Friday, July 26, 2013

Wherein I sing Happy Birthday and drive more than 5000 miles!

Happy Friday Everyone! Today is my beautiful Teen's birthday - so before I can do/say/write anything else, I MUST wish her the very best of birthdays. This one is particularly impacting to me - the LAST birthday of her HS career, my teen is driving, preparing for college and standing on the threshold of adulthood! It is a strange place for me, indeed.

We are having a very small celebration for her birthday this year - just a bunch of her family and friends enjoying Wreck It Ralph at our community movies-at-the-park Friday. Fun, low key and perfect given our epic road trip starting on Sat...


Which leads to the next part of the conversation. As I am on the road (literally! Just check out the picture above - we are literally driving across country and back) for the next 2 weeks, and starting school immediately after that, the blog is going dark until 8/11. At that time, I am revealing a new blogging schedule, a new look (part of which you can see here already), and other exciting news.

The summer has been amazing. But I still have SO MANY MORE things to do before settling into the school year in August. I guess I'd better follow ever-amazing Ali Cross's advice and go all #writingninja style when I return!

See you on the flip side. And be sure to check out my FB page and my author page for fab pictures of the trip...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An End to a Great Series - ABANDON by Elana Johnson


It's Bookanista Thursday and time for a new review. Today, I am thrilled to be talking about ABANDON, fellow Bookanista Elana Johnson's exciting conclusion to the POSSESSION series. I was fortunate enough to read both POSSESSION and SURRENDER in early forms, watching the story expand and grow with each revision. It was such a treat. With ABANDON, I waited until the book was released to finally be able to see how everything ended up. It was a long and hard wait, but I certainly was not disappointed. 

More on that in a moment. First, let's see what the rest of the Bookanistas are up to:

    On to my Bookanista Review of ABANDON by Elana Johnson:

    Release Date: 11/21/2011


    Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
    The fight for independent thought becomes a matter of life or death in this sizzling and intense conclusion to the Possession trilogy.
    Vi has made her choice between Jag and Zenn, and the resistance may have suffered for it. But with the Thinkers as strong as ever, the rebels still have a job to do. Vi knows better than anyone that there’s more at stake than a few broken hearts.

    But there is a traitor among them…and the choices he makes could lead to the total destruction of everything Vi has fought for.

    Vi, Jag, and Zenn must set their problems aside for the resistance to have any hope of ending the Thinkers’ reign. Their success means everything…and their failure means death.
    Why I liked it: 
    I have loved the POSSESSION series since the first version of the first book. And ABANDON was the perfect end to the series. Unlike other series-I-dare-not-name-outloud, ABANDON did not shrink away from the action I KNEW had to happen. I mean, seriously - there was obviously going to be an epic battle. Every now and then authors shrink away from that battle, not wanting to kill important characters or get too messy. Elana did this story justice, and followed the story to its authentic end. I LOVED that so much. The series was tied up, the questions answered, and I closed the last page satisfied and already missing these characters I have grown to love.

    A FABULOUS read and a fabulous series!


    What are you guys reading these days? 

    I am taking a couple of weeks off of reviews as I go on vacation. See you all when I return!

      Tuesday, July 23, 2013

      Author Spotlight: Jennifer Allis Provost and Copper Girl


      Welcome to another Author/Book Spotlight feature. Today I am spotlighting Jennifer Allis Provost and COPPER GIRL, a book I am DYING to read!

      Before I tell you about the book, here is a little about the author:


      Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog, two cats, a maroon-bellied conure, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior.

      And now, a little about the book, COPPER GIRL: 

      COPPER GIRL (Spencer Hill Press, June 2013)


      Sara had always been careful.
      She never spoke of magic, never associated with those suspected of handling magic, never thought of magic, and never, ever, let anyone see her mark.  After all, the last thing she wanted was to end up missing, like her father and brother.
      Then, a silver elf pushed his way into Sara's dream, and her life became anything but ordinary.
      Be sure to add COPPER GIRL to your Goodreads list here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16193519-copper-girl

      Or pick up your copy at Amazon and other fine retailers!

      I so need to read this!

      Monday, July 22, 2013

      The Benefits of Imagination and Failure...Thank You JK Rowling

      I will admit it - I don't get a chance to read magazine and news articles as often as I'd like to. But, I always manage to find the articles online or elsewhere that speak to me in just the way I need them to, at just the right time. Divine intervention? I would like to believe so, yes.

      While doing some research for a particular JK Rowling quote, I stumbled across her Harvard commencement speech from 2008 and both read the transcript and listened/watched her commencement speech. Holy Cow - there is little wonder why she tops my list of the people I most want to meet in my lifetime. She is amazing!

      Her speech speaks of the benefits of both imagination and understanding/embracing failure. It is a lesson I strive to teach my own children, though I admittedly forgot these lessons myself. In this speech, I was reminded of so many things. Here are a couple of extended quotes from the transcript to relish:

      "...failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life...Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected..."
      And:
      "...Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places. Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathizeAnd many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.
      I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.What is more, those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy."
      Is it any wonder why she is what she is, where her true talent really comes from and how brilliant she actually is?
      Just before my mother passed away in 2010, we talked about my goals for my writing career. She reminded me to strive to be like JK Rowling - someone destined to write stories that would forever change the world. It is a conversation I have never forgotten, though the goal of that seems a distant wish at times. But, hearing the speech and writing this post, I am reminded again that the only thing that can hold any of us back is our own patterns of thought. With that, and the renewed inspiration from this speech, I re-commit to my career and venture forward, refusing to be afraid!
      Before I leave you all for the weekend, I wanted to link the speech, just in case you wanted to hear/see if for yourselves:


      Truly inspirational. THANK YOU JK