Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and action suspense author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover. My stories are about all-conquering love and romance, and I enjoy hosting other authors as well. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, multi-shifters, vamp-like Nephilim, Vodouin Fey, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

You might also like to visit my website.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dariel's Halloween Featured Guests and a Fantastically Eerie Cover Reveal

Join me in welcoming my featured Halloween guests, Jennifer James and friends with an erotic anthology, and Deborah Palumbo with a cover reveal for her latest installment in the "Blood Burden" series! Have a sizzling hot and scary (you know, so you can get real close) Halloween :-)



Blurb:
Erotic Contemporary Ménage

Five scorching contemporary erotic tales of ménage love to heat even the coldest Halloween night.

“Thrills and Chills” by Alyssa Turner
“Deployment Gifts” by Jennifer James
“Phantom Pleasure” by Eden Summers
“Taking Candy” by Vristen Pierce
“Trick or Treat” by Ana Maria Pasión

Buy Links:




 THE BANISHED ONE, Book 3 in The Undeparted vampire series by Deborah Palumbo:
The Banished One, a serial killer vampire also named Lucius, is still wreaking havoc on the sleepy town in Tower City, and since he's supernatural he can't be captured by normal police procedure
A frustrated Lieutenant Welby refuses to believe that the elusive Lucius, the one responsible for those dead bodies in his town, is a vampire; that defies logic. There's got to be another explanation for those fang marks in the victims' throats.
Welby remains a staunch disbeliever in vampires until the coroner, Doc McMahon, causes him to change his mind!
Doc shows Welby his ancestral journal from the 1700's regarding Quentin Castle, the father of all vampires.
Welby is whisked back in time as he reads those yellowed pages filled with encounters of beautiful women being lured to their mortal doom and transformed into vampires by the handsome and charming Quentin.
But what causes Welby to finally be convinced, is a series of preternatural events and the coroner's scientific evidence!
Welby then follows the old town rumors about vampires right to Quentin and his gothic castle to enlist Quentin's supernatural aid in capturing Lucius.
Will Quentin, the only one who can stop Lucius' vampire tirades, help the Lieutenant or make him one of The Undeparted?

Will Quentin battle Lucius and send Lucius to the bowels of hell for eternity, finally ensuring that Cassandra is safe from her old beau? Will the old coal mining town be safe at last?




Monday, October 29, 2012

Dariel's Special Guest, Tricia Schneider: Halloween Moon? What Does it Mean? Fertility, Good Luck, Magick, and an Excerpt, Oh, My!


I'm happy to have my friend, multi-published author Tricia Schneider visiting with me today! She's sharing a great, informative post about the significance of the moon's phases on Samhain (Halloween). Also, read on and get a taste of her novel, "The Witch and the Wolf."

"Full Moon" by Melissa Stoudt

A Halloween Moon

Samhain, also known as Halloween or All Hallow's Eve, marks the beginning of the Pagan's or Witch's New Year. This marks the ending of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter months. And as with many New Year traditions, there are predictions for what you can expect during the coming year. 

The phase of the moon on Halloween is one such omen.

·         New Moon: The coming year will be fertile for new beginnings. This year will bring a new career, a new project, a new relationship, a new way of thinking, or a new birth for those hoping for children. 

·         Waxing Moon: Good luck throughout the coming year. You can expect growth and increase of all things that are of a positive nature.

·         Full Moon: Powers for magick and divination are strongest for this night. If you make a secret wish at midnight, it will come true during the coming year. Many mysterious things may happen during this year.

·         Waning Moon: The positive side: Indicates the elimination of bad habits, unhealthy relationships, or any obstacles to happiness within the coming year. The negative side: A decrease (as in one's health) or a loss of some kind. 

·         Dark Phase of the Moon (also known as the Dead Moon): A very negative omen. Take great caution in all your endeavors within the next year. It is highly recommend a talisman of good luck be worn for protection. 

For the year 2012, the full moon occurs on October 29, although it will be 98% illuminated on the 31st, appearing to most to be a full moon. The next true full moon occurring on Halloween night will be in the year 2020.

