Friday, December 21, 2012

Somewhere in a Winter Wonderland...

I still haven't found my camera battery charger since our move, so this picture is from last year.  I'm not sure if there will be time for cookies this year for the same reason.


Hopefully I will find the charger today (pretty sure it's in one of two boxes), and then I'll post some pics of the snow in my new backyard, the Xmas tree devoted to science fiction television, and the brownies I'm hoping to bake this afternoon.

'Till then, Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2012


Arrival of the Traveler is now back on Nook.  I apologize to anyone who was looking for it while it was down during the KDP Select enrollment.

Two of my editors for the Redemption series are pregnant right now.  The third is trying to get pregnant.  One of them is in labor today.  Me?  I'm still merrily typing along, hoping that the madness ends.

And by that, I mean the multiple drafts I've worked myself into.  Of course that's what I meant.

It's December, and it's cold out; walking through Denver and the auto-mosphere has my nose, throat, and lungs in knots, and I have a cold to boot.  This has led to the prescribed consumption of cold medication, which has a tendency to bring out the hypergraphia and lower inhibitions.

Enjoy the posts this winter, readers.

I am currently restructuring Redemption to remove most flashbacks in favor of a linear timeline (two editors complained of this feature of the book, and it never sat right with me to begin with).  Yes, this is making an already long book longer.

Arrival of the Traveler was right around 90,000 words.  Redemption now sits at 137,000 words, and counting.  Too long.  Something is getting the ax, or I will have to cut it in to two books.  Problematically, I had envisioned this book as one solid episode in the overarching Redemption plot line, so it will be difficult to split in half if need be.

I could just release it as is--one big chunk of story.  But then, the rest of the novels are going to seem off balance being of normal length compared to this monster.  But then, I don't know why I worry about this stuff, because it will all depend on how sick I am of working through the edits once they are done.  When I have the green light from the editors, this baby will probably fly regardless of length.

Which brings me back to my editor in labor.  Kudos, sister.  You have made an actual human being in less time than it has taken me to edit this novel.  Kudos, good luck, and may motherhood bring you all the happiness you have dreamed.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Kindle Giveaway Follow-Up

Over the last 3 months, I've had Arrival of the Traveler in the KDP Select program.  For those who are curious (I know I was before doing this), here is what's happened so far.

I gave away a goodly number of books--enough to raise Arrival t#40 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Contemporary.  The KDP contract asks that authors not reveal specific sales figures, so that will have to do.

Since the end of the promotion, as other authors have reported, I have seen an uptick in the sales of the following two books in the series.  For me, this has been the most exciting part; people out there have actually read the first book, and enjoyed it enough to come back for the second book.  They enjoyed that one enough that they came back for the third book.  

Having now completed it's KDP Select tour, Arrival will be returning to Nook tomorrow, so watch for it.  :)

People who are reading my books, thank you!  You are awesome!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Almost back to normal

Well, we have completed the move.  All of our stuff is out of the old house and into the new.  Now we need to clean the condo before we can rent it; that is this weekend's project.

Tonight, I had a minor celebration when my husband was finally able to load the backup of my laptop back on to my (now formatted and fixed) laptop.  I have been without my regular files for a few (several) weeks now while we were busy packing, loading, moving, unloading, and unpacking boxes.  And putting boxes together and taking boxes apart, and emptying and refilling fish and turtle tanks, and trying to keep up with normal people functions like doing laundry and wearing clean clothes in the mean time.  Yech.

We still aren't unpacked, but I'm aiming to do 3-5 boxes a night.  The den is mostly done, as is the master bedroom and guest room.  Library, kitchen, and upstairs bedrooms remain disasters in motion.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to pick up a free copy of Arrival during the 5 promo days I got for having it in the KDP Select program.  The giveaway was a great success, and Arrival will be back on Nook and Smashwords December 8th!

