Thursday, May 9, 2013

GIVEAWAY! K Anne Raines' Shattered Grace

As promised, I have another exciting giveaway for you today! I'll be giving away 3 kindle editions of K Anne Raines' Shattered Grace. Check it out!

Seventeen-year-old Grace grows up knowing she’s different, but she always attributed it to a mother who didn’t want her, a father who abandoned her, and a curse that sets her apart. Despite those struggles, her grandfather remained her rock and confidant. Her life shatters irrevocably after he suddenly dies.

The day of his funeral sets off a chain of events, making Grace question everything she’s ever known to be true, and as a result, who she can truly trust. She inherits his house, part of his money, his Guardian and something that ties them together.

Just before Grace’s 18th birthday, she is thrust into a world she couldn’t fathom existed, and does everything she can to thwart the destiny suddenly forced upon her. She’s been chosen for greatness, but at what cost? With eyes now open, she must choose to either be Chosen, or watch those around her suffer the consequences.

Torn between the man who’s come to protect her and the one sent to destroy her, she teeters on the edge of decision trying to come to grips with who she is, what she wants, and what all of that means for her, those she loves, and the rest of mankind.

AHHHH! How good does that sound?! Entering the rafflecopter is easy. Good luck! And be sure to check out K Anne Raines' giveaway of Hell's Hollow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Prompt!

Sorry I've been MIA! I was under the weather, but I'm feeling much better now and have some fun things planned. It's Monday, so I have a writing prompt for you. And I've got another giveaway in the works, so stay tuned!

Today's writing prompt is this: Choose an old photograph. You don't need to spend a ton of time choosing, it can be anything. And then sink back into the memory of that moment. Where was it taken? What was the weather like? What did the air feel like? Were there aromas? Were there other people around? What were you feeling in that moment? Were your inner feelings different than what you showed? What do you feel now, looking back at that moment? Take some time to really sink into the memory. Then, when you're ready, write about it. It doesn't have to be a special event. It can be an ordinary moment in time. Write about it as if you're in that moment. Try to make it come alive!

Happy writing :D

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More Cover Reveal Deliciousness - Olivia Mayfield's Ten Days!

I have another fantastic cover reveal for you today. This one is by another author friend: Ten Days by Olivia Mayfield. It is a YA/NA Sci-fi romance, which sounds pretty amazingly unique!

Here's what it's about:

Seventeen-year-old Cally isn’t like the others. In her society, the Machine caters to every whim, ensuring people don’t have to leave their pods. But Cally and her best friend Marshal find themselves drawn to how things used to be, when people lived on the surface of the earth and relied upon manpower, not technology. When physical contact wasn’t uncivilized, and love was normal, acceptable, embraced. Cally tries to swallow down her increasing dissatisfaction with the "rules," as well as her rapidly developing feelings for Marshal, a task getting harder each day.

Then, things start going downhill, fast. Food is spoiled. Air grows musty. The population panics about the dysfunction--is it sabotage? Anarchy? But Cally and Marshal discover the truth: The Machine, the answer to all their problems for longer than anyone can remember, is breaking down. Now, these two have to risk it all to save themselves and the people they care about...before their entire world destroys itself.
Intriguing, right?

A bit about Olivia:

Olivia Mayfield has been an unabashed fan of romance since she was a young teen, secretly devouring her mom’s Harlequins. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, as well as a Master’s degree in English, and lives with her family in Ohio. In her free time, she loves reading, shopping, wearing absurdly high-heeled boots, cheesecake, singing karaoke, and harassing her friends.

Here's where you can find her:

Author Links:

And here's where you can add her book on Goodreads:

And now, the thing you came here to see, the TEN DAYS cover, designed by Jen Naumann

Awesomely eerie :D

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cover Reveal: Trophy Husband by Lauren Blakely!!

