step closer. Two dozen phones held out at the ready, a generation of electronic third eyes ready to capture the moment. Tom flicked the lid back and struck the wheel. Flame danced on the tip of the lighter. Those eyes, those blues eyes grew wide as he touched the fire to the wick of the Black Cats. He thought it was a look of nervous excitement. That’s when he noticed how they glistened. They shone with all the sorrow of the blue flame that blew this bridge to pieces.

Too late to turn back now. The whole school would see the videos.

She never cried for him, just hung her head and walked away as he exploded his way to a glory more lonely. But at least he would always have the last look of those blueish blue eyes to keep him company, even when the flash of local fame dissolved like the smoke in the aftermath.

Don’t Like This Country? GTFO

For some reason I haven’t been writing much about writing, but all these social/political arguments keep popping to mind. I think it’s a formula of 1 part sleep deprivation and 1 part Facebook (Why do I even bother) that create 1 part bitchy human. Whatever it is, I’m here to bitch. Well, hopefully make some valid points anyway.

Earlier today I saw a Facebook post someone shared from Sarah Palin. Had I noticed who the original post was from, I would have just skipped it and saved myself the trouble. Anyway, this post said something to the extent of: other countries banned guns, instead of thinking we should ban guns, you should just move your ass to another country.

This isn’t really a new sentiment. My country, love it or leave it. You’re all-American or you’re a Nazi. Red, White, Blue and fucking patriotism goddammit. Where’s my bald eagle? Someone get me the founding fathers on the phone, STAT! Because let me tell you, right here, right now, if it’s American it can’t be wrong and there’s no need to adapting to accommodate the changing American zeitgeist (<–I’ve been waiting forever for a good time to use that word). The Constitution was written by the founding fathers, great men who got it right the first fucking time and saw no need to change it.

That smart group of men were so far ahead of their time, they thought to include topics such as: the right to not incriminate one’s self, freedom for all regardless of skin color, the right for women to vote, and even THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS…

Oh, wait. What’s that? Those things weren’t in the original constitution? Amendments? Like, an addition? So, as in, a change?

Well, color me a fool and call me your uncle, I’ve just learned that our government has the power to make changes based on a changing world. But that’s not right. My country, love it or leave it. Remember? Not: My country, love it or work to actively change it to make it a better place. That’s not the damn slogan…but maybe it should be.

Simply because I do not agree with one, or even many, American policies doesn’t make me less American. Some would argue that it makes me more. Now this is not an argument for or against banning guns. I’m just tired of the ‘get out of my country’ way of arguing.

Coincidentally, I wonder how many people have permanently moved out of country since the gay marriage ruling. Love it or leave it, mother fuckers.

Can we please stop trying to ban things?

I’m just going to lead off with this: banning things is fucking ridiculous. Okay, maybe not everything. Personally, I’d be okay with a ban on 113,434 round shotgun clips or whatever they’re called, but that’s a different story for a different day. But this whole Confederate flag debacle has had me thinking. And honestly the complete whiplash of public scorn seems like a bit much. Or maybe not, I don’t know.

Disclaimer: I fucking hate the Confederate Flag. Aside from whatever racist aspects, I’ve always thought it to be un-American. If you think the south will rise again and you’re some Confederate son, cool, but you’re fighting against America. The south fought so that it could be separate from America. That’s my stance on the flag, if you were curious.

Now, I have noticed that since everyone quit selling Confederate flag junk I have seen more flags flying in rusted out truck beds than I think I’ve ever seen. That’s the nature of things. We humans are kind of stupid and the most sure fire way to make us want some shit is to say we can’t have it. It’s some kind of Freudian supply and demand or something. Okay, that’s probably not the best description, but still. How many people have read banned books because they were banned? *Raises hand* It’s cool. It’s edgy. You feel like you’re getting some shit over on the man because you’ve taken part in some secret plot to get around the fascist asshole that makes all those goddamn rules.