Good night, world!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Free is good

I have spoken many times before of my love for reviewers, and especially for those who have taken on my books for review.  With much thanks, I will now say that I am so happy I decided to participate in a LibraryThing member giveaway for reviews last month.  I know that at least a handful of the 25 copies of Arrival I put up have made their way into the hands of people who were excited to read the book, and I have already received some fantastic feedback.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway--I had more than 90 people throw in for a chance to get a free copy, so I will definitely be putting up more review copies in the future.

With Arrival now enrolled in KDP Select, I have 5 days to promote the book for free coming up, and I am planning to use those to list the book for free on Amazon from November 21st through the 25th (Black Friday, woot!).  Pass it on, because I would love to see hundreds of free copies go out later this month!

Last night I told my two main editors that I'm in NaNoWriMo this year, with the intention of creating a story that I will publish shortly thereafter.  I'm considering it a breather break from editing the first book in the Redemption series, which has turned in to a larger production than intended (currently sitting at more than 130,000 words, it's a monster...I'm also tossing around title ideas, which has been it's own battle).  One editor in particular wasn't happy with this development, because she's been after me to finish what I started with Redemption, but all in good time.  It will happen, sooner than later.

My NaNoWriMo story is about a trust fund recipient; that's all for now.  :)


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Making Apple Crisp

Pictures of what I've been doing with all of the apples from my backyard trees.

 I only picked one tree, and got about 40-50 apples.  I don't have any canning supplies, so instead I am making mad apple crisp.
 The delicious topping.  YUM!
The recipe I used can be found here:

Also, Arrival of the Traveler is now temporarily off of Barnes & Noble and Smashwords because I have enrolled it in KDP Select.  I have heard some good things about the program, so I figured I would give it a shot--Arrival will tentatively return to all venues in December.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Free Book!

To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the publication of Arrival of the Traveler, I have put out a coupon to get the book for free from Smashwords this week!  

The coupon code is: FE58W

Here is a link to the Smashwords page where you can get your free copy!

All three books in the Waldgrave series are available on Nook and Kindle for $0.99, so check them out.

Thank you all for a wonderful first year!


Sunday, July 8, 2012


As some of you are aware, mostly due to the lack of writing and publishing lately, I bought a house earlier this year.  It's a little run down and in need of some repairs, and Saturdays now belong to the Money Pit.  It's a great house; it's filled with inspiration.  I may be writing a short story in honor of the experience I've had fixing it up.  (That is, if I can tear myself away from editing Redemption, which is already having to steal scrap moments from week as is.)

The house has a wide array of wildlife.  There are rabbits and squirrels in the backyard, which my husband and I love; there are garter snakes, too, and my husband is less thrilled about those.  To me, the snakes are nostalgic; my brother made a sport out of garter snake catching when we were kids.  I've already had to rescue several who chased bugs into one of our deep basement window wells.

The house is missing screens on the windows, so sometimes the great outdoors becomes the great indoors.  While fixing up the house yesterday, we had a bird fly in, crap on the carpets, get trapped trying to fly out of a skylight, and fling a live worm it had been carrying onto one of the windows.  My dad had to use a ladder and a broom to assist the poor little guy in finding a proper out, but the bird didn't seem any worse for the wear.  Later, several large dragonflies flew in to hang around the windows and perch upside down on the ceilings while we painted and tried to fix the air conditioning unit.

My mother noted something odd that I hadn't before while we were there.  One of the upstairs bedrooms (a child's room, from the way it was decorated) had the door lock on the *outside* of the door.  And damage on the *inside* of the door from kicking.  In fact, several of the doors showed kicking damage on the opposite side of where the lock was, and neighbors say the previous owners had several children, so it makes me wonder about the previous life of my new abode.  They were rambunctious, the former owners.

Wiring in the basement is odd (such that flipping a switch turns off one light while turning on another), and as I previously mentioned, the window wells are frequently occupied by snakes and other creepy crawlies.  The backyard is overgrown with weeds now, but the existing landscape hidden under was well-planned and beautiful.  The carpet is in great condition, especially considering the number of children previously living there, and it's royal purple.

Readers, I do apologize that editing efforts on Redemption have been pushed off a little.  As you can see, a new story is brewing.  ;)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A new review from Mandy's Pages!

