Laura Simmons

Little Bits of Karma

Dabble in the Dark Side with Dark Karma

Posted 15 November 2018 (Scroll down if you want to read Traveling the Astral Plane w/Tough Karma)

Dark Karma: Sword of Vengeance is my latest book, published in September 2018.  It recently won a Literary Titan Silver Book Award for the month of November: 

“The Silver Award is bestowed on books that expertly deliver complex characters, intricate worlds, and thought provoking themes. The ease with which the story is told is a reflection of the author’s talent in exercising fluent, powerful, and appropriate language.” Literary Titan

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?

My first book focused on reincarnation, the second one focused on that same concept plus unusual psychic talents and a deranged villain. I wanted to use all of those concepts in Dark Karma, but take it to another level. The concept of traveling to other dimensions of reality intrigues me, and I thought it would be a wonderful element to include in this story. The main characters, Nina and Luke, are supporting characters in Tough Karma so it was easy to write for them.  

Do I need to read the two previous books, Little Bits of Karma and Tough Karma to understand this new story?

No.  Little Bits of Karma is a completely different story than Dark Karma and you don’t need to read it unless you have an avid interest in reincarnation. While I believe Dark Karma can easily be read as a standalone, there is an unresolved situation in Tough Karma which carries over into Dark Karma.  I tried to provide enough backstory for the reader, however, you might prefer to read Tough Karma first.  All of my e-books are currently on sale for 0.99 each.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Dark Karma?

Our two main characters are Nina Perotti and Luke Decker. I don’t want to give too much away, so this will be brief. Nina is a part-time CIA psychic with otherworldly abilities who lives in the country and has a small farm. Luke is a former Navy SEAL and CIA operative. They are longtime friends and have recently become much more. Their happiness is shattered when they must face the fight of their lives.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The plot twists given to me by two of the supporting characters. I had been struggling with a particular section and mulling over several scenarios to move it forward. I was driving to work one morning and thinking about that particular character when the new twist entered my mind, and it was so off the wall from anything I would have dreamed up that I didn’t accept it right away. I pondered it for a few days and decided to try writing it. Once I started writing, it came charging through and it felt awesome! The other twist comes much later in the book. That one was surprising too, but not off the charts. It made me laugh out loud and shake my head. It’s not a funny scene but it was great fun to write.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

If I told you, it would be a spoiler. I’ll provide a tiny hint for those who decide to read the story: DK. I also love the vengeance and fight scenes along with the ending.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More stories. Dark Karma is my third book and I have plans for two more books. There will be one more book in the unofficial Karma Series, and the book after that will either start a new series or be a single issue with no follow-on. Some of the minor characters from Dark Karma are poking at me to tell their stories. Although, everything could change if the characters tell me there is much more “karma” to experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you’ll come back next week!

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Traveling the Astral Plane with Tough Karma: A Race Against Time

Posted 8 November 2018 

I’ve always been fascinated with psychic phenomena and wished I could astral travel.  I was inspired to write Tough Karma as I was finalizing my first novel, Little Bits of Karma (LBK).  Two of the trouble-making, minor characters in LBK (Amber and Bryce) had a story to tell and came through loud and clear.  I found myself doing last minute edits on LBK to make Bryce less mean and more physically attractive, since I originally wrote his character as cruel and brutish looking.  He wanted me to know that he was redeemable and open to change and hopelessly in love with Amber.  I wanted Tough Karma to be a completely different story and focus on latent psychic abilities coming to the forefront, specifically astral travel. 

What is Astral travel?

Astral projection or astral travel is an out-of-body experience (OBE) where your consciousness, soul, or whatever you wish to call the spiritual, non-physical part of you, temporarily leaves your physical body and roams about on other planes of existence, or other dimensions most of us are unable to see and experience during full waking consciousness. Some people can do this naturally without trying.  Other people learn to do it by researching techniques others have used to successfully accomplish this, and apply them repeatedly until they can separate from their bodies. This is not a dream state, and the experience isn’t forgotten upon awakening.

Do the Karma Series books need to be read in order?

No.  All of the stories are different and will appeal to certain readers more than others. There is a Prologue at the beginning of Tough Karma which helps bring the reader up-to-date, making for a smooth intro to the story.

Why do Amber and Bryce make for such a good match?

Since Bryce and Amber are first cousins in LBK, I had to think up a good backstory to make them unrelated; judging from the mostly great reviews, it worked.

He’s the strong protective type and has been secretly in love with her for most of his life. They grew up as first cousins until they learned that they were not blood relatives.  She was always the one he couldn’t have.  They are lifelong best friends and confide in each other and truly enjoy each other’s company.  He keeps her grounded and soothes her soul and she deeply appreciates him. Finding out there is no blood connection opens the door for a beautiful romance.

What was the hardest scene from Tough Karma to write?

The hardest scene I’ve had to write is Amber’s abduction. I didn’t listen to the little voice in my head and wrote that scene in the first draft with something different and easier. My beta reader didn’t like what I had written for Amber and said I needed to change it. I was never truly comfortable with what I initially wrote for her and eventually wrote what the little voice suggested in the first place. I was stalled on it for three months because I had accepted a promotion at work which turned out to be disastrous for me, and I was too stressed to think about it. While on sabbatical and looking for another job, I was able to focus and rewrite the scene and I was much happier with it.  

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have recently published Dark Karma: Sword of Vengeance which is the third book in the Karma Series. Dark Karma was inspired in much the same way as Tough Karma.  Nina Perotti is a supporting character in Tough Karma who bursts onto the scene about halfway through the story.  She is a good friend of Bryce’s brother, Luke.  Without giving too much away, let’s just say that Nina has incredible psychic abilities. Someone is out to steal a magical item from her and destroy the new love she’s found with Luke.  Luke mysteriously disappears into thin air and finds himself in a hellish alternate dimension, a place where Nina is unable to reach him.  I love the concept of alternate dimensions or alternate realities and that is the main theme for Dark Karma.

You can learn more about the story by clicking on the Dark Karma tab. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you’ll come back next week!