Meet the Characters from City of Silver, Dystopian Fiction

City of Silver is a dystopian science fiction story. Benita, a rebellious teenager, discovers everything she has been taught was a lie. She, and everyone else in the city of Argentar, were meant for much more than the mundane lives they leave.

Meet the Characters


Every night Benita dreams. She envisions her home is a beautiful city of clean, silver buildings. She dreams of a queen banished for not sharing the secret of her powers. And when she wakes, nothing she sees matches what she dreamed. The city she lives in is crowded with trash and debris, and the structures are covered with thick grime. She must decide what's more real: the world she has known since birth, that she can touch and see, or the world she dreams, that she feels with her heart.


Benita first meets Raven on the streets of Argentar, but she has seen him before that moment. In her dreams, he tried to protect the queen when the people of the city rebelled.

Raven earns Benita's trust, and captures her imagination with amazing demonstrations of magic. But when Benita starts to realize the truth, Raven hesitates to allow her to reach her true potential.


Jomicolis is the banished queen of Argentar. With the help of her four companions, she helped to construct the shields that protect the city from the wastelands.

For many years Jomicolis protected and ruled over the city. But the people became restless, and the governing council blamed her, and her mysterious powers. The council demanded she revealed the secrets to her magic, and when she refused, she was stripped of rulership of the city.

She still remains part of the city, hoping some day the people will possibly see the truth and start to dream again.

Read more about these characters in Danielle Raver's novella City of Silver, available now on Amazon.

Thank you for visiting!

Won't you take a ride on a flying spoon?

Yesterday to celebrate an important step in my writing career, I was in need of some dancing music. "Looking Out My Back Door" by Creedence Clearwater Revival came to mind.

I found this video on the wonderful Youtube. Before yesterday, I had never seen CCR, only listened to them on CD.

As I listened to the lyrics I realized they were very fitting to what I was celebrating: fiction writing. Here are the lyrics:

Just got home from Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy!
Got to sit down, take a rest on the porch.
Imagination sets in, pretty soon I'm singing:
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

There's a giant doing cartwheels,
A statue wearing high heels.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
A dinosaur Victrola listening to Buck Owens.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won't you take a ride on the flying spoon?
Doo, doodoo
Wonderous apparition provided by magician.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won't you take a ride on the flying spoon?
Dooin, doo doo.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I'll buy no sorrows.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

Forward troubles Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy!
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I'll buy no sorrows.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.  

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Some think "take a ride on a flying spoon" and the parade of animals are references to getting high. 

Personally, this reminds me of the nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle":

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon

Fantasizing and day dreaming are considered wastes of time by some, but are everyday activities for an author. I remember as a child reading "Hey Diddle Diddle" and spending a long time trying to figure out exactly what it meant. But more, I imagined what happened afterwards. The Dish and Spoon going on some grand adventure down a moon-lit stream.

I believe this easy and free thought is what John Fogerty wrote the lyrics to "Looking Out My Backdoor". So curl up with a good fantasy or science fiction book (they are as trippy as they come :), sink inside it, and "take a ride on a flying spoon." 

New Fiction 2012

New ebooks for Amazon Kindle: City of Silver and The Enchantress

[Science Fiction Novella]

Read a sample:

[Arabian-set Fantasy Short Story]

Read a sample:

Ways to Improve Writing

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Rewriting a book I first wrote when I was pre-teen has given me a unique perspective on how writing develops in a person who is serious creating fiction. I don't think non-authors can grasp how much goes in to writing a novel. Not only do I spend half my writing time researching, but I also work to continually improve my writing through feedback, edits, and critiques. Not that the stage I am now at is perfect, by any means, but I am amazed at how far I've come, even in the last ten years.

I'd like to share the main things I've learned as a participant on, Scibophile, and as an author and editor for Fantasy Island Book Publishing. I will also share a sample of CRAPPY old writing - and how I improved it.

Ways to Improve Writing:

1) Have someone who is not FRIEND or FAMILY edit your book, preferably hire someone if you have the money. There are so many things that authors miss in their own writing. It takes an outsider with a critical eye to catch them.

A good place to find an editorial service is through Publisher's Marketplace. They have a complete database:

2) Be aware of vague, redundant, and overused words and phrases. A fellow author told me recently about Pro Writing Aid, it's a web-based editing tool that alerts you to word choice and consistency in a selection of text you paste into it. I highly recommend it.

(sample report from Pro Writing Aid - this is of a version of my book I wrote in 1997:)

3) Join a critique group. As I said above, my favorite two are - which is for fantasy and science fiction writers, and Scribophile, which is for anyone.
Critters is an email-based queue for science fiction and fantasy novels, and there are similar systems for other genres on You have to edit other manuscripts to keep in good standing, and wait some time as your chapter or short story goes up the list. It is time consuming, but if you critique ten works you get to move to the top of the list.

Here's what the queue looks like:


Scribophile is another online critique website, and you can set up a basic membership for free, but to be able to post more than two chapters at once you need to buy a premium membership.

You also have to critique other people's writing in order to post your own, whether you buy the premium membership or not. You earn Karma points by posting more detailed reviews.