It's been a while since I've blogged, and for that, I apologize.  I've been keeping very busy, and writing a lot lately.  (Yup; I'm at Camp Nanowrimo!)

However, I wanted to take a moment to highlight my latest review on Mandy's Pages.  You'll even find an interview on there, too (my first one ever!).  Thanks again to the fine folks at Mandy's Pages, and especially Mike, who contacted me to ask about doing a review of the series and an interview!

Read the review on Mandy's Pages here!

Please take a moment to it out, and if you haven't yet, consider reading the Waldgrave series--the books are still only $0.99 on Nook and Kindle.  :)


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why I started writing

I was doing something today that got me thinking about when and why I started writing.  I needed to supply an answer to that question for someone who was reading (and possibly reviewing) my novel.  Sitting there, all I could think was, "Well, gee, I can't remember when I didn't do it!"

So I started asking my frieditors when they noticed I was writing; one of them surprised me that she knew I did it in high school.  Lectures were often the low point of my day, but I was always diligently writing something at the back of the class...notes or not, no one was the wiser.  I personally know that this behavior had gone on long before high school; I still have notebooks from middle and elementary school with drawings and short stories throughout.  However, she made an interesting point: I started writing to escape boring classes, and later, homework.  Then, I realized that the stories could help me vacation (however briefly) from all kinds of reality, and it was all downhill from there.

This got me thinking about how people talk about the figurative "starving artist;" if others like me are writing because they lack something in their life.  It could be anything, from interest in the person at the front of the room to companionship or even material wealth.  The want for something drives the need to write, out of passion or boredom.

So then, what becomes of it when the "starvation" ends?

I suppose the writing would end, although I don't think "starvation" ever does end for some writers.  You write, and then you publish, and if you're like me, more homework comes along...but this time, it's in the form of editing, promotion, and more editing.

Writing to escape homework, leads to more homework...what cruel irony is this?  ;)


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Complete Set

Well, here it is!  The final book in the Waldgrave series is nearly available in paperback.  I will probably be making some minor adjustments to the cover before it goes on sale, but having the proof in my hands was a big moment for me.

This is it.  The series now sits together on shelf in my house.

It's the first book series I ever shared on a quasi-grand scale with family and friends (okay...I shared the book, or sections of it, with four close friends initially).  When I started publishing, I let a few more people in, and then I told my grandmother; she lives across the street from me, and we've shared some great books and movies over the years--I knew it would be wrong to publish something without telling her.

And when I told her, she asked me, "How long have your parents  known?"

Then, I had to sheepishly admit that I hadn't told anyone else in my family.  I don't know if I was afraid of them actually reading the books, or if it was just one of those introvert moments where you don't want to brag on your accomplishment because you don't want the attention.  

And my grandmother looked at me, very seriously, and told me that this was the kind of thing parents wanted to know; they would stick it to the fridge with a magnet if they could.  

So I went home (back across the street, as it were) and I composed an overly long and dramatic email, coming out of the Author Closet to my parents.  And as they are my parents, they weren't surprised; they pretty much already knew this was going to happen some day.  I kindly asked them to only share on a need-to-know basis, and my mom asked me to get a copy of my book for her and for her to send to her mother.  (Incidentally, I think I got the "secretly write a book series and don't tell anyone" gene from her; she decided to honor my request by sending Arrival of the Traveler to her mother without sending a note attached.  My grandmother was also not surprised.)  

I went on to tell my siblings; I still have extended family I haven't told.  I figure I'll tell them if the book ever becomes wildly successful, but until then, it's been a fun personal project.  :)

As I sat there this afternoon, compulsively taking pictures of my almost completed first series as a writer, I couldn't help but think of when I first sat down to write these books.  It was years ago in a studio apartment I had during my undergraduate years, sitting on a blue couch my mom had found at a garage sale, probably watching whatever was on one of the two non-static channels I got on my television.  Probably eating a microwave burrito and avoiding the essay I needed to write for my Japanese Lit class.  

It's been quite a journey.  Thank you all for joining me.  