~Tricia Schneider is an author of paranormal and gothic romance. She worked several years as a bookseller and Assistant Manager at a Waldenbooks. Now she writes full-time while raising her 3 young children. She lives in the coal country of Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 neurotic cats. For more information about Tricia and her books, please visit: 
  
To purchase her books, please visit The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=666



Lord Jeremy North's curse is to become a werewolf during every full moon, turning into a bloodthirsty monster that kills with no remorse. When he finds a woman nearly frozen upon his doorstep, his sense of honor compels him to help her, even at the risk he might kill her himself.
Lillian Merriweather hadn't planned to get caught in a blizzard while traveling the English countryside. Nor had she planned on finding refuge in a house full of secrets. But Lillian has secrets of her own. And what she's running from is not far behind...

Excerpt:
There were several moments Jeremy North suspected he suffered hallucinations. Most of those times had been when he had first begun to change into the beast during the full moon. And now, as he answered the knocking he had at first imagined to be the pounding in his skull, he wondered if the brandy he had been drinking this evening was perhaps tainted. He could not quite believe his eyes.

A woman stood on his doorstep, covered in a layer of snow, her bright blue eyes silently pleading to him just before her eyelids fluttered closed, and she crumpled at his feet. He managed to set the candle down safely on a table in time to catch her before she cracked her head on the stone beneath her. He lifted her effortlessly into his arms, brought her into the house, slamming the door closed with his foot. He hurried into the library with his unexpected guest. North had returned earlier seeking the warm oblivion of yet another glass of brandy. He grimaced at the memory of countless other sleep-deprived nights spent in much the same way. Sans an unconscious woman, however.

He placed the bundled woman onto the sofa, ignoring the fact that the snow was bound to create a water stain on the fabric once it melted. He leaned over her, pushing the curly brown strands of wet hair off her face and checked to see if she still breathed. Satisfied when he felt her breath on his hand, he went back to the corridor.

“Amery!” He roared.

Turning back to the woman on his sofa, he again felt the necessity to blink his eyes, wondering if they played a trick with his senses. He lit more candles to brighten the room and added more wood to the fire. Then he walked back to the woman and knelt at her side. He found her hand dangling over the edge of the sofa and took it gently in his, the digits frozen stiff. He inhaled a gasp. He cupped both of his hands instinctively around hers, hoping to lend her his warmth.

He heard the shuffle from the hallway and Amery’s muttering, then a noisy yawn.
“Bloody hell! What is this?” Amery bellowed from the doorway.
North ignored the query. “We need blankets,” he said, instead. “She’s frozen through.”
Amery nodded and left.

A muffled groan from behind drew his attention, and he turned to see the woman’s eyelids flutter open. He inhaled sharply as her bright blue gaze fell upon him.
She studied him for a moment.
And then, she smiled.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Dariel's Fridays with Friends Featured Guest is Author Wenona Hulsey with More About Her "Blood Burden" Series!!




How about I tell you a bit about me first, the person behind the pen? I'm Wenona Hulsey, mother of two and blue collar worker by day.  But at night I turn into Wenona Hulsey, master of words and worlds.  I’ve always written for as long as I can remember. I kept journals off and on from the age of nine but I really got into writing about a year and a half ago.

I was searching for a creative outlet at a time in my life when I felt like I was living in a rut.  I sing terrible, I dance like I'm having seizures and my art looks like stick figures so I turned to what came easiest to me ---writing.  I started working on my first novel, Burden of Blood, and it moved along remarkably fast.  I guess that could be contributed to my recent binge reading of all books labeled paranormal romances but I had an idea of what I wanted and I put it to paper.
As I was nearing the end of my writing frenzy on Burden of Blood a fascinating novelette idea popped into my head and Blood Awakening was born.  It works as a back story to two of the main characters in Burden of Blood, giving you more detail and insight into who Nicole Keenan and her best friend Kat were before their world was turned on its head.  I would consider Blood Awakening more of a thriller, suspense with a dash of paranormal and comedy thrown in.  But Burden of Blood is full on Paranormal Romance with hot warriors and gothic fairies in leading roles.

Now that I've sent Blood Awakening, Burden of Blood and the final book in the series, Blood of Fire, out into the world, I'm working on the 3rd draft of my still untitled mystery thriller and I've started another project that will fall into the young adult genre.
I hope you all will give my books a read and I'm always glad to connect with readers in the internet world so be sure to reach out to me on me website, Facebook page, or Twitter.  Thanks so much for letting me join you today!