I'm so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Lauren Blakely's TROPHY HUSBAND! As you may know, Lauren is my critique partner, so I have already had the opportunity to read this one and it is fun and funny and romantic and sweet and sizzling hot! But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's not out until May 21st, which seems like a long time to wait. But it will be here before you know it. Spring always flies by! For now, we will have to content ourselves with the smoky hot cover, another amazing design by Okay Creations!

But first :)
Let me tell you about the book!

Sometimes you can't help falling in love, even when you try to do the opposite...Successful fashion blogger McKenna Bell has spent far too long protecting herself after the way her ex-fiancé left her at the altar for a college chick he met the night of his bachelor party. Loving again, trusting again, well, that's just not in the cards. Especially now that her ex is back in town with his new woman, demanding custody of McKenna's favorite creature in the whole world--her dog. No effing way. McKenna's had enough of him, and she decides to even the score by finding her own hot young thing -- a Trophy Husband. Sure, she's only twenty-seven, but doesn't that make it even more fun -- and infuriating to her ex -- to pursue a younger man? When she declares her intentions on her daily blog, her quest quickly skyrockets in popularity, and that's when Chris enters the picture, and he’s got all the assets. He's handsome, successful, and turns her inside out with a kiss to end all kisses, the kind that makes you feel like a shooting star. But loving again could mean losing again, and it's so much easier to focus on getting even, isn't it? Unless, you just can't help falling in love. Which means McKenna will have to come face to face with what she really wants in life -- protecting her heart from hurt, or letting go of her fears of a new beginning.

And about Lauren!

Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in CAUGHT UP IN US, she thinks life should be filled with movie kisses and coffee drinks. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.

And where to find her!

Author page on Goodreads:

And how to add the book on Goodreads!


And now, since you've been SO patient and haven't jumped ahead to peek, I give you the cover of Trophy Husband!

Gorgeous, right?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Surprise

Somehow it's Monday again! Strange how it creeps up on you, isn't it?

Over here, Mondays mean writing warm ups. But first, do you know what today is? Yes, it is Tax Day, which means you should do something nice for yourself! It's also the one month birthday and book blitz finale for Hell's Hollow! So I'm making it easy for you to do something nice for yourself -- for a limited time, Hell's Hollow is on sale across all formats for just 99 cents! What could be easier :D

Now, on to the morning writing exercise: We're going to go with the idea of doing something nice for oneself. Just write for 10 - 20 minutes. Don't feel like it has to be too serious, it's simply to get the juices flowing. Write a story or poem or essay or song. It could be about something nice you've done for yourself, something nice someone you know did for him/herself, or it could be totally fictional. Give it a whirl, see where it takes you!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Indie Life

So as I near the end of my first month in the indie life here's where I am so far:

First, I continue to be hugely grateful for the warmth and welcoming of the community. I'm so appreciative of all the bloggers who signed up for the Hell's Hollow cover reveal, blog tour, and book blitz. They make such a difference in helping to spread the word. And other authors have been kind and helpful. And readers have been awesome!

Still, though, I find that sometimes, as I watch numbers go up and down (which I really need to learn not to do), the lack of control makes me a little seasick and I find myself standing on that mountaintop yelling "Here's my book, please give it a chance!" There are just SO many books out there and so many mountaintops. And sometimes I imagine each author standing on their own mountaintop yelling out into the void.

I'm doing what I can to make connections, to help others spread the word about their books because I know I feel less helpless when I'm helping someone else. It's slow-going climbing down off the mountaintop and trudging up someone else's mountaintop to say hello, which is why I'm so grateful for groups like the Indelibles that bring people together, where we can all catch up and connect!

My hope is that as I spend more time in the indie life, I'll find ways to spend more of it connecting with other authors and with bloggers and with readers and less of it yelling from my mountaintop :D

The Indelibles

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Prompt

It's Monday! Time for a writing prompt to get your week off to a creative beginning. As any writer knows, it can be an uphill battle to get a full story, whole and complete, onto the page. And it takes persistence and determination to make it happen.