Onward to the next great adventure,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Secrets of the Guardian, Paperback Cover

It's taken me a few shots to get this one right, but here it is so far.  Hopefully it will be available by the end of the month!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Importance of Being Recommended

Recently, I've spent some time contemplating the importance of book reviews.  In the traditional sense, new authors know they need reviews in the online storefronts to give their works a reference point of credibility to readers.  I have read articles about how having a few "bad apples" in the bunch (i.e., negative reviews from readers who didn't click with your book) lend credibility to the reviews themselves.

However, these aren't the reasons I have been thinking about reviews.  What I have been thinking about is the reason why reviews count for so much.  The truth is that books don't just need storefront star ratings and composed reviews; they need your spoken reviews, too.  The spoken reviews--your recommendations to your friends and family--are what existed before ebooks and online reviews.  I believe that the personal nature of reading for pleasure means that the people who know you best, and who you know best, carry more weight where a book recommendation is concerned.

This may not always be true.  Sometimes, you like reading a certain type of book, and for reasons of personal privacy, maybe you don't talk about it a lot.  I have a very close friend who is a fan of romance novels, and some bordering on erotica.  (Due to the awkward factor, you can bet she doesn't go around talking about her latest read with just anyone, even though many people enjoy these types of novels.)  I happen to enjoy reading some O'Reilly technology books, but I don't generally talk about this with my reader friends because the subject rarely comes up; by the same token, many of my techie programmer friends may not be interested in my latest find in paranormal romance.  I can talk science fiction with my dad, and young adult with my grandmother, and popular fiction with my mom, but crossover doesn't always happen.

...And this reason, the protection of your personal privacy, is where online reviews can shine.  You may not have someone you can tell about that great book you just read, but certainly anyone else shopping this genre would love to hear your thoughts.  You can go on and on about how hot the male lead is from the privacy of your own home, and there's nothing embarrassing about it--there are probably many other readers out there who feel the same way, and no one you know ever has to know it was you.  

This brings me to an interesting point about reviews, though, and that's the fact that people hardly ever review books they read (book bloggers and review bloggers excepted, of course!).  I have friends who have read my books, loved them, and never posted even an anonymous review online.  Why?  Most of them just don't make a habit of doing it for any book.  They feel they need to set aside some time to do it right, and never get around to it.  (And I have to do what right?  To say, "I give this book 3 stars; the plot was awesome and I will be getting the next book, but it didn't live up to the hype and I was distracted by weird word choices"?  It's a review--not a novel, lol!)  

Of the books they had reviewed, most of them they had either loved, hated, or been disappointed by.  It took a strong emotional response--five stars or one--to get the "sit down and share" reaction, and the "good", "okay", and "okay, but not my thing" were left to oblivion.

For all of these reasons, I would like to ask anyone who has read my book to please review it.  If you are bold, or have friends who share common taste, tell them what you thought.  If you are especially outgoing or confident, post it to the social network of your choice!  If you are shy, or don't know anyone directly who reads the same kind of stuff, go online and post what you thought at Barnes & Noble or Amazon or wherever you got my book from.  

If not for my book (which I heartily recommend that you read and review!), do it for another book that you haven't reviewed yet.  I promise you, somewhere, you're making the author very happy by doing so.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Paperback Edition, Oh My!

I woke up today to the unpleasant memory that I had made a promise to my grandmother (one of my biggest fans) that I would have the paperback of Secrets of the Guardian out by the end of May.  That means I need to jump on it and have the book formatted and ready to go in the next two weeks, likely, and that means that I will need to drop my other project for a while.

Tonight, I have my niece's birthday, and tomorrow, my sister's graduation.

