Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 in Review

Last Friday of the Month
Most people do an inventory of sorts at the end of the year, and I guess I’m no different, especially this year. Why? Because everything’s changing. Sometime around mid-June I felt it, that my writing was transitioning. I was wrapping up the Newstead Saga and that was part of it, but not everything. I had lots of story ideas, but none of them drew the same amount of passion that Newstead did, and having had that, I wasn’t willing to settle for less. If I didn’t live and breathe it, I wasn’t writing it. And then I did. I wrote a short story that I submitted to the IWSG anthology contest that I consider to be my most important piece of work. It took less than three days to write and I still cry every time I read it. So how do you top that? I don’t know. But it’s more than that. I’ll let you in a little secret. For the past few months I’ve been developing a new book format—something completely different. I can’t wait to share it with you. Come back on January 6th for the big reveal. So with all that, how do I focus on writing another full length novel?

Simple. I don’t.

I do something else instead, something I’m just as passionate about, something like transitioning into that new format I mentioned. I hope to publish all my books that way and then offer it through Black and White. So look for us opening up for submissions sometime early next year. Also, I have a short story being published in an anthology hosted by Randi Lee, and I have a piece of flash fiction in January’s edition of Jack Sprat Press—I’ll post the link when that comes out. That’s about it for me. How about you—any big changes coming in the New Year?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Too much Star Wars

How much is too much?

Like you, I’ve been bombarded with nothing but Star Wars for the last two months. True, I did spend one week in Disney World, so maybe I’ve been blasted more than the average person, but still…

I love Star Wars. It was a major part of my childhood. I stood in line for over an hour to see Episode One. So why am I not overly excited about this one? I don’t know. I think it has to do with the amount of advertising sent my way. It feels like I’ve already seen it, if that makes any sense.

Will I go to the theater? Probably. But I’m not as excited as I should be.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Indie Life

Second Wednesday Each Month
Today’s the second Wednesday in December, making it Indie time. I’ve been in this whole writing/publishing/editing thing for a little over five years now, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of changes, mainly thanks to the Indie movement. When I first started writing I went to two NYC SCBWI conferences. It was a good time, but the tone was undoubtedly snooty towards those wanting to self-publish. I was told, and I quote: “There are no self-published books, only self-printed books, because, in essence, that’s all they’re actually doing.” What a change five years have made. Now self-published books are everywhere, taking the world by storm. I’ve seen those same editors who made the above statement make major changes to their policies. SCBWI has made changes as well; they now have an entire section of their magazine devoted solely to Indie/self-publishing. And I have a feeling the changes have just begun.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


First Wednesday of the Month
Is it December already? Seriously, this year has gone by so fast, and deadlines are creeping up on me—that’s what I’m focusing on this month for IWSG. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting it on.

Deadlines. I have them. You have them. Most of mine are self-imposed, but for some reason that doesn’t seem to matter. The date still looms before me with ever increasing magnitude. I whisper to myself to just change the date, no one would mind; no one would even know. But I would know. So I trudge on. This happens to me for every project, so the anxiety I’m feeling now is quite familiar, like an old friend. It’s a necessary evil—how else would I get anything done?

Do you have deadlines? Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Indie Life

Second Wednesday Each Month
Today is the second Wednesday of the month, which makes it Indie time. To me, Indie means all things unique and different. Want to publish only ebooks? Fine. Want your novels to be under 30,000 words? No problem. Want your chapters to all be a single page (I silently raise my hand)? Go for it. But that’s just formatting, nuts and bolts type of things. The spirit of Indie goes way beyond that. Who says a book has to be a book at all? Why can’t it be a Youtube video? People have that app on their devices same as they have Nook or Kindle. Truly, in this age there are no rules. In the spirit of that, I’m announcing that a short story of mine will be released on Youtube in January, storytelling style. I’ll be posting more details as the time gets closer.

Indie means the freedom to be creative. And when you’re basking in that, great things can happen.  


Wednesday, November 4, 2015


First Wednesday of the Month

Hello, everyone! Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts to putting this on each month. If you feel like joining in, you can find out more here.