Today I have for you a quote from The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes. The quote is by Walter Bagehot:

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."

So the writing prompt is to write about yourself or a character doing something that they have been told they cannot accomplish. Maybe someone told you or your character that you or they weren't capable or talented enough or determined enough to follow their dream or to pursue their art or to accomplish a difficult task. Find something you or a character were told you could not do and show them doing it anyway. Be sure to include the inner experience of what that feels like.

Have fun and happy writing!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

J Lynn Giveaway!

Ahh! I have a super exciting giveaway for you today!

I'm offering up 3 copies of J Lynn's Wait For You ebook! This novel is rich and well-developed and full of romance.

As it so happens, J Lynn is also giving away 3 copies of Hell's Hollow! So be sure and stop by her page to enter that one.

I loved this book and am so excited to share it :D

Good luck!

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling phenomenon.

Some things are worth waiting for...

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago--an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe--please God--make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn't need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she's building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing...

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that's just so... so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet...

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she's has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 1, 2013

Writing Prompt!

Last week was busy with the Hell's Hollow blog tour stuff. And this week I hope to have some more fun giveaways for  you (of other people's books), I'm finalizing the details now, so more on that later. In the meantime, the Book Blitz has begun and there are lots of giveaways happening around the blogoverse of Hell's Hollow and even a $50 gift card!

But right now it's time for another writing warm up, something to get the words flowing from your pen (or keyboard).

There's this quote by Albert Einstein that goes like this:

"There are only two ways to live your life, as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle."

So the writing prompt is to write for ten or twenty minutes about a real or imagined event in daily life (yours or a character's) as if it were miraculous. It doesn't have to be something one would normally think about as being a miracle, it can be something totally ordinary, just seen in a new way.

Ready, go!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hell's Hollow Blog Tour

It starts today! There are lots of fun giveaways planned! And in honor of the blog tour, the price of Hell's Hollow will be reduced to 99 cents during the blog tour only! So from today through Friday, you can get your copy for less than a dollar!

With huge thanks to Taryn at My Secret Romance for arranging it all, here's the official blog tour schedule:

Every tour stop will be doing giveaways and there will be a few more giveaway surprises during the week. I'll update those as we go.

I hope you'll stop by all these lovely blogs to learn a little bit more about Hell's Hollow (a clean YA paranormal romance)!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Giveaway!

I've got an exciting giveaway for you today! I'm offering up -- for 3 lucky winners -- your choice of any Quinn Loftis ebook! First, let me tell you a bit about her most recent release Fate and Fury -- the newest in The Grey Wolves Series.  How gorgeous is this cover?!

Here's what it's about:

The last few days have been the darkest of Sally’s life.  After experiencing the joy of finding her mate, she now suffers the pain of losing everything she holds dear. Both the Romanian and Serbian packs have been captured, ripping Sally’s soul mate away from her almost as soon as she had found him. Her best friend and the emotional glue that usually holds Sally together, Jacque Pierce, lies writhing in a restless coma, having been put down by Desdemona’s dark magic. Jennifer Adams, the unshakable one, has revealed to her friends and her mate that she is pregnant, but the Fates have marked her unborn baby for death.  Though she rails against the darkness, deep inside Jen knows that Decebel’s baby must die as payment for her own life, and the knowledge is tearing her soul to pieces. Cypher, King of the Warlocks, has claimed Jacque’s mother as his mate and agreed to help Desdemona open a door that would release a horde of demons from beyond the Veil.    