I found you have to be very active on either critique site in order to receive a substantial number of reviews. Both places the fellow authors were very helpful, and all have varying opinions, which I will get into in tip #4
4) Above all, I recommend every author to make it his or her priority to find their unique voice, and stick with it. Editor, critics, beta readers can all have differing opinions. I often find that one sample of writing will please some, and elicit many suggestions from others. No piece of fiction will please everyone. Be true to the story you intended, and how you intended to tell it. Sometimes it's okay if you make someone mad, or break some rules. Try to find an editor/proofreader who understands who you are as an author, and your target audience.

Without further ado, here is my *fantastic* sample (haha:)

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My Bucket List

My mom suggested we both write bucket lists - ten things we'd like to do before we die - and then compare them. I wonder if she knew I would blog about it :)

So here it goes, my bucket list, in the order that I think about items.

1) Get a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, or neural psychology

2) Design a house that we will hire someone else to build, with a sun room, and a screened porch, a pool, a jacuzzi, a library, and a rock path garden (that's also energy self-sufficient using solar panels)

3) Finish and publish Flight Moon, my life's work

4) Travel to Europe and take a tour of old castles and ruins

5) See the mountains in Japan and China

6) Start a center to help children who are diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, or labeled with learning disabilities (Like the Arrowsmith school in Canada)

7) Research neuroplasticity and help reinvent the education model with the understanding that IQ is NOT permanent and "disabilities" CAN be overcome

8) See my kids graduate high school and start a field of work that they can make a difference in the world and find hapiness

9) Plant an orchard of fruit and hardwood trees and have field for horses

10) Live a long, happy life with my husband and family

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

My Friends' Bucket Lists:

(None added yet!)
(Leave a link to yours in the comments and I'll link to it)

Tragedy Tarts - Recipe from Danielle Raver

Tragedy Tart Recipe

(Based on a mini chocolate tart recipe)
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Brownie Mix
Three large eggs
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup water
Cherry Pie Filling
Chopped or Sliced Almonds
White Chocolate Bar

Mini cupcake liners
Mini cupcake pan
(available at Michael's!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl mix the brownie mix with the eggs, oil, and water. Dish out brownie mix 1/3 full for each cupcake. Dab a small amount of cherry filling, with no cherries, in the center of the brownie mix. Add a small layer of brownie mix to the top. Dabble a 1/2 a teaspoon of Nutella to the top of each mixture.

Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until a knife inserted to the center comes out clean.
As soon as you take the tarts out of the oven, sprinkle shaved white chocolate and crushed almonds to the top. Push in one sliced almond to the top of the tart (like a sword through the heart).

Makes over 100 mini tarts. Note: you can put the cupcake liners onto a cookie sheet, but they won't be as nicely shaped if you use the mini cupcake pan.

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This recipe is based on the events of Brother Betrayed, a tragic fantasy novel by Danielle Raver. Find out more about it on Amazon.

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Alteration of this recipe by AJ Wheeler:

Instead of Nutella, fresh chocolate ganache frosting and confectioners sugar over the white chocolate shavings

Cover for City of Silver

My fabulous cover artist Walt Barna has agreed to create the cover art for my upcoming novella City of Silver. I met Walt through the forums on Deviant Art.

Unlike the cover for my first novel, Brother Betrayed, I didn't give Walt specific directions for City of Silver. Instead I asked him to draw whatever he was inspired to after he read the story.

Here are is sketches and drawing in sequential order. I saved the best for last :)

Initial Concept Sketch

 Walt chose to depict Benita, the main character of the story, sleeping. Benita doesn't understand why even though most people in the city of Argentar only dream a few times in their lives, she dreams every night.

Pencil Sketch
Excerpt from City of Silver:

Mom gives me a serious look. “I think it’s time you tell me about these dreams.”
I sigh when she sits with me on the bed. Feeling guilty – like I’m telling some secret – I scorn myself, knowing that it’s all made up in my head.
Well, there’s this woman...”

 Complete Black and White Concept Sketch
This version includes two figures on the top corners of the cover. On the left is Raven. Benita first meets Raven in her dreams, then he appears in real life as a guide and messenger. On the right is Jomicolis, the banished queen of Argentar.

Completed Cover
In the final version of the cover several important details come forward. The purity of the city is a core theme of the story. As far as the flowers, the shaded figures, and the floating girl, you'll have to read the story to understand their significance.

Available on Amazon Kindle!

Visit Walt Barna's Deviant Art Page
Click Here

Cool New Alternative Rock Song

I happened by this song by Jordan Parvex on SoundCloud this week.

Jordan explains his inspiration for the song was being hurt and betrayed by someone he trusted dearly.

Lyrics to Brother Betrayed by Jordan Parvex

you’ve got a look that can break stone
and an attitude like you're on a throne
you think you can rule the world.
you have these eyes that can pierce my soul
and instead of a heart, you have a hole
you think you can rule the world.


come on stop kidding yourself
your just a kid left on a shelf
and the worlds broken you down
you’re just their puppet now.


all that’s left of you is a hollow shell
you put a price up for your soul to sell
and now the world rules you.
you made a promise to never change
too bad your dead and we’re estranged
and now the world rules you.


you’re heartless
you’re soulless
you’re loveless
you loved this
you’ve lost this
your broken
so goodbye
to you
you’re one of them now.