Blood Awakening Blurb:
Nicole, a small town Alabama girl, and her best friend Kat take a weekend trip to Panama City, Florida. Kat looking to have a good time and Nicole hoping to escape the pain of losing her mother for a little while. Little did Nicole know, the escape would awaken a ancient power that is hidden in her blood. A power that evil wants for its own and will do whatever it take to have it. 
Burden of Blood Blurb:
Nicole Keenan is a police officer in a sleepy county town..content in her denial. She can hide her secret for only so long before an ancient grudge and the power hidden inside her burst to life. Dance with fierce warriors and Gothic fairies as southern tradition collides with Irish folklore. Nicole learns about love, heartbreak and The Burden Of Blood. 

Blood of Fire Blurb:
Turning her back on everyone she loves, Nicole leaves Alabama to face the man who has made her life hell from the day he forced her powers to surface. She will face evil and end the war that has been brewing for centuries…or that's what she hopes will happen as the final story of the Blood Burden Series plays out. New characters, steamy romance, lives lost and an ancient war. Is it in your blood? 


Buy Links:

Wenona Hulsey
Author, Contemporary Romance & Epic Fantasy
http://www.wenonahulsey.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/wenonahulsey
http://www.facebook.com/WenonaHulseyAuthor

Join my email list for the latest on all my books, contest and much more!http://www.wenonahulsey.com/p/contact-me.html


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dariel's Book Talk Wednesday Guest is Multi-published Author Deborah Palumbo!


Join me in welcoming multi-published author Deborah Palumbo to my site, today!
Read on to check out her books and visit her on the web. Also, make sure you visit me on Halloween for cover reveal of her latest release!

Hi everyone.
I'm the author of the paranormal romance series THE UNDEPARTED and 7 other novels.
I'm a self-pubbed author spinning yarns in two genres available in ebook and paperback: Romance....historical and paranormal laced with mystery and sometime spice.... and Mystery/crime; you know, who dunnit with frustrated detectives who are hot on the trail of some killer. I also co-wrote a screenplay with the acclaimed actor/writer Jordan Rhodes.
I was honored to have caught Jordan's attention with my mystery crime novel EDGE OF DARKNESS, hence his invitation to co write with him. He wrote a review of me and my novel I'd love to share with you:
"Edge of darkness is a taut suspenseful Detective thriller laced with humor that reminds one of the wit displayed by the character of Lenny from Law & Order. It's an interesting read that would easily translate to film as it conveys visuals to the reader. For every Mickey Spillane fan out there - Mickey's back - only he's a female and her name is Deborah Palumbo"...JORDAN RHODES Actor/writer
I was delighted...actually I was tickled pink...to read this kind review and be asked to co write the screenplay of his upcoming film with him and Lynn Moore. I've also written a screenplay based on one of my mystery novels THE DOCTORS. That one was a medical thriller.
I am in the process of writing the 3rd sequel in the VAMPIRE series The Undeparted. The new book is called THE BANISHED ONE; the 4th one has already been conceived. I'm anxious to share them with you. Also, I've just published a vintage detective novel, a 1948 crime noir, WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES. The 2nd book in that series is a work in progress!
I wish I could say that I write these tales of love and murder and mayhem behind an antique desk, but the fact is I write in my king bed with my pillows scrunched up behind me! I began this whole writing journey when I became bedridden and homebound. Talk about fate. I had always wanted to write novels, since I was a kid, but it took a period of long confinement to bring about that dream.
When I'm not writing I enjoy relaxing at home; occasionally in front of the TV watching the old black and white shows or listening to 70's music. I'd prefer to play cards or Scrabble rather than go to a club. I'd rather take a long drive on a country road than jet off somewhere. I love to cook for friends. Sometimes I pull out the good china and other times I use my favorite Hallmark paper plates, but what really matters is the laughter and good conversation and especially a discussion about a good book!
Oh yeah, I love cheeseburgers!
Ciao!
If you like my books please remember to hit the "like" button, review them and recommend them!
Thank you so much Dariel. 
You're very welcome, Deb! Readers, sign up for blog updates for a reminder to visit me on Halloween for Deborah's cover reveal and an anthology with my friend Jennifer James!

Friday, October 19, 2012


Have you ever wondered what it takes to make an Alpha Male? Is it the way he looks? His dark and stormy  eyes, the way his body moves, the way he...well, I'll leave that last part up to you. What about the way he acts? Or treats his heroine?