Though her world is crashing down around her, Sally holds out hope.  The Great Luna is not sitting idly by.  She has commanded the Fey council to call upon the packs—all of them.  And though Cypher looks for a way to open the Veil for Desdemona, he struggles to protect Lilly and the wolves at the same time.  Peri, the ever-courageous High Fae, and a contingent of the remaining females of the Romanian and Serbian packs, push on through the rough Carpathian Mountains. Though they are bound to the human realm, they continue to search for a way to cross over to the land of the Fey. Meanwhile, in reluctant obedience to the Great Luna, the Fey council sends representatives to the far corners of the globe, meeting with the pack Alphas.  The Fey must convince the Alphas of every pack to lay aside their petty territorial squabbles and battles of dominance. If they refuse, both the humans and the supernatural races will fall at Mona’s feet.

Sally holds to a shred of hope. Though Vasile, Decebel, and their pack mates endure the torture of the In-Between, living their worst nightmares over and over, Sally holds. Though she knows that it is only a matter of time before their wolves take over, she holds. Sally knows that if the males die, then so too will their mates who have performed the Blood Rites, including her best friends Jen and Jacque.  Yet she holds. If the males lose themselves to their wolves and turn feral, so too do their mates.  Still she holds. Though Vasile, the strongest Alpha in their history to unite the wolves, is lost beyond the Veil, Sally holds.  Though Decebel, the only other wolf besides Vaile strong enough to unite the packs, suffers beyond the Veil, Sally will hold.  No one is left to unite their race, and defeat Desdemona. Yet Sally still holds.  She holds out hope that the Great Luna will not abandon them, cannot abandon them.  Throughout the centuries, the Great Luna has always provided a gypsy healer to the packs, especially in times of great need. Now Sally is that healer. Sally fears what role she has to play in the defeat of Desdemona, but she will play it.  Though heaven and hell unite against her, she WILL play it.
For too long the supernatural races have lived in separation, warring amongst themselves, allowing trivial power plays and selfish disputes to keep them from uniting. That separation has made them weak. Now, being summoned as a collective force to the same land, will they come?  Will they come in numbers greater than have been seen in centuries? Will they destroy each other and save Mona the trouble, or will they finally unite and fight as one? 

You can choose to win this ebook or any one of her others! Leave a comment below for entry. You can tell me what your favorite supernatural creature is, or just say please :) Winners will be chosen on Tuesday night!

Extra entries for tweets or FB posts about the giveaway, but be sure to link to it in a comment below to get credit for it! Thanks and good luck!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Quinn is also giving away copies of Hell's Hollow! Go to her site to enter! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Giveaway and Prompt

I'm giving away a copy of Off Sides on my FB page! Winner will be announced on Wednesday.

Here's a little bit about the book:

“I'm not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost...a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved...”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.

Forced to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.

With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days...

Sawyer is also giving away a copy of Hell's Hollow on her FB page. So go win that too!

And now, for the Monday morning writing prompt, in honor of the two giveaways, I'm taking a phrase from Sawyer's synopsis: "a hollowed out shell" 

Write about a hollowed out shell -- it could be an actual seashell or it could be a character who is hollowed or it could be a personal experience, a time when you felt hollowed out inside. 

Ready? Go! :D

Friday, March 15, 2013

Release Day!

Ahhhhhh!!!! It's finally here! The day I have been working toward for so long has finally arrived! Hell's Hollow has made its way out into the world! Hopefully by now all the links are live - at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. iBooks, I'm told, takes a little longer.

I spent so much time wondering if I would be brave enough to take this leap and it feels so good to be here. That's a lesson I've learned a few times too many. If all that's stopping you is the need of courage -- go for it!

So here I am, offering my story. I hope you'll read and enjoy it! I hope you'll let me know what you think. I hope you'll celebrate with me over the next few weeks, when I have some fun games and giveaways planned. To get things started, Lauren Blakely and One More Chapter are giving away copies of Hell's Hollow today! And tomorrow there's another fun giveaway planned at Stuck In Books!

For now, I just want to take the chance to say thank you so very much to everyone who helped me along the way -- my amazing critique partners, the cover designer (Okay Creations), the awesome women helping with the blog tour, cover reveal, and buzz blitz (My Secret Romance and Xpresso Book Tours), all the bloggers who are participating, all the friendly, helpful people in the indie community, and readers, of course! Yay! I'm humbled by the generosity.