Other demands are adding up, and I'm no longer sure if Redemption will be ready by the end of June; I may be shifting the timeline on that one to "sometime this summer."  It's looking like it's a long book...unless I decide to split in, in which case it's 2 books.  Either way, I want it to be ready when I put it out for everyone to read.  If it turns out to be a shorter first volume, at least the second book will be available sooner because I will have already edited it.  :)


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fashion trends I don't understand

I ride the bus in Denver a fair amount, so I see a wide range of people coming and going from work, home, shopping, or wherever people go during the day.  I want to make clear that I am not a fashionable women; most days, I walk out the door wearing whatever whatever my hand first lands on in the hamper of clothes that I should have put away the night before.  Friends and family have taken great care to assure that I buy a wardrobe that matches in many combinations (in any respect) due to this unfortunate habit.

However, lately, I have noticed something that I am hoping someone can explain to me.  I see a lot of young men (late teens to twenties) wearing business tops and casual bottoms.  I have seen it on a handful of individuals on different days.  It's like a clothing mullet...suit coat and tie above the waist, worn jeans or sweat pants on the bottom.  Hair done up like a typical day out (i.e., not too formal, but definitely more done than "I just rolled out of bed").  What's up with this?  Was this in a movie recently, or demonstrated by a celebrity?  Are these people news anchors, where the only part of them you see is from the waist up (didn't recognize any of them as such)?  What kind of profession dresses this way?


Friday, April 20, 2012

With regard to titles

Not in general; just mine.

As I attempt to edit out my next novel by June, my perpetually procrastinatory brain likes to throw every possible distraction.  Frieditors will already know that I have changed around the title of the Redemption project a few times. I've had a few titles related to the island, the name of the island, the translated name of the island, then Redemption, then (for a few days) it was Beyond Redemption, and now I am thinking I may change it again.

I wear out titles like socks.  They start feeling old to me, so I change them.  I didn't even title the Waldgrave books (<--that is what I had been calling it since it was written, circa I'm-not-even-sure-when-it-was-so-long-ago) until then were within a month of publishing.

Does anyone else feel the need to freshen up titles?  How do you pick them?  How do you know when a title is right?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Draft of Redemption Paperback Cover Art

Needed an art project tonight, so I played with making a cover for the paperback of Redemption.  Here it is so far:

I don't know the exact measurements of the binding yet, so that part might grow or shrink depending on editing.



Latest draft, April 16 (fiddled with the stars some to increase at the top of the page and decrease on the horizon, increased brightness of sky colors):

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Feline Saboteur

Well, my cat loves my laptop cooling pad as much as I do.  The first day I left it out, the one of my cats decided to pull it out from under the laptop and chew the heck out of it.  I probably should have known this would happen--the cat is a freak and chews things, especially cardboard, like a teething puppy.

The laptop pad is still functional--it has a few more aeration holes now.  The cat is fine too; he wasn't able to rip off or ingest any pieces.  The pad keeps the laptop so cool that the cats are no longer attracted to curling up next to the cooling fan, which has led me to wonder if this was a planned attack to regain a warm spot on the ottoman.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Computer Gear

For a few years now, my Inspiron has had some trouble with overheating.  While playing any kind of game it would overheat and shut off.  I found I could fix this by propping up the backside of the machine with coasters and such, but was recently without at a friend's house, which prompted me to buy a cheap laptop cooling pad (about $6).

It is MARVELOUS.  The laptop still gets a little toasty, but not to the point of shutting off.

In other news, I am struggling to get Redemption finished.  I am trying to streamline the process by not allowing myself to add any new text to the story, but as I've detailed before, the scope of this one has changed to include more story lines than initially written.  It's a change for the better, in my humble opinion, but we'll see what the readers think!  

I wish it would either rain or snow here.  Colorado needs the precipitation, and somehow it always seems to bring on the writing bug.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Angry Editors

Through Chapter 10 of Redemption has been sent out to my editors; one of them got kind of peeved because chapter 10 ends with a cliffhanger (teehee!).  It's been a couple of years, thanks to babies, weddings, and military obligations, since the last time I was really able to have solid write-and-edit relationships with some of my frieditors.

Having someone send me an angry email early in the a.m. ("I hate you SO much."), followed by a text in the p.m. ("Did you get my email, you brat?"), and a chat message later that evening ("damn you to hell!!!") is a good feeling.