What is your favorite thing about Alpha Heroes? Well, we authors are ready to share our favorite Alpha Males, our favorite things about them, and everything sexy and heated about those Alpha Males you can think of. *wink* Starting on Friday and ending on Oct 22nd, over 200 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about those sexy men we know and love.


And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger. Read on to find out a little about what I think, and of course, the prizes :-) Make sure to leave your e-mail address in comments! 


My friend, Melinda Dozier included me in a group post with several great authors, and each of us talked a bit about favorite alpha males. I'm in love with so many, it didn't occur to me to mention the names of some of my own personal alpha heroes in the post, so here goes:
 I don't want to make any of my alpha heroes jealous or angry, so indulge me while I sing their praises as well, as they embody the qualities I love in an alpha male. Sable, and Torin, from "Dark Sentinels" books one and two, and Canaan (C J) from "Alerians - Dark Progeny: Jordan's Wings." These are men of few words, yet when they speak, they are intelligent, insightful, and direct. They are powerful, protective men who are not intimidated by a strong woman; in fact, they support and encourage strength in the women they love, taking whatever steps they deem necessary to help them acknowledge and fulfill their dreams. These men make me feel safe, willing to risk their lives to protect me from harm. They show me I am loved instead of wasting time with flowery lip-service.
If you love alpha males, I have three you might like to meet! You can view Sable's blurb and enjoy the trailer on the right. Torin is the fiery, volatile hero from "Dark Sentinels Book Two: Torin," coming soon to Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com (find out more about him here), and my newest release, hot off the press, is Canaan, from "Alerians Dark Progeny - Jordan's Wings" with Red Rose Publishing! 



"Alerians - Dark Progeny: Jordan's Wings" 

Jordan Taylor is a feisty, take charge, Rubinesque beauty with a tough façade, but after a string of lackluster relationships, her dream of a man who truly loves and appreciates her strength seems impossible…Until she meets Canaan, the man her fiancé claims is his best friend! Instinctively, she knows her neat, if lackluster life is about to change.
Born more than 200 years ago, Canaan looks like an angel but he’s far from it. In his world, the ratio of men to women is 500 to 1, and although he’s a superior being, he’s willing to break the most sacred law of his brothers, even drink human blood, to have one meant for him alone.When he meets Jordan, he knows she’s the one he’s been searching for.  To claim her, Canaan will have to betray his friend, humble himself enough to win her love, and risk his very life.



But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times! Scroll to the bottom of the page for more sites :-)

Now what are those prizes?
My Prize: Free e-copy of "Alerians-Dark Progeny: Jordan's Wings"
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!



I received so many comments during this fantastic hop, I decided to draw twice! Winners are Jo, and Qwillia Rain. Both winners will receive a PDF copy of "The Alerians - Dark Progeny: Jordan's Wings" which can be read onscreen or loaded to a Kindle or Nook. Congratulations!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Dariel's World Building Fun: 21 Questions to Make Your World Real




World building, whether your characters live in the 21st Century or the 30th, on Earth or some undiscovered planet, can help make or break a story. Actually, it’s an integral part of characterization. What kind of character lives in a world decimated by war? Where there are no chidren? No disease? No sex? What happens when this character finds himself on Earth? Obviously, the more we know about the worlds of our characters, the more developed, and multi-faceted these characters will be.

Right now, I’m living in three very different worlds. “Dark Sentinels” allows me to focus on my love for animals. In this world, super weres battle misguided, greedy forces. In “Alerians – Dark Progeny,” the descendants of Nephilim find themselves hungering for human women despite their edict to obey the “One God,” and “Children of Cain” is about the imaginary descendants of the Biblical Cain, indentured assassins doing penance for the sins of their ancestor – the first recorded murderer. So, these are the questions I developed answers to as my worlds came alive.