So the rebel flag is suddenly an ethical faux pas or whatever. What’s a good rebel to do other than fly those fucking colors with honor. Fuck that shit, I’m proud of my heritage, I’ll show it off. And you know what? That’s cool. Be proud of your heritage. Show it off. That makes it that much easier for me to understand I have no desire to ever speak to you. I have seen people with Swastika tattoos. And let’s be honest, racism and the Confederate flag can be argued, but a Swastika? Not so fucking much. Now the first amendment protects a person’s right to get that tattoo. The same right offers me the ability to call that person a racist piece of shit who would be better served as a pavement substitute than trying to walk around pretending to be any form of human being.

I guess it’s all just a slippery slope, but it’s a slope our founding fathers chose to slide down when they figured this shit out. They understood that as a free country, everyone has the right to their own opinion, ignorant or not. We can chose to engage these people on their beliefs or we can chose to ignore them, but what we can’t do, is put a legal muzzle on them. All it will do is polarize the sides even more. I’m just saying, these matters are tricky. I’ve met people with rebel flag whatever that I don’t believe are racist and I’ve met people who don’t own a bit of Confederate anything that are racist as all fuck.

Back to that slope though, say you ban racism or any racist speak. That’s a pretty honorable goal, right? I think so. I hope you do too. It’s offensive and breeds hate. But what about other things that set the grounds for disagreements. Atheists and Christians seem to dislike each other pretty hard. Lot’s of conflict there. Are we going to ban Christian speak or Atheist speak to make the other side happy? I hope not. Freedom of speech means you can tell me how Jesus is the way and I can tell you the Bible is a bunch of garbage written by man to control men. That’s the way of the beast.

So am I for the Confederate Flag? Hell no. Am I for freedom of speech? Yup.

HOWEVER, the flag has no place on any government buildings.

With all that said, repainting the General Lee is stupid and I’ve never even seen one minute of the Duke boys’ shenanigans.

When depression acts as a writer’s block

I can’t write.

No, that’s not just an honest observation of my abilities as a wordsmith. What I mean to say is: right this very moment I am having difficulty forming words or the energy to deal with them.

When creative people are emotional or depressed, they make their masterpieces; forever that’s been the most common trope I’ve heard about artists. People go into their dark places and draw from within and puke up a mixture of last night’s whiskey and artistic brilliance.

For me, that’s not the case. Right now, I’m having a hard fucking time. Two full time jobs mean 90 hour workweeks. 90 hour weeks mean I don’t sleep and I miss my family. I’m not digging for sympathy, just laying things out. Now, one of my jobs is over night at a hotel. The hotel is small and six hours of my night are spent doing nothing. Last night, I played Need for Speed for five hours. That should mean premium writing time, right? Hell, at my usual wordcount per hour, I should have two novels done this month.

But no, I haven’t written a single goddamn word. I’m having a hard time editing the words I have written. And no, it’s not because I’m half-asleep at four in the morning. I just don’t have the concentration to write. My problems and sorrows and whatever the hell else are floating around in my brain and I don’t have the energy to worry about anyone else’s. For me, writing isn’t hard under normal circumstances. Rarely do I struggle to tell a story, but right now I’m coming up empty. I’ve got two half-finished novels, one short story, and one comic script that all desperately need attention and I can barely hold my shit together well enough to write this blog post.

What makes everything worse, as my friend Danielle Shipley pointed out, writing is fun and being too tired to write adds to the stress that caused me to not write in the first place. It’s one hell of a vicious cycle.  Before, I didn’t have time, but could still manage to squeeze out words at a pretty steady rate. Right now, I have all the time in the world and instead of doing anything remotely productive with my ‘career’ I’m plopped in front of a TV debating what gear settings would be best on my Nissan GTR and thinking about how maybe writing just wasn’t my thing. All of this because I’ve got other things on my mind.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. Just thinking out loud, I suppose. Maybe I just wanted to see who else out there is the same. What about you guys? Do you struggle with words when you struggle with other things? Or is stress and depression a proving ground for perfect prose? I’m off now, to do some editing and hopefully get my groove back.