There are so many fantastic quotes about courage, but for today, I'll leave you with this one by Anais Nin: "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Here's to expansion :D

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Indie Life

I'm joining in on the Indelibles Indie Life posting today. It feels appropriate that my first Indie Life post is just a couple of days before my first indie book, Hell's Hollow is released. I'm hoping to some day be able to look back at what a newbie I was with some sort of sweet fondness. But for now, I'm in it -- the newbie-ness of it.
And it's sort of terrifying. Everyone in the indie world has been super nice and welcoming so far, so maybe I shouldn't really be so terrified. But at the same time, starting out, it feels a little bit like those scenes you see in movies of the traders in the stock market. You know what I mean -- crushed in a crowded room, screaming something out that no one can hear, hoping to make something happen.

But the thing I try to remind myself is this: It's not about that. It's not about trying to be noticed or grab attention really. It's about telling our stories, sharing our human experience, putting them out there because maybe, just maybe they'll resonate with someone or a few someones. Maybe some part of it will be their story too. So when it comes down to it, it's all really about connection, reaching out, being brave enough to connect.
So right now I feel like I'm standing at the edge of a cliff about to leap. It's almost time. So here's to the courage it's taken every indie writer to take that leap! I salute you :D

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Warm-Up

It's Monday again. Harder to wake up after that sneaky time change. But I can't complain because daylight savings time means the days are longer, and I love when it stays light out later! Plus, the weather where I am is gorgeous today, really feels like spring, which makes me happy :)

The New Zapata contest has been won. Hop over to my Facebook page to see who won it!

And now for the weekly writing prompt: Picture a perfect spring day -- blue skies, warm sun, gentle breeze, the smell of wildflowers in the air. Now do a quick write about how you or your character would spend this perfect day. Who would you spend it with, what would you do? A free day -- no work or chores or responsibilities. Go wild! Have fun with it :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cover Reveal!!

Ahhh!!! It's finally time! The Hell's Hollow cover reveal is going live all over. Okay Creations did an amazing job putting together an incredibly gorgeous cover that really captures the feel of the book. I hope you love it as much as I do! And so now, without further ado, I give you the face of Hell's Hollow.

If you're intrigued, come add it on goodreads!
The ebook will go live on Amazon, BN, Smashwords, and hopefully ibooks next Friday, the 15th.

Thank you so incredibly much to Okay Creations for her amazing work, to the fabulous Xpresso Book Tours for organizing the cover reveal, and to all the awesome bloggers who posted it!

And don't forget to enter my contest to win a copy of Teri Hall's New Zapata either below or on Facebook! Contest ends Sunday at midnight.

And thanks for stopping by to see the cover :D

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Giveaway Fun!

I had so much fun with my 100 likes giveaway on Facebook, I decided to do another one! This time I'll be giving away an e-copy of Teri Hall's NEW ZAPATA.

Here's the blurb:

About forty years ago Roe vs. Wade changed America. Forty years from now,
what does the future hold?

It's 2052, and there's one less state in the union. Texas, now known as the
Republic of Texas, has seceded, just like it did in 1861, though for
different reasons this time.  

Rebecca lives in New Zapata, a border town in The Republic of Texas. She's
nineteen years old, born and raised in the R of T, and doesn't remember a
time when things were different, though her Aunt Cathy does. Rebecca's
married to Chad, the boy who charmed her into an unplanned pregnancy. She
loves her young son, Luke, but she almost died giving birth to him.

That means Rebecca has a problem. Because in New Zapata, birth control and
abortion are illegal. So is divorce. And Chad thinks sex is his husbandly

There's an underground of sorts in The R of T, and it reaches even as far as
sleepy New Zapata. A group of older women-Rebecca's Aunt Cathy and some
others-have been gathering under the guise of having Bunco parties to try to
help women in Rebecca's position. These ladies remember a time when things
were different, when women did have choices. 