1.     Is the story set on Earth? If so, when and where?
2.     Did the hero/heroine originate on Earth? If so, when? For what purpose? If not, where? How did they get here? Why did they come? Different dimension? Shadow world? Warriors, explorers, stranded, brought as chidren, slaves, exiled, escapees?
3.     Indigenous diseases? Immunity?
4.     Special trades or abilities?
5.     How do they look? Of course, in paranormal romance, they have to be attractive in some way, and sexually compatible with humans, but fantasy and sci-fi allow quite a bit more wiggle room.
6.     What’s their governing body like? Is there one? Caste system, dictatorship, democracy, a system unknown to us?
7.     Everyday life necessities, i.e., how do they eat? How often do they eat? When and what do they eat? Transportation?
8.     What elements are indigenous to their world? Water, fire, earth, wind/air, magic, other (use your imagination)?
9.     What’s the ratio of men to women?
10.  What are their mating rituals? Dating, weddings, betrothals, arranged marriages, etc.?
11.    How do they reproduce? Gestation period? Dominant DNA?
12.    What are their bodily rhythms? Do they sleep? If so, when and how long?
13.     What is their history of mating with humans? Has it happened before? What was the outcome? What are the attitudes about these matings?
14.       Is their existence common knowledge? Do just a few know about them? Do they go to great lengths to keep their existence secret?
15.       Do they have problems reproducing? For instance, they might have problems reproducing with their females, but human women can bear their offspring.
16.       Are they trying to avoid impending extinction? War? Persecution?
17.       How long have they been here?
18.       How long have they known about humans?
19.       Do they understand human ways? Language? Customs? If so, how did they learn?
20.       Who are the antagonists? Cultural, racial, or social mores? Groups or individuals who want to take something from them? Groups or individuals who fear or hate them because of past events (real or perceived)?
21.        Are they a new species or mutation?

Obviously, this list is far from conclusive, but it’s a start. There’s no need to burden readers with the answers to all of these questions, but the answers still help shape our characters as we submerge ourselves in their worlds. Nearly every one of these questions can be a story starter, an entire world built around it. The beauty of world building is license for the creative mind to run wild. Enjoy. Nearly every rule has an exception J

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dariel Raye's Fridays with Friends Featured Guest: Author Wenona Hulsey!




BIO:
Author Wenona Hulsey spends her time scaling roof tops, kicking bad guy tail and rescuing small kittens from tree tops.  But during the time when she isn’t asleep, she’s a mother of two beautiful children and works a full time day job.  She lives vicariously through great books and creates magical worlds in her spare time.  She is also an avid social networker who loves to meet new people. 


Buy Links:
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/wenona-hulsey
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Wenona-Hulsey/e/B005BYI2U0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Contact me Links:
http://www.wenonahulsey.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/wenonahulsey
http://www.facebook.com/WenonaHulseyAuthor

Join my email list for the latest on all my books, contest and much more! http://www.wenonahulsey.com/p/contact-me.html


Friday, October 5, 2012

Dariel Raye's Fridays With Friends Featuring Christina McKnight!




As promised, author Christina McKnight is sharing her new release with us today.

Welcome, Christina, and congratulations on your new release! This is a smokin' cover, and I'm sure readers are eager to learn more about the story, so here it is. I've already added it to my kindle. Darius is definitely worth getting to know :-)

Only In Her Dreams, The Oneiroi Book 1
When Lucessa Sarcona awakes from a recurring dream, she has no idea her life is about to be turned upside down. A stranger, familiar to her dreams, shows up in the flesh, and Lucessa knows she’s either crazy or experiencing something not of this world.

A war ensues between three demigod brothers. One, trained to rule Erebos, is violently replaced. One forced to return to his homeland and lead the dream-gods of the Oneiroi. And one is charged with the impossible task of protecting Lucessa. How is she linked to the Oneiroi? Why do two brothers seek to keep her hidden and protected? And how does another plan to use her against the two demigods who love her?

Will Lucessa’s dream man have the courage to claim her as his own or will he bow to the command of another, forsaking the one he loves?

Only in Her Dreams is a modern spin on a Greek legend--the new direction of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, moving from angels, demons, vampires, and witches and toward the realm of demigods.