It's a love-hate relationship.  Or maybe I just like torturing people.  Or, maybe I've spent too much time with these people I'm writing about, and they like to torture people, lol.

Release date for Redemption is still set for sometime in June, if I can keep the fire under my rump lit.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Spring is here, and the incidence of my seeing frozen spit on the sidewalks while walking to work is at a low (and seriously, who does this, anyways?).  The buses are no longer to cold, but now they smell like body odor.  C'est la vie.

This time of year is normally when I start planting my garden.  It is a little early--frost danger isn't really over until end of April--but I like to get my hardier plants going so that they might get a longer growing season.  However, this year, I may or may not be moving, and for that reason, I am hesitant to plant.  Major bummer because I love gardening, and I may not get one this year.

In other news, I am trying to decorate my cubicle at work.  I haven't been at the job that long, so not much is in there now, but I figure I need to do something before I become known as the weird girl with the spartan working arrangement.  I already have an orchid to put in there, but another restriction I am working under is that I walk and take the bus to work.  So anything I take has to be small enough to fit in my backpack, and light enough to be carried a mile.  Suggestions would be appreciated, as I am not as extroverted or socially aware as some of you out there.

What do you keep at work?  What do you enjoy seeing in other people's offices?


Monday, March 12, 2012

From the Rut

Well, the last month (or just shy) has been pretty rough for me for a few personal reasons.

The male of the species...sometimes they just don't get it.  (Yeah, you heard me!  It's a boy problem.  Stupid boys...)

I haven't been writing, I've been doing very little reading, and food hasn't appealed to me.  Normally I would think I was getting sick, but lately I think I'm just guilty of being a diva.  I'm trying to crawl out of the rut and rejoin the world in as un-whiny a fashion as possible.

Right now I'm sitting in that place where writing just seems silly.  And I know it's not silly--someday, I will be passionate about it again--but right now, I'm wondering why I do this thing.  Oh well.  Onward.

I'm stuck at a point in Redemption where I am debating where to go next, if anyone wants to put in their two cents to the situation.  (Yes, I realize I haven't posted a lot about what this book is "about"; it's because I have editors who read this blog, and they haven't hit the big reveal yet.  For our purposes, the story is about bad things that happen to good people, and good people who let those bad things happen to others.  And small town secrets, betrayal, and playing dress up in fancy clothing.  Also, murder.  And hairy bodies.)

The book is finished, though not yet edited.  In the first round of edits, I had a frieditor tell me the reveal came to fast.  So, I went back and installed about three more chapters of side story that I had previously thought were too tangential.

New frieditor is about to kill me because the reveal is now taking too long, but now that the side story flood gates are open, I kind of want to let them run free.  (Which I will probably do.) However, the story now feels disjointed to me where I broke off the original reveal; I haven't had any complaints from frieditors concerning the break, but I am thinking it needs smoothing anyways.  : /


Monday, February 20, 2012

Latest Cover for Redemption

Well, what a lousy three day weekend.  Trouble on the home front, trouble with friends.  : /

Things were a little better today, and I got to sit down and make another try at a cover for Redemption.  You can check out some of my previous attempts in the last post, here.  Making covers is always a fun way to relax when I'm too tense to write or edit.  : )

This cover is by no means a final draft...just me, getting some ideas out before I make a final decision.  Comments always welcome.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Editing beyond bedtime

I just got off another two chapters of Redemption to my editors.  :)  I've discovered that when I write or edit after bedtime, it's usually not a good thing.  I don't know why I continue to allow it to happen.

My cats are sitting here, anxiously awaiting the moment that I close the laptop--they've trained themselves that when this happens, the bedtime routine begins.  It includes a refill of their food bowls, so you can see why they have an interest in my writing habits.

I don't know why writing is a late night venture for me; there's something about the dark that gets me going, and something about exhaustion that lowers my inhibitions just enough.  Of course, I know I'll wake up tomorrow and have a horrible "what was I thinking" moment when I read what I wrote, but oh well.

That's what editors are for, right?  (Love you, editors.  I owe you coffee.)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deception of the Magician, Now in Paperback!