So what am I insecure about right now? It’s hard to explain. I have just started two very part-time jobs, and while eventually I’ll only be working fifteen hours a week between the two, right now I’m in orientation and it feels like I’m working full-time. So what does that have to do with writing, you may ask? Everything. The first day of NaNo crept right by and I didn’t even notice. For me that’s a big deal; I’ve done NaNo for years. The fact that November first was just another day on the calendar this year is really freaking me out. It’s like I left my kid at the babysitter overnight and didn’t even realize it. Have I stopped? I know it sounds like I’m over-exaggerating here, but that is one of my biggest fears: stopping writing and not caring that I have. Am I alone here?

Friday, October 30, 2015

FIve Year Project

Last Friday of the Month

Hello everyone! Today is the last Friday of the month, which makes it Five Year Project time. Thanks to Misha Gericke for putting this on each month, if you’d like to join us, you can find more information here .

My five year project is to have a world-class publishing company. What can I say, I like to dream big. So, how’s it going? Really, really well. I’ve finished the Newstead series, which has given me time to focus on editing and shorter projects. With that pressure off, I feel like I’ve found myself, what I’m good at, what I’m not. And I’ve come to the place in my life where that’s okay. I’m (finally) learning to delegate. You’d think I would’ve gotten that one down by now, but I haven’t. I tend to like to take over things. Wait, this post is starting to sound like IWSG. J But seriously, I’m finally seeing all the dots connect, and they’re all pointing to helping other people publish. So, again, how’s it going?
Really, really well.

How’s it going for you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How do you do it?

How do you do it?

Years ago, I won’t say how many, I went to nursing school. And while I was going I was blown away by my fellow classmates. Many had full time jobs, kids, farms. I was newly married, no kids, and only worked between seven and twelve hours a week. No biggie, right? Wrong. Nursing school sucked. I have no idea how those women did it.

And here I am again. This week I’m working a nine to five job. I volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center and they’ve decided to go medical, so to utilize my skills as a nurse, I needed additional training. Only a week. No biggie, right? Wrong. I’ve barely been getting the bare minimum done around my house, let alone write. So my question for all you full timers out there is this: How do you do it?

I stand in awe of you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blind Date with a Book

The last two days I was touring colleges with my seventeen year old daughter. It was a long two days, with more time in the car than out. We went to the library at one of the colleges (of course) and there I saw the most fascinating thing. Stacks of books were on display, and they had been wrapped in construction paper. The only thing written on the paper was a brief bio of the book; for example: nonfiction humor, or fictional memoir. The program was called Blind Date with a Book. Each book had been pre-read by the organizers and was promised to be exceptional. You, the reader, were to select one and promise to return it, re-wrapped the following week if you found it exceptional as well. Only after you checked out the book were you able to see what you’d gotten yourself into. It was brilliant. How many times have I been in a library, completely overwhelmed? How many times have I been drawn in by a book’s cover, only to find out it sucked? This program brought reading down to the most basic level for me: Just you and a book that someone recommends. Again, brilliant. I’ll have to suggest this at my local library.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the sheer number of books out there? Ever been sucked in by a pretty cover? How do you select the books you read?  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


First Wednesday of the Month

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month.

Today I’m dealing with one of my biggest insecurities: Advancing Technology

Some people get technology like it’s second nature to them. I am not one of those people. I’d be more comfortable in a cabin deep in the woods plunking away at an old Remington than where I am now: in an office on a computer that scares the begesus out of me.  It’s not an unusual occurrence in my house to hear me call out for help to my seventeen year old when I get stuck on something computer/device related. She rolls her eyes and pushes a couple buttons and goes on her way. In a way I’m proud of this. I love that I haven’t conformed to this changing society. But that pride doesn’t help me much when I’ve hit send for the thousandth time and nothing happens. Am I alone here?


Friday, October 2, 2015

Uprising Reveal

UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2) is AVAILABLE NOW!

Jessica Therrien follows up her best-selling novel OPPRESSION with UPRISING, the second book in the Children of the Gods series. OPPRESSION, translated and sold around the world, was one of the best-selling novels of 2012.

UPRISING continues the story of Elyse, William, and the Descendants. Elyse has been in hiding for most of her life. Only now she’s hiding with William, and she knows who she’s hiding from. The Council wants a child Elyse and William have yet to conceive, a child who will be the next oracle, and who will provide the final piece to a plan Christoph has been organizing for years.