Excerpt:
Darius preferred to let his brothers believe his powers had indeed been stripped, gone with his banishment. That’s where his deal with the Dark One came in handy. He’d had a link to the girl for years now, bringing a dark presence to her dreams-her nightmares.
Closing his eyes he concentrated on the dark side. A thrill coursed through his body every time he traveled to this forbidden land. He would lead these people, his type of people.
His eyes opened and he stood in front of a rusted, black iron gate. It parted to allow him entrance.
He proceeded down the fog-ridden path toward the castle in the distance. It was an imposing structure covered by black tinted ivy. Everything in this place held a black tint; the streets, the building, and most of all—the people. Soon-to-be, his people.
As he approached the massive fortress, the doors glided open of their own accord. The interior was as dark and fog laden as the exterior, dim candles shown upon the rug laden floor he moved across.
“The Dark One will see you in the billiards room.”
Darius stiffened and stopped his progress, turning toward the voice behind him.
No one in sight. What the fuck?
He straightened his shoulders and continued through the foyer and down the hall leading to the billiards room. Again, doors parted and he entered.
The Dark One lounged against the far wall, cue stick in hand. He studied the freshly racked pool table. “You’re in time for a game. Grab a cue, Darius.”
“Yes, My Lord.” Darius retrieved a cue stick from the wall and turned toward the table. The Dark One leaned across it, aiming for the racked balls.
“I hear you have good news for me,” he said as his stick connected with the white ball. On impact, the colored and striped balls rolled toward the corner pockets.
Darius watched in awe. Every ball found its home in a hole, ending the game before it start. What the fuck?! he thought to himself, for the second time in less than ten minutes.
“Well?”
“Yes. My informant gave us accurate information about where the girl lives,” Darius said.
“Have you confirmed this for yourself?” The man stood straight and returned his stick to the rack on the wall. He faced Darius across the table, hands on his hips. The man was intimidating, the thing that nightmares were made of.
“Of course.” I’m not an idiot.
“Well?”
“Well…what?” Darius asked. Standing around a pool table, in such a casual setting should be relaxing, but he was on edge.
“Why isn’t Erebos mine yet?”
Good question. How to answer that without getting his ass set on fire, he wondered. “I’m working on it.”
“Work faster. I’m in need of a new home, this one’s going to shit.” The Dark One stared at Darius, no hint of a joke on his face.
“I don’t plan to drag this out longer than necessary.”


Christina McKnight
Urban Fantasy and Historical Romance Author
 
Only In Her Dreams, The Oneiroi Book 1 - Available on Amazon
Shunned No More, Forsaken Lady Series (Book 1) - Available May 2013
 
Follow me on Twitter -  https://twitter.com/#!/CMcKnightWriter

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dariel's Writing Rituals: What Are Yours?



Seems everyone wants to write a book these days, but what separates the talkers from the authors? One thing I know -stop talking, and start writing. Sounds simple enough, yeah? You do need a plan, though, and the development of some consistent, productive writing habits or rituals.

First of all, I'm driven. If I'm not moving forward, accomplishing something, my characters haunt me. They yell during the day, refuse to let me sleep, and when they lose the battle of keeping me awake, they come to me in my dreams. There's no escape without writing habits that work for me to keep them at bay
.
So for a few minutes, I'll tell you about some of my writing rituals - some new, some old, and perhaps one or two uniquely me:-) One new habit that's working for me is writing my outline first. I realize this is nothing new for most writers, but I've been a die-hard pantser for years. Writing the outline helps me focus, and gives me a clear sense of moving towards a goal. I jot the outline down on my kindle fire so I can change it easily and keep it beside my laptop as I work. Also helps with editing since I know where specific plot points and action scenes are located.

A few months ago, I purchased Scrivener.  A bit of a learning curve to make the most of the program, but well worth it. I input my outline sketch, chapter by chapter, add character sketches and world building thoughts, and everything for a novel or series is right there at my fingertips. Great writing tool to help with organization. Even has a name choosing feature, and of course you can export it to word, PDF,  or wherever you need it when you're ready to publish.

As far as schedules go, I've learned to adjust. I set a weekly goal, say three or four chapters, according to life-demands that particular week, and try to write everyday. Some days I get quite a bit done, other days not so much. I'm a musician with latent dreams of composing movie sountracks, so I can only listen to certain songs when I write. The song has to fit the mood of the story, and has to be background music - not something that will distract me by demanding full attention. I also set it to repeat, and listen to the same track over and over. Might be odd to some, but it helps me concentrate and lose myself in my characters' world.

Just a note about editing. I can't help editing some as I go, but I'm developing the ability to forge ahead and complete the entire first draft, leaving major edits for later. This is hard for me, but constant editing stifles my creativity. Speaking of edits, I've joined two writer critique groups and started a beta-reading group. I read their ideas and suggestions, then file them for my editing and rewriting stages.

I can't end this without giving honor to another set of basic writing tools. My handy paperback thesaurus and dictionary are always beside my laptop. That way I don't have quite as many stagnant or just plain old wrong words to fix after the first draft. Now, enough about me. What about you? Do you listen to music? Follow a set schedule? Use a writing program? Tell me. What are some of your writing rituals?