Deception of the Magician, Waldgrave Part 2 is now available in paperback via my CreateSpace eStore!  It should be up and available from Amazon within 3-5 days, and it will qualify for free super saver shipping.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Free Book!!!

Alright, everyone.  I've wanted to do this for a while.  It's taken me a little time to figure out the execution.  

For a limited time, you can use this promotional code to get a free copy of Arrival of the Traveler, Waldgrave Part 1 from Smashwords:  SA39E

Input the code at checkout, and you will get a 100% discount on my book.  The code will be good until the end of February, so be sure to share the free code with your friends!  :)

Arrival of the Traveler on Smashwords

Why a free book?  Sales were awesome in January, and it has really given my confidence a boost.  I've been writing since I was an awkward teenager and before, but Arrival has been my first venture into publishing.  It has been on the market for 6 months now, and that's something to celebrate.  Thank you all for making this adventure such a wonderful experience.


Links to Directions on Smashords (they have kindly included links to video tutorials, too!):

How to get a Smashwords book onto a Kindle, Nook, and Other eReaders

Monday, January 23, 2012

Deception of the Magician, Soon in Paperback

The mother of one of my close friends is now nearing the end of the first book in the Waldgrave series.  She does not own an ereader, and is likely not planning to get one in the near future (or ever, because she is hardcore old school).  That being the case, she has set her daughter on me to get out Deception in paperback.

Draft cover.  Enjoy.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Becky Raymond's Review of Secrets of the Guardian

Hey All!

Yesterday, Becky posted her review for Secrets of the Guardian.  You can find it at her blog here:

She also gave it a full 5 star rating on Goodreads (, which has been especially exciting for me.  Becky is the first person to ever do full reviews of all of the Waldgrave books, and for that I am extremely grateful!

Every time I go and look at my book pages on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or anywhere, I am always appreciative for the readers that take the time to tell others (and me) what they thought of the book.  Reviewers truly serve an important part in the lives of indie authors.  Reviewers are the guides that help readers find our books, and without the readers, the stories would never leave the page.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

To KDP Select, or not to KDP Select....

All right, writing buddies, I have a question.  And a bit of a moral dilemma.

So, Amazon has put me in a tight spot with it's KDP Select program.  If an author opts in, their book will be included in the Kindle Lending Library (sweet!), but as a condition of opting in, the book must be available exclusively on Kindle for at least a 90 day period (major bummer).

I don't think I would do this with my Waldgrave series.  Some of my earliest fans are Nook owners, and while I don't think any ereader is inherently better than another (we're all book nerds here, after all), it seems wrong to screw over any of my fans by removing my books and business from any platform.  Somehow, it feels a little dirty of Amazon to use an exclusivity clause in that manner.

After some consideration, I'm still not sure if this is something I want to try with a new title or not.  However, it did get me thinking about doing a free book promotion now that the Waldgrave trilogy is out; I've heard a lot of people are interested in the series, but not quite ready to take the plunge of paying the $0.99.  A publishing friend told me I might have more success if I *raised* the price of the books to $2.99 (seriously, what's up with that?).

So, what I'm thinking is that I might drop the first book to free and raise the other two...this seems fair, because my early fans would still have gotten a great price (three books for $0.99/ea vs. three for about $6), and the first book free would kind of serve as a sample to the series.

I don't know how any of this will play out.  It's a Thursday night and I'm avoiding the chores I should be doing, so I will probably decide something this weekend.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nervousness about the End

I had a conversation with someone about this a while back; in the weeks leading up to the release of Waldgrave 3, I was incredibly anxious about whether or not people would be satisfied by the ending.  I've been told that this is common behavior for both hobbyist and professional writers--there are times when you feel like an absolute genius, and others when you feel like an awkward loser wannabe.  I accepted long ago that the truth lies somewhere in between (and some days better than others), but publishing Waldgrave was a new experience for me on this front.  