But it's a dangerous game to defy the R of T. 

Rebecca and her friends may end up playing for their lives.

NEW ZAPATA - The Handmaid's Tale for this generation

I have to say, The Handmaid's Tale was my favorite dystopian book of all time, so I can't wait to read this one.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment, either here or on my FB page, telling me why you like dystopian reads OR what dystopian book is your favorite. Extra entries if you tweet or FB the link for the contest (leave me a link to your announcement in a comment.) Deadline for entries is this coming Sunday at midnight. Winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Facebook Success

We did it! We passed 100 likes on the FB page and they keep on rolling in. Thank you so much to all who helped me get there. Winners of the $20 gift card and of the Lauren Blakely ebook set are posted on the Facebook page. Thanks again and stay tuned for the Hell's Hollow cover reveal this Friday!!

ETA: That giveaway was so fun, I'm going to start another one tomorrow ;) Stay tuned!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Delicious Prompt

It's writing prompt time! Today I'm suggesting an exercise to work your use of senses. In Hell's Hollow, Seraphina's mom owns/runs the town bakery. Sometimes Seraphina has to help out there. So I often found myself describing the sights and scents of freshly baked yummies. So if you're up for flexing your writing muscles today, choose one baked or cooked item and describe it using your five senses — without naming what it actually is. See how much information you can get across without having to tell the reader what the dish is. Have fun!

On a separate note, we are super close to the giveaway on FB! Keep sending over likes and it'll be time for the prize :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Getting Excited

One week from today is the Hell's Hollow cover reveal! I can't wait to finally show it off. It's really beautiful. The cover designer (Okay Creations) did an amazing job. I hope everyone loves it as much as I do. And then one more week after that is the publication date. I've worked on this book for a long time and I just can't wait to share it.

One of the things I love best about this story is the quirky town Seraphina lives in and all the unusual characters who inhabit it. To me they feel like living, breathing people whose lives continue after the last page is turned. I hope they'll feel that way to you too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Writing Prompt

In my excitement to post chapter one of Hell's Hollow yesterday, I forgot to provide a weekly writing prompt. So here it is, this week's writing prompt. It comes from Julia Cameron's Vein of Gold, a quote from Theodore Roethke:

"What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible."

So the writing prompt is to write about doing one impossible thing. It could be you or a character or a friend. Write about conquering/achieving the impossible.

I'll bet it leaves you feeling like you can do it too ;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter Posted!

We reached our goal of 25 adds on Goodreads! So as promised, the first chapter of Hell's Hollow has been posted on the Chapter One page of this blog. I'm excited to share the first bit of the story. I love these characters and the story they had to tell. I hope you'll enjoy them, too. Of course I'm also nervous to share and I'd love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment or tweet me or find me on FB and let me know what you think! The cover reveal is happening on March 8th!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Managing Time

Are you managing it or is it managing you? How often do you find your writing time getting lost in the shuffle of email, social media, blogging, etc? What can you do to get a handle on it?

After struggling with this issue on and off for years (I'm not the most organized person you'll ever meet. Housecleaning for me comes in the form of -- OMG someone is coming over? Quick! Get the vacuum out, put away the clean laundry, hide the dirty, etc.), I have finally come to the realization that I need to block time that can be used for nothing other than writing. Sounds obvious, but it can be tricky to do.

What works best for me is small chunks. I might know I have even a long window of like four hours to work, yet if I'm not careful, it'll all get eaten up by junk online time. So lately I've been blocking a portion of that time, often in the middle, when writing is my top and only priority.

So far it's working for me. Maybe it'll work for you, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Contest Time

Hell's Hollow is on Goodreads!