Charged with leading the rebellion against Christoph and his Council, Elyse feels well out of her depth. But she has good friends and strong allies who are willing to fight with her to the end, regardless of how far they have to go, and how many lives will be lost in the process.

They have one goal: to live freely and openly with the rest of humanity, out from under the Council’s oppressive rule. The stakes could not be higher for Elyse and the Descendants longing for freedom. They’ll have to learn to fight if they want to stand up against the Council, and to find allies in a world ruled by their enemies. The hardest part of waging a war is knowing who to trust. Elyse knows their uprising will change the world. She doesn’t realize it will change her, too.

E-book $2.99 Paperback $12.99

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's well over eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal.

For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability.

Or so she thinks.

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning-and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

E-book $2.99 Paperback $12.99

OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1) - AVAILABLE NOW!
UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2) - AVAILABLE NOW!
REDEMPTION (Children of the Gods #3) - November 2, 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Short Story Conundrum

I’ve been writing short stories, which is a completely different experience for me. I’ve done flash fiction for years as a kind of daily warm-up for my novels, so you’d think upping the word count wouldn’t be that much of a difference, but it really is. With my novels I spend a great deal of time and effort on character development. I do personality studies, have pictures painted, go overboard, really. But I have to; I need them to be real to me so they will be real for my readers. Now for my flash fiction, I don’t do any of that. I just sit and write for a few minutes whatever pops in my head. Short stories should fall somewhere in the middle, right? But they don’t. I can’t justify the months I usually spend on getting to know a character whose story will be told in thirty pages or less. At the same time, though, it feels like I should do more than just sit and write. It’s a conundrum.  How about all of you—do you spend the same time prepping for short stories as you do your longer works?

Friday, September 18, 2015


Here it is.

It's been over a year in the making, but I am happy to (finally) announce the release of the fourth and last novel in the Newstead series: Bloodbrothers.

Joel Cranston thinks Steven is dead, Newstead is empty, and Rachel is his.
Joel Cranston is as clueless as ever.

You can get it 

This is bittersweet for me; I'm happy to see a conclusion to Joel's story, but I will miss being with him everyday. I started writing this series five years ago, and finished this book almost to the day of our anniversary. Can you believe it? Time has just flown by. 

For those of you who offered to help promote this, I'll be happy to take you up on it. Anyone else who wants to spread the word, it would be much appreciated.

Also, an update on that writing class I told you about--it went very well. Thanks for all your suggestions, they really helped. I went in just being myself. When we had a little extra time at the end, we just talked about the books we loved and why we loved them; no end to the conversation there. In case I don't say it enough, thanks for all you do. I'm so grateful for each one of you!

 Until next time.

Friday, September 11, 2015



Today I’m teaching a writing class, it will be the first one ever for me. I’m the local SCBWI rep, so I’ve had meetings and write-ins, but this is different. This is me getting in front of a room and speaking. I’ve agreed to hold a six session class starting today and ending some time in November. I have notes and other props, but each class is an hour. An hour. I’m picturing me standing there staring at them and them staring at me and crickets chirping somewhere. :)  And did I mention the students in this class are teenagers? Yikes. I'm thinking of bringing cookies as bribery. Any other suggestions?

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015


First Wednesday of the Month

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month. It’s a wonderful community of writers who are also humans. We make mistakes. We’re insecure.  This month I’m more sad than insecure. I’ll be finishing my Newstead  series, which means saying good-bye to some characters who have become a major part of my life. It feels timely though, five years ago tomorrow is when I started this venture; it feels right that it should end now.  Do any of you have problems with that-with saying good-bye?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Jack Sprat Debut

Congratulations Emily White and all those affiliated with Jack Spratt Magazine on their debut issue.

Jack- finish - front(namesatbottom)2

Get your free ecopy here:

Website address:

Enter the rafflecopter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 28, 2015

Five Year Project

This is the last Friday of the month, which makes it Five Year Project time. Thanks Misha Gericke for hosting this. What is the Five Year Project, you might ask? It’s making a goal and working towards it. For me, that goal is to have a world-class publishing company. How’s it going? Good. I’m wrapping up Bloodbrothers for me, and working on edits for someone else. That was the biggest leap for me into this whole publishing goal—actually taking that step from writer to editor. I kept putting it off and putting it off and now I’m wondering why I did that. It feels so natural. If anyone is looking for editing work, September looks busy for me, but October is still open. You can find out more at our site:, or email me directly at .

