The Last War: Book One, Khandarken Rising

Khandarken rising_CVR_SMLSci fi and fantasy rolled into one with a sure hand and enormous imagination.

On sale, July 4 to 7 for $.99 ebook

Click HERE to buy.

Back Blurb – The Emperor has been defeated. New countries have arisen from the ashes of the old Empire. The citizens swear they will never need to fight again after that long and painful war.

Bethlehem Farmer is helping her brother Abram run Farmer Holdings in south Khandarken after their father died in the final battles. She is looking after the dispossessed, keeping the farm productive and the talc mine working in the hills behind their land. But when Abram takes a trip with Uncle Jade into the northern territory and disappears without a trace, she’s left on her own. Suddenly things are not what they seem and no one can be trusted.

Major Dante Regiment is sent by his father, the General of Khandarken, to find out what the situation is at Farmer Holdings. What he sees shakes him to the core and fuels his grim determination to protect Bethlehem at all cost, even with his life.

Ms Grayson has created a fascinating new world with a lot of the same old problems.

Liebster Award for blogging

I have been nominated for the Leibster Award, it’s all about finding new blogs to visit and enjoy.

I am thrilled to have been nominated for this award by Jacquie Biggar, blogger and author extraordinaire. You can check out her blog at I’ve followed her blog since she first began posting to it, and I love to keep current on what she’s writing. I always learn something as well as get entertained when I visit there.

She asked me a few questions that I’ll do my best to answer 🙂

1 – What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

I have a lot of fun with it. I started my blog for my writing and my books, but I also love gardening, travel and a ton of other stuff. I can talk about whatever I want!

2- What is your favorite book and why?

I have a lot of favourite books, but one that comes to mind often is ‘Cryptonomicon’ by Neal Stephenson. This book has a lot going for it – indescribably nerdy characters, story in the present and the past, story in the future, real war encounters and fantasy war encounters, history and imagination. I have really enjoyed reading it each time.

3- If you could be any literary character, who would you be and why?

Not sure. One character who intrigues me, Winston Churchill, is perhaps not seen as a literary character, but I have several books on him that might put the lie to that. Here are some of his comments – Too often the strong silent man is silent because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent – or this one – Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find we have lost the future. Lots of wisdom in those words.

4- Where is your favorite place to write?

I really like peace and quiet. I sometimes take everything into the living room, but if there are others in the house I might take my laptop upstairs to the spare bedroom. If there is still too much going on, I take it to the office.

5- What’s your ideal vacation?

I have to leave to have a vacation. Too many phone calls, drops ins and demands. We love to go to Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island even for a few days. There is nothing to do but walk on that wonderful beach, chase the storms and relax. My husband swims, (shudder) I do not. 🙂

6- If you could give any advice to a novice blogger, what would it be?

Don’t be too demanding on yourself. The advice others will give you probably includes blog at least three times a week, research your audience and speak to their interests, make sure you have them sign up for a newsletter, organize giveaways to encourage commitment. Those things are all true. But how much fun will you have? Why not write about what you love, things that interest you? When you write about what you love, that shines through the words. Then your followers will be those who are interested in the same things, and will be people you’d like to interact with.

7- Who inspires you and why?

Those who act on their convictions. There are always opportunities to be open hearted or willing to listen, but we don’t always respond the way we could. As the kids say – what would Jesus do?

8- What do you do to blow off steam?

I ride my bike. I don’t always ride it very fast, but I love to ride it. I was going down one of the trails here in Victoria the other day and a couple were walking their dog ahead of me. I called out, ‘coming through.’ They startled and the young man grabbed his girl’s arm to pull her out of the way as if a train were coming. As I drew even with them, I said, ‘I may not be fast, but I’m still riding through.’ We had a laugh together about that.

9- If you could choose anyone (real or imagined) to have dinner with, who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with General Paulo Regiment from ‘The Last War: Book One, Khandarken Rising’. This is the first book of a series of mine coming out this month and I’ve been really thrilled with the characters. Regiment fought with the Emperor at the beginning of the Last War, but ended up on the side of the freedom fighters by the finish of the long fight. I’d want to know how he decided to switch sides, and what led him to that decision. You might think I should know this, having written the books, but that would involve a whole other set of books dealing with the prequel – kind of like Star Wars.

10- What’s your favorite food?