I'd love your help in getting people to add it to their lists. So to sweeten the pot, when it gets 25 adds, I'll post the first chapter of the book on the Chapter 1 page of this blog. When it reaches 50 adds, I'll choose one person who has added it to receive a copy of the book (once it's released). And when it reaches 100 adds, I'll give away a $20 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble to one person who has added it (chosen at random, of course.) Extra entries will be given for  retweets of my twitter announcement. If you post about it elsewhere (like FB) leave me a link in the comments here and I'll give you an extra entry for that too. The cover reveal is coming on March 8, and the cover is gorgeous! I can't wait to show you!

Thanks so much for your help!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Writing On

Step by step, Hell's Hollow is moving closer to release. The cover design is complete and I absolutely love it! Okay Creations did an amazing job! Next steps include planning the cover reveal and a blog tour and once all that is in place, I just have to hope the uploads to Smashwords, Amazon, and BN go smoothly. I find each step to be totally exciting and totally stressful at the same time. It's like making decisions for your kids -- you know like which preschool they should go to or whether you should let them go to the park unsupervised! Sending your baby out into the world.

In the meantime, I'm also trying to stay grounded by continuing to work on other projects. I thought maybe I'd start providing weekly writing prompts for those who might be interested. Jo Knowles does this on her livejournal blog and I thought it was a fun idea.

So my prompt this week is --

It was in the way his eyes held her as he moved through the crowd...

Even if the prompt doesn't grab you at first, give it a try and see where it takes you. Just write for fifteen minutes and see where it leads. If you feel like sharing what you came up with,  please do so in the comments! I'd love to see where you went.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Giving Props

Just have to take a moment to give big kudos to my critique partner, Lauren Blakely, author of Caught Up In Us, who is keeping me focused on all the steps of this complex task of publishing a novel! Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, she throws me a rope and drags me along until I get my legs kicking again. I'm so grateful! And I'm also so impressed by the indie community, how warm and welcoming everyone is, and how willing everyone is to help.

I think this is true of any endeavor we take on in life: make friends along the way! They keep you sane and on task and can teach you so much. And hopefully, you'll be able to return the favor.

Meanwhile, I'm getting excited. Cover developments are happening. Reveals and releases are being plotted. Lots to do, but so thrilled to be getting closer to sharing these characters and this story! Stay tuned :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blooming Blossoms

The cherry blossoms and Japanese magnolia buds are blooming and they are gorgeous. The rest of the neighborhood trees are barren and sad-looking this time of year, of course. But these bold trees that spend their summers green and their early winters bare dive head first into spring with their insanely luscious pink blooms. It's inspiring. It's like they're ringing the bell to announce it's time for spring.

This morning I was feeling gloomy and sedentary and stuck. Then I went for a hike. The sun and fresh air and especially the beautiful blossoms woke me up. They got my blood moving, my heart racing, and my mind back in gear so that when I got home and sat down in front of the page, the words were flowing, too.

I know if you're in a more wintery place it can be hard to remember that spring isn't too far away, especially if everything is all covered with slush. But I'm telling you, the cherry blossoms are blooming! And when that happens, you know spring can't be far away!

Here's a shot of the magnolia blooms for proof ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Café Writing

I met a friend at a café to write today. I always forget how it helps the flow to write with someone else who is writing too. Usually the noise at cafés makes it so hard for me to focus. I get distracted by the coffee machines and the conversations. But today, writing with a friend, it was like her focus was contagious, and I was able to sink into the writing, while the sounds around me became a blur of white noise that didn't bother me one bit. I usually need silence to write. Today I started thinking maybe that silence is a mindset. And maybe I can create it in ways other than real, actual absence of sound. Something new to experiment with anyway!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Making Progress

I'm getting closer and closer to being ready to upload my first novel! Every step feels complicated, but thanks to the generous help of others who have been there, I'm learning. Bit by bit, baby steps. But I'm getting excited to see this story I adore make its way out into the world! I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'm looking forward to getting to know more readers, authors and bloggers, especially in the YA and women's lit communities.