(chorus x2)

Support this artist on SoundCloud

Betrayed by a Brother

Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
~ Genesis 4:11

Early stories of brotherly betrayal have been ingrained upon our society's psyche. Like the biblical story of Cain and Abel, when brother betrays brother, the act is especially heinous. 

Stories of brotherly betrayal survive in popular culture. In the recent movie Thor by Paramount, based on the comic book series by Marvel, the god Thor is betrayed by his adopted brother Loki.

 However, the legends of Norse Mythology do tell of betrayal between these two gods. As the myth goes, Thor is poisoned by a snake, whom he fights partially due to the deception of Loki.

Loki is tied up by the gods and forced to drink the poison of a snake as punishment. When the poison falls on him, his body trembles, causing earthquakes, according to the Norse myth.

 Another ancient story of brother betraying brother comes from Egyptian mythology. Osiris was tricked by this brother-in-law Set into a coffin, and was drowned in the Nile.

Osiris was later resurrected by his wife, Isis, after she found the jeweled coffin and put together the dismantled pieces of his body.

Jesus warned of brotherly betrayal when he spoke to his disciples before his crucification:
"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death."
~ Mark 13:12

Another biblical reference to brotherly betrayal comes from
Jeremiah 12:6
"For even your brothers, and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; even they have cried aloud after you: don't believe them, though they speak beautiful words to you."

From Greek mythology, the ultimate tragic betrayal perpetuates the sad tale of Oedipus. Eteocles and Polyneices, the sons of the cursed Oedipus, vow to share their kingdom after Oedipus falls into grief. 

The tale climaxes when Eteocles and Polyneices battle for Thebes, and kill each other in the process.

Tweets about being "betrayed by a brother"

Over the last month, I have collected tweets from that came up on the search of the keywords "brother" and "betrayed".

MaricelaGlez (:@maricelaa_G Why does my dog refuse to sleep with me? She betrayed me with my brother.
Lucifer@BunkBuddy come to that because that pesky brother of his would find a way to "fix him" and he did. By finding the other angel that betrayed him. =
Aj Velez@ThatKid_INKd Can't believe my own brother betrayed me the way he did ...
MaricelaGlez (:@maricelaa_G Why does my dog refuse to sleep with me? She betrayed me with my brother.
AMAdA ;)@Ehts_AMAdA My mom left to wallieworld with my brother i feel betrayed:/
Mary♥TW☺☮ @MaryThompsonxo_  Brother betrayed me and watched the final harry potter *le cry*
Ezra Capucion@jadeaezra  Grabe. I feel like a betrayed Ate. My brother blocked me off facebook. I hate his girlfriend forever!! If I see her in this house I swear..
Rachael Wallace@RWallace20 Finally got to sunriver... It's so weird not being on Vacation with my brother #Betrayed
aileen @aileenSAID Scar is a GDI ... He betrayed his brother in the worst of times
Shamiya Neely@lovelylooksz Lion King, scar betrayed mufasa. Legend of the Guardians, that one brother betrayed the other. These movies teach u can't trust family. Lol
Tifa Wirarini @tifa_wirarini Whoever advises his brother concerning a matter, knowing that correct guidance lies in another direction, has betrayed him.
Luther Carson Jr.@Luthaaa93 I feel so betrayed by one of my closest friends who I consider a brother smh
Lauren@LauTha_BOSS ive never felt so betrayed by my brother until now
❥cαяσʟ@Carol_xox Ryan Giggs is worse tho!! Prick!! Betrayed his brother. #LateLate
Sarah Alaimo@chickennugget8D And when my brother betrayed me I knew I was worthless.
Shanaka Perera@Shanaka_Shana Dear India, You badly betrayed your own little brother. Shame on you.............
Jenerator@_REFINNEJ_ My own brother betrayed me
$treet Runner$™ @ItsMeCoxx Brother Betrayed Me; Trust No One!!
chase hensley@chase_____1 betrayed by brother..
amanduhlanaee@miss_amanduhh I have a brother,but at this moment I don't feel like I do...#betrayed.
Lauren@LauTha_BOSS ive never felt so betrayed by my brother until now

On a Personal Note
 Some of my favorite brotherly stories come from movies I watched as a kid. The relationship between the brothers in Legends of the Fall is fascinating to me.

Not to mention there's just something about Brad Pitt as a vengeful farmer-boy.

And in The Lion King, my heart hurt when Mufasa pleaded with Scar to save his life.

I enjoyed the movie Four Brothers, a movie based on The Sons of Katie Elder, and is the story of four brothers who seek to avenge the murder of their adopted mother in Detroit.

Not to mention that I'm in love with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Enjoy books and movies about #brothers and #betrayal? 

Check out Brother Betrayed on Amazon!
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