For those of you wondering, Bloodbrothers will be released sometime in September. This will be the final book in The Newstead Saga, which makes it hard—can’t imagine not spending time with these characters anymore. After that I’ll be starting on Pathfinder, but I have a feeling that will go slower than I’m used to; editing is taking up a lot of my time, which is a good thing.

How about all of you—what projects are you working on?  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What makes your story worth reading?

This is a question I struggle with. I am keenly aware that millions of books are being published each year--why would someone read mine? People's time and pocket books are limited, I know that.

They know that.

I'm not going to try to sell my books to you, I promise. That's not what this is about. It's about a reason for writing in the first place. Do I think it's worth reading, writing, going through hours and months of revising, editing, cover design, and formatting? For some of my stories the answer was no. I scrapped a whole book once, three revisions in. Why? I got tired of reading it. And if I did, imagine what you, the reader would do. I think I speak for (most) authors when I say the most horrible thing a reader can do to us is not finish our book. To pick it up and read only a few pages, not drawing out the mystery to the final tantalizing end. In short, to get bored with the story (shudders).  

So, what makes a story worth reading? Only you, the reader, can answer that.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Piper Morgan Reveal


Piper Morgan Joins the Circus

Stephanie Faris

Cover illustration by Lucy Fleming.


When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
And after learning her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus, Piper can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!

But during Piper’s grand debut, her high kicks and pointed toes don't go quite as planned. After causing a dance disaster, she has to prove to everyone--especially queen of the Little Explorers, Lexie--that she belongs in the spotlight. 

Stephanie Faris:


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 



Wednesday, August 5, 2015


First Wednesday of the Month
Today’s the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month. Basically, it’s a time for writers to vent and support each other in their venting. Feel like joining in? You can. Sign up here .

Last month, as most of you know, my husband and I started a new venture with Black and White editing, and with anything new comes insecurities. Will people come? Will they like what we do for them? I don’t know; which is one of the main reasons we decided to do the first five pages for free as a way for people to try us out. We’re not talking about detailing people’s cars here. It’s their stories, their deepest dreams. I want them to be happy. I need them to be happy, and if it’s not with us, that’s okay.

On the writerly side of things, everything is going well. I love my current WIP (Bloodbrothers). It’s nearing completion; hopefully to be released sometime in September, which has been my goal all along. September marks five years from when I started writing Newstead; it only seems fitting that the series should be completed then. The illustrator just submitted the cover and I LOVE it. Steven makes an appearance on this one, and he captured him perfectly. That’s about it for me, what’s going on with all of you?

Have a great first week of August.



Friday, July 31, 2015

Big News!

Last Friday of the Month
For the first time since participating in The Five Year Project hosted by Misha Gericke, I have something new to report.

I’ve been editing as a courtesy for fellow author friends for years, sometimes in the form of being a Beta, sometimes more. But do you want to know something? My grammar sucks. I’d give great advice on story and flow and voice, but when it came to commas (you all know how I am with commas) and other things, I was little to no help at all.

That’s the real reason I’ve been waiting on advancing our publishing company. I’ve been waiting to get better. I’ve been waiting to have something to offer. A short time ago a light went on. I was doing intensive edits for a friend. It felt so natural, like it’s what I should’ve been doing all along. She took my suggestions and made something incredible. When it was done, I did my normal sigh.

If only…

Thankfully, that time my husband, a technical writer, was in the room with me. I looked at him like I was seeing him for the first time. He knows grammar. He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. The wheels started turning.

What if…

I pitched the idea to him, of us doing it together; me editing the voice and flow, pace and line, while he focused on copy edits and grammar. The light went on for him, too. It was brilliant. It was simple. It had been there all the time. With that quiet night at home, a first step to our publishing company had been formed. May I present to you: Black and White Editing

What you sign your name to matters. Be proud of your work. We can help.

Because not everyone is a good fit for everyone else, we offer a complimentary first five pages. No obligation. No commitment.

Well, that’s it—that’s my big news! If any of you want to spread the news that would be great, and of course, if you need editing work done, we’d be happy to hear from you. Just click on the link above or the logo to the right.

Have a great weekend,