#TeaserTenth for February


#TeaserTenth is a monthly meme for writers, both published and unpublished. It’s a great opportunity to meet other writers, as well as readers, by sharing a sampling (10 lines or less) of the stories we are working on, or have already published.

Feel free to join! (click the badge above for details.)

This week, I’ve decided to share lines from one of my works in progress. This is taken from a random spot in the book. (unedited.)


Here’s something a little more intimate than I’m used to. These lines are from my current work in progress, tentatively titled GAMBIT.

“I love you,” Sam gasps between kisses.

A moan escapes Fox’s lips as Sam digs his fingers into her back. He drags her closer to his body. If he holds her close enough, they synchronize. Two hearts beat as one. Two chests rise and fall in tandem. Two beings become one. Sam kisses deeper, feels the love of Fox under his skin.

In his mind, this moment could last forever. Sam imagines doing this on the beach, sun setting into the ocean. Hell, for this, this feeling, this moment, Sam would drive to the ends of the Earth. A hundred lives could never make Sam feel as real as he is right this moment.

A sound somewhere between a Wookiee and a cat caught in radiator fan is the only warning to the slimy, dirty, rotted fist that connects with Sam’s right ear.

How House Hunters Made Me Apply to College

I live in a pretty shitty part of the country. It’s beautiful here. The locals are somewhat occasionally nice. No joke, southern hospitality is a real thing. The people here as friendly as all hell…and perhaps sometimes they might be dicks about it. But the scenery is beautiful. The crime is low. Cost of living is pretty acceptable. It doesn’t completely suck, but it still kind of sucks.

Let me explain. Careers? Not so much. If you live in Sevier County, Tennessee you have three options: restaurant, hotel, or retail. See this place runs on tourist dollars. Tourists buy shit. It’s our job to sell shit and try to act like we don’t hate the tourists. It’s all about finding a balance really.

As far as the careers in this town go, I’ve done okay. I made it to management and have made some decent money along the way. As far as the holy food/sleep/buy trinity goes this place hasn’t been half-bad to me. My wife got to be a stay at home mom for ten years, we own two cars, and we bought our house at twenty-three years old. Like I said, not too bad. And compared to a lot of others around here, pretty fucking good.

Then I have to go and watch House Hunters. It’s this TV show on HGTV and my wife loves it. It’s usually on at all times. Most times anyway. If you don’t know, on the show a handsome couple and dog/children mixture look for a new home. They check out three homes that the couple seems to mostly hate because the paint is ugly/the fixtures are dated/the elm tree out front isn’t a spruce or whatever. At the end they fight to the death over who gets to use the basement for a ritual bacon sacrifice. I think that’s how it works.

So what about this show makes me want to go to college?

I get to see people in other places. This is kind of a foreign concept, but apparently in these mythical places called cities, people can make a living doing something other than asking if you want fries with that. When I was younger I thought, eh, those people are just older, of course they are better off. Now, I’m older and these couples are my age looking to stretch their budget to afford a house around the three hundred thousand dollar range.


Does not compute.

We worked our asses off to stretch to afford a $94,000 house. How in the fuck are these guys affording half-million dollar homes? So I started paying attention. At the start of the shows the contestants say things like “Mmm, hello, my name is Theodore and this is my wife Mildred. She’s a stay at home mom to our schnauzer, Little Teddy. I’m a web designer for a multi-billion dollar corporation.”

After a handful of these episodes, I noticed that none of the contestants said things like, “I’m Grady, bartender at the local watering hole.”

Hmmm. So yeah, college. Apparently these people in these mythical cities go to this extra school and then they make lots of money. Huh. I’ve been doing this all wrong. So yeah, after a daylong House Hunters marathon, I found myself looking into colleges and degrees. And now here I sit, waiting to hear back from the college application I put in this morning. Maybe it will be a yes and in six years I’ll be searching for that quarter million dollar vacation home in the south of France….Riiiggghhtt.