Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's Up Wednesday


What I’ve been reading: Indie Author Survival Guide by Susan Kaye Quinn. This book is a compiling of her blog posts over the years that have to do with Indie Publishing. It is broken into segments, like a post, making it easy to go right to the part you may need help with at the moment. Very user friendly and well written.

What I’ve been writing: My book for NaNo is The Newstead Project from Steven’s perspective, so to prepare for that I’ve been writing short stories from Steven’s perspective both before Newstead and during his first 2 years. This has been really helpful in nailing down his voice.

What’s inspiring me right now: Because of the extremely dark nature of the book I’m about to write, I’ve been immersing myself in documentaries/film footage from the Holocaust, the rise of the Third Reich, etc.  Not really fun, but necessary.

What else I’ve been up to: Biting my nails. Seriously. This waiting for release day is grueling stuff.


I know I’ve been skimping a bit on my twelve days till release day, and I apologize for that. I promise on day twelve (Friday) I’ll have some news that will make up for it.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Short

I’ve written a short story: In Lord Shadow’s House- here is the first few paragraphs of it:

Jarius Knigglesby has a problem, besides his unfortunate name. His problem is Bridget O’Fallen, she being the most beautiful woman Jarius has ever seen.

     Every morning on his way to work, Jarius stops by the coffee stand where Bridget O’Fallen can be found pouring her lively brew into any passerbyers' mug.

     “Good morning to you, sir,” she would always say to each of them, but Jarius thought it was to him alone that she addressed in that manner.

     He’d say his own good mornings before heading on his way, with dreams of Bridget O’Fallen dropping her name and taking his instead. Such fancies were not his problem; men can live for years on such things without any harm to their persons. The problem came when he decided to act upon it.

     Jarius stood outside the small shelter, waiting for his turn for a filling. His mug was clenched tightly in his hand as he replayed in his mind over and over her delighted surprise. It was so fixed in his mind that it felt as though it had already happened.

     “Good morning to you, sir,” she spoke to the man in front who, unfortunately for Jarius, had lived in reality some of the fantasies that Jarius had only dreamt of.

Come back next Monday for the next segment.

Also, I’ve been putting my A to Z flash pieces on Wattpad- Check it out here for a recap

A special thank you to all of you that offered to help blast my book out there on the first of November (unless otherwise noted)

Jay Noel, Alex Cavanaugh, Jennifer, Miranda Hardy, Beverly, M. Pax, Natasha, Crystal Collier (on November 6th), Lynda Young (sometime in November). I'll be posting their links here on the first.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Celebrate, Express, Dream, Release Day Fest

Celebrating the Small Things:  Yesterday I went to an acquaintance’s house and by the time I left we were friends.  This woman saw the poor state of my hands (see last Friday’s post) and had pity on me. She had an old corn-sucker that she uses to take that outer peel off her black walnuts, and since a whole new wave of walnuts fell into my yard and I really didn’t want my hands to stay like this forever, I gratefully took a big tub over to her house to do in five minutes what it took me two hours to do. Then she gave me a tour of her farm. She has about eighteen acres of ponds and fruit trees and geese and ducks and a horse or two. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it, but it had a very lived in, homey wonderful feel to it. I loved it. After that, we sat in front of a roaring fire, pouring over heirloom seed catalogues. It was wonderful.


Express Yourself:  Which Halloween candy were (are) you most excited to see in your Halloween bag? Chocolate anything, the bigger the better. A full size candy bar is always a hit. My neighbor gives them out, so I make sure I’m the one to take the kids because she always gives one to me, too. It might have something to do with my lower lip protruding slightly, though.


Do you have a goal? Five year challenge. This is the brain child of Misha Gericke and Beth Fred. The link is: Five Year Project . Basically, when you sign up, you are listing your five year dream. The big one. For me it’s having The Newstead Trilogy be the next great American Novel (s). I know, big. This month has been going really well. The second book is due out on November 1st, word is getting out about the first book, and I’ve started working on the outline of the first spin-off book, which will be my focus of NaNo this year.


Twelve Days to Release Day Fest:  Thank you everyone who signed up. I’ll leave the list up until the first.
On the first day till release day, I give to one of you: One Newstead ebook
On the second day till release day I give to all of you: two virtual cookies:


On the third day till release day I give to all of you: Three blogs you have to visit: For information: Susan Kaye Quinn For a laugh: A beer for the shower  For feeling connected: Alex J. Cavanaugh

On the fourth day till release day I give to all of you: Four things you need in prep for NaNo: Signing up, of course: NaNoWriMo An informative book:  2K to 10k by Rachel Aaron   Scrivener: Scrivener and a good cup of tea: Yummy tea

On the fifth day till release day I give to all of you: Five Golden rings!