I wrote Waldgrave as one long stretch of story, and not as three distinct books.   (I consider marathon story telling one of my weaknesses as a writer, because my stuff always ends up too long for one book--the total word count for the Waldgrave trilogy is more than 260,000 words--and then the book breaks feel a little forced.)  I always knew that the ending would fit for this reason, but I guess I was worried that it wouldn't be what the reader wanted.  As a reader, I hate it when I am cruising through a series, and then hit the ending, and have a horrible moment of "That's it?"

Well, I held my breath, and released the book, and (outside of the drafting error in my previous post) most people loved it.  I smiled because they were happy, and I got to feel that I had become a successful storyteller.  It was pretty darn amazing.

...And then I got off the cloud, and continued working on my next book.  Redemption is rolling along nicely, despite the many revisions it has seen in its lifetime.  Waldgrave fans need not worry...there will be more Waldgrave books.  If you want them sooner, be sure to tell all of your friends how great you think the series is.  : D

There's nothing like a raving reader to say how great a novel is, and word of mouth is the best advertising.  And this indie author will love you forever for sharing your opinion, good or bad, online or in conversation, with your friends or total strangers.

But for now, I need to find a good pair of walking shoes that are good in the snow.  My day job has me walking quite a ways to and from my bus in Denver, and I was nearly taken out by the sidewalk slick from the storm we got last week.  Wet socks all day, and my desk is in a cooler part of the building.  (And on that note, my weather station claimed it wouldn't be an event--"just 1-3 inches".  Apparently the weather folks and I are in the same business of fiction...)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What comes next?

I have no idea.  Likely, it will be the Redemption series.

My timing has been horribly off lately, as noted by early readers of Waldgrave 3.  I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but parts of the book had rampant errors.  It underwent the same editing process as the other books, so I can only conclude that somewhere along the line I must have gone through making corrective changes and then the document didn't save, and then I went through and did more, resulting in the patchy product.  

For this, I apologize to the early fans.  I have already corrected the most glaring errors, and continue to work on it.  (Note: the mistakes I am correcting are spelling/grammatical, not plot.)  I am very sorry this happened.  If anyone needs to go on a miffed rant at me over email, I encourage you to do so.  I dropped the ball.  I was bent on getting Waldgrave 3 out before the end of the year, even though I was rushing the editing due to the holidays.  I live within two miles of my parents, siblings, nieces, nephew, grandmother, and in-laws, so it gets a little crazy around here certain times of the year; I should have given the book one more read over before posting it.

Let's suffice it to say that the embarrassment has encouraged me to not let it happen again.  

Blushing, onward I go.  The next series I work on will likely be Redemption; however, I wouldn't be surprised if there is another Waldgrave book in the works before 2012 is out.  For this, people can thank my earliest editor, who one day, about a year after I had written the series, asked me when I was writing more on that story.  I told her I had planned it just being the three books, but had started entertaining a sequel set ten years in the future.  She looked at me, and said something along the lines of "sometimes, I find myself wondering what's going on in their lives now."

And then we had a good laugh about how we both knew we were wondering about the events in lives of imaginary people.  However, that was when I started to wonder myself, and an immediate sequel to Waldgrave was born.  It's about halfway written; I don't know how many books total it will eventually be.  Might be the birth of a wonderful and ongoing story.  Might be just the one book.

I typically get the bug to write more in the early fall, and it keeps on until the snow gets slushy in spring.  This year I threw my schedule a little by doing editing all fall and into winter, and now I am once again trying to pick up and write, even though the first few books of Redemption are essentially done.

Redemption is a longer series--six or seven books, from what I'm planning now.  I haven't even named the series yet; Redemption is just what I had titled the first book.  I usually like to have a series completely written before I show it to people, but since it's January and my brain is shifting into editing mode, I might make a go at editing the first three books now, and writing the last 3-4 later this year.   


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Secrets of the Guardian, Waldgrave Part 3: Now Available!

It came right down to the wire, but I got it done!  Check it out on Nook or Kindle now!  I will be working on the second and third Waldgrave books in coming months to make them available in paperback, on Smashwords, and on iBooks in the coming weeks and months.