Watermelon. Hazelnuts. Almond Roca (is that a food?). Flattened chicken. I can’t have just one favourite, right?

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about me, and thank you Jacquie Biggar for the great questions. 🙂

I have a few favorite blogs that I follow all the time, including Jacquie Biggar at

I’m nominating the following bloggers for this wonderful award:

LizAnn Carson at

Donna Hole at

Alice Valdal

Kathleen Lawless

Reggi Allder

Marlene Moss

Susan Swiderski at

Here are the rules:

  1. Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  2. Include the Liebster award sticker in the post.
  3. Nominate up to 10 other bloggers who you think are worthy of this award.
  4. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts.
  5. Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you.
  6. Think of ten questions you would like your nominees to answer.
  7. Lastly, copy these rules in the post.

My questions for you are as follows –

  1. I know you’re a writer (you do a blog), what’s your favourite thing to write?
  2. Do you like surprises? Tell us about the last one you remember.
  3. How old were you when you started writing?
  4. Do you love writing or hate it, and why.
  5. What would be your dream job?
  6. What was your favourite childhood story?
  7. Where in the world do you consider home?
  8. What is your favourite book, favourite movie?
  9. What is your greatest pleasure in life?
  10. Name your favourite food.

How Badly Do I Want to Write?

Sometimes it seems like I’ve poured my heart and soul into my work and it is isn’t enough. The feedback is critical, my readers wish for more. But I have to keep going.

Why? Because I’m committed to this. I want to write and publish my novels. I want to please readers with my work. It fulfills me.

So how to handle the rocky road, the potholes and washed out places in the path?

I just finished reading The Nearly Ultimate Guide to Better Writing. It has been put together by Mary Jaksch, chief editor of the blog Write to Done. It’s a book of inspiration. Write to Done can be found at and the book is currently free at that website. The essay that has really hit home for me is by Larry Brooks, as he talks about the sacrifices James Patterson made to get to where he is today in his writing career. He never settled, he didn’t quit.

How dedicated am I to this career path? If ‘no’ really means ‘try again’, then it’s important to remember that when I receive a rejection slip, or someone writes a doubtful review about my novel. Sometimes it’s hard to keep that in mind. If I get a few negative messages in a row, I start to wonder why I’m wasting my time. But show me an author who hasn’t received that kind of feedback and I’ll show you a writer who quit. Nearly everyone who has succeeded at writing has had to face rejections, questions about their work, requests to revise, revamp, rewrite, toss it and try something else.

An interesting book is Open, by Andre Agassi. It is fascinating in that he lived his whole life to play tennis, and hated it. His father and then trainer pushed him to work until he began to succeed. Yet he didn’t do it for the love of the game. He trained, worked, sweat because he felt pushed to do it. But it was the sweat and tears, the repetition and training that brought him where he ended up – at the top of the world of tennis.

No one is pushing me. No one says I have to write, to rewrite, to edit, to produce words. And yet I do. There’s no reason to think I can get there any faster than the person who had to practice and train for endless hours to be an athlete, to finish a masters degree in physics, to start their own company from scratch. Just keep working, keep writing, keep pushing. You can do it too.

Productivity – How to Get More Words on the Page

DeskIMG_0389(To follow my blog, click on the ‘Follow’ button in the lower right)

Like anyone else who writes novels, I sometimes have trouble making progress on my manuscript. ‘Sometimes’ might not be the right word, often is more apropos. (I have a need to be honest here.)

There are interruptions. I have a job, and it’s important to me, given it’s a business that I am part owner of and have invested rather heavily in. (I know, that sentence ended in a preposition. Forgive me.)

Other interruptions include family – what are they thinking? That I want to spend time with them? Well, actually, I do.

Then there are health issues that can come at me suddenly, like a thief in the night, robbing me of my equilibrium and concentration.

Nonetheless, I need to write. What to do?

There are lots of ideas out there

  • get your seat in the chair
  • put on the timer and write till it tells you to stop
  • get a software programme that counts your words and measures your output
  • wear noise muffling earphones
  • move into the trailer or the barn in the yard until the MS is finished
  • set a deadline

There are more ideas. Check out this blog   for some good ideas on increasing your productivity.

And yet, when it comes right down to it, sometimes you have to cut yourself some slack. Maybe it’s okay to pour a cup of tea and sit out on the patio, watching the plants push up through the dirt, signalling spring is on the way. I’ll settle for that today.