Sign up to join the blogfest (post on November Ist about The Bashan Agenda)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Twelve Days till Release Blogfest

Well this is it! Twelve days until book two in the Newstead Trilogy, The Bashan Agenda, is set to be released. To celebrate, I'm launching the Twelve Last Days till Release Blogfest (Kind of like the twelve days of Christmas, but not really. Okay, only the gifts are the same.) For those of you who don't know the song, it has to do with getting an increasing number of presents each of the twelve days. And since today is the first day, that means I'll be giving away one gift, tomorrow will be two gifts, and so on and so forth, until we reach the twelfth day and I give twelve gifts. I'm sorry, I don't have a partridge and a pear tree, but I do have books, and other swag-like stuff.

Day one: One free ebook of The Newstead Project

How this works: Simple. You enter on the linky list below, there by giving me your first born child, no- not really. Actually, by entering on the list below you are offering to feature my book on your blog on November Ist.
Each day I will randomly choose from the linky list the winner(s) for that day.

* I will email you all the links and info you will need for the November first post. Thank you ahead of time for helping!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Express Yourself and Celebrate the Small Things

Express Yourself question for this week: What was your favorite Halloween costume? For the last few years or so my brother and sister in law have had these amazing (and I mean amazing) Halloween parties. We, my husband and me, usually dress like a couple. Don’t ask me why. Anyway, probably my favorite was when we went as Gomez and Morticia Adams. We went all out- wig, make-up, everything. Sorry, I don’t have a picture for that one.

What is your favorite costume?


The small things I’m celebrating this week are not really small. I approved the final copy of Bashan, so it’s all set to be released on November 1st. Talk about a weight off. I hate deadlines.

I discovered a black walnut tree in our backyard and spent almost all day yesterday scrubbing the hulls of those little babies. It turns out they’re called black walnuts for a reason, because my hands look like something out of a horror film. It’s kind of funny going to stores with my hands like this. The cashiers look at me like I have the plague.
And my husband's aunt Passed away last night. She will be missed.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What I’m reading: Just finished Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k. I was hoping for it to get me psyched up for NaNo, and it did. It was just the step by step approach I needed to help me get my word count up there. And not just the number part, the quality, too. As I’ve said before I’m a rather slow writer. Each of my novels takes about a year to write. Not the first part, the part you whip through like in NaNo. It’s the going back and filling in the holes and fixing what needs fixing. I don’t want to do that this time. To me a lot of it felt like a colossal waste of time, but I guess it wasn’t. I can now edit like I never thought possible. I’m just ready to stop learning that lesson and move onto quality writing right from the start.

What I’m writing: Right now, I’m doing outlines and my character sheets and timelines; all to get ready for NaNo.

What is inspiring me right now: I’ve been engrossed with the music of Warren Barfield. His new album, Redbird, is amazing. It’s soulful and honest and real. I love it.

What else I’ve been up to: My next book, The Bashan Agenda is coming out on November 1st, and I am really, really excited about it. I love where this book went, and I can’t wait for all the people who wrote to me about loving The Newstead Project to read it. I feel kind of like I do on Christmas Eve surrounded with presents for my kids that I know they’re going to love. It’s hard to make myself wait until the first.

What about you- what’s up with you this Wednesday?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Open Minds, Celebrate the Small Things, and Express Yourself

Happy Friday everyone. I hope this day finds you healthy and relatively happy. Today, I’m going to start with my review of Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn.

A little Intro: The year is around 2100 and everyone can read each other’s mind. It’s the new norm, and it’s a bad time to not be normal.

The book starts with Kira who still has to talk out loud to communicate, which makes her a social outcast, a zero.  All she wants is to fit in and be normal, but when she realizes she can control the minds of people around her, she knows her chance at a normal life is over. And like I said in the intro; it's a bad time to not be normal.  

My thoughts: This was an up and down back and forth rollercoaster ride, in a very good way. It had enough romance to keep me satisfied without being too much- if you know what I mean. The story itself was well written, intense, and entirely believable. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.


The small thing I’m celebrating today is life in general. I spent some time this week sitting in a chair next to someone very dear to me whose death is imminent. Something like that can’t help but affect you, and for me, it made me hold my little ones close and tell them how much I love them, and call my mom, and kiss my husband extra-long. Life. God never promises us tomorrow, at least not here.


Express Yourself question for this week is: Share some book line openers that you adore.

How about an ending instead? The last line of the epilogue from Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“But there are much worse games to play.”

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Moonless Cover Reveal

Crystal Collier's debut novel Moonless
MOONLESS: Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. 

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.
Look for the review of Moonless here on November 11th!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Indie Life and What's Up Wednesday

Welcome to Indielife Wednesday, this wonderful event takes place the second Wednesday of each month thanks to , a collection of amazing indie writers.

Today I’m going to point out a fellow blogger that has been instrumental to me figuring out this whole blogging/writing/publishing thing. Susan Kaye Quinn. Many of you probably follow her and know exactly what I’m talking about. With seventeen indi-published books, this woman is a wealth of information, which she is very generous with sharing. And now she has a book to prove it. Earlier this month Indie Author Survival Guide was released. I don’t know exactly when because it wasn’t on blogs or anything else like that, it just silently made its way into the world. I picked it up on my kindle last week, but haven’t read it yet, but plan to within the next week, so stop back for that review next Friday.


What I’ve been reading: Just finished Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn (that’s how I found out about her survival guide-those what else you might like by this author tab on amazon’s site is always so helpful) This book is the first in a trilogy that has all the books released already, so I can just go right onto the next one without the wait. I love that. Look for a review of this book here on Friday.

What I’ve been writing: Well I did it. I faced that blank screen and started writing. It happened in the flukiest of ways. I had a dream the other night and it was about a book I’d written two NaNoWriMos ago. I never did anything with it, it’s just been collecting “dust” in my computer. But this dream was from a completely different characters perspective. And it got my blood boiling in a very good way. I grabbed my journal and jotted down some notes and later that day had 1,600 words on that blank screen. It felt fabulous.  

What’s inspiring me right now: Getting ready for NaNo. This year I’ll be going to my local meet and greets for the first time. Can’t wait for that collective energy.

What else I’ve been up to: Very Deep into homeschooling right now. It’s so wonderful to see your child’s face light up when they read the same books you loved as a child.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday's Musing

The thought for today:

I am not a patient person, but it seems like this whole writing process has forced it on me: Patience. Time is not measured in minutes or hours or days, but months and years. I’m looking over my projected list for the 2015 year. Me. The one who has no idea what I’m doing next week. But that’s my regular life. This writing life has a time table of its own.

The lineup for this week is a little different than normal: Indie Life and What’s Up Wednesday on Wednesday, A cover reveal for Moonless, the lovely Crystal Collier’s debut book on Thursday, and the normal Express Yourself and Celebrating the Small Things on Friday. Hope to see you then!

Friday, October 4, 2013


Today I’m celebrating the Small Things with some other details about my trip. I am a foodie. Before I became a nurse, I was a professionally trained chef and even though I don’t do that for a living anymore, it’s still in my blood, which made our dinner at the Palace even more amazing.

It just so happened our night there was on their 130th anniversary, so they had a special menu: Three courses with three choices per course.

The tea: Whenever I go to a higher-end restaurant I skip the wine and go for the tea service. I love to see how each restaurant does it differently, and the Palace was no exception. There was the typical tea box, with Tazo teas. Then came the cream, honey, and lemon wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with a bow. Lastly was any and all kind of sugars; raw sugar lumps, white sugar lumps, packets of real, packets of fake. I’m not kidding; literally half our table was taken up with this tea setup.

Course one: I had the steak and eggs. I wish I took a picture of this to show you, because I know my words will fail me. There was one tiny little quail egg with three thin slices of tenderloin on the side. Next to all of this was a sliver of hazelnut brioche French toast. I was in heaven.

Course two: The Cheese Platter. I know I put it in caps. It needs to be. I love cheese. Any kind of cheese. And this cheese platter was a cedar plank overflowing with lovely goodness. There was a fresh made farmhouse cheese on the far right, followed by tiny sliced cantaloupe, hazelnuts, thinly sliced prosciutto, cultured butter, still-warm bread, and homemade crackers. On the side of this was a pot of honey to drizzle over it all.

Course three: The creamiest, cheesiest grits covered with creole sauce and shrimp. I wanted to lick the bowl. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

Course four: I didn’t have dessert. And if you know me, you know how amazing that is. I just couldn’t imagine the meal getting any better and I was very full, so I stopped.

The best part? It was all free. Remember that travelzoo site I told you about a few posts back? Well, that’s where I got our tickets for the Cinncinatian, and the restaurant vouchers were part of that package. Amazing.

Have you ever had a meal that you were literally salivating over a week later?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Today is Insecure Writer’s Support Group time, where we reflect on all our challenges of being a writer. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for putting this on each month! And now he and a team of ninjas have put together an Insecure Writer’s Support Group website with all kinds of links for quick and easy access to all those things that you didn’t know that you needed to know. Check it out here:


My Insecurity

For those of you who have been following me, you know I’ve been in the deep pits of editing for some time. The Newstead Trilogy has actually been written for over a year now, and I’ve been editing. And editing. And editing. Well, I’m finally done (is it ever done, really?) And I find myself looking at a blank screen for the first time in over a year. Because, you see, I have broken my first rule of writing. I haven’t been working on two projects at once. I convinced myself that could wait, because I had these manuscripts that HAD to be edited. There was a deadline. And now the editing is done and I am afraid. What if I have forgotten how to write? What if the ideas don’t come?  

I know writing is 90% mental and I need to just get over myself and do it. Even if it sucks, I should write something. Thankfully NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, so I know if all else fails, that will be just the kick in the butt I need.

Is this a fear that plagues the rest of you? That you’ll wake up one day and this wonderful, lovely, mysterious gift of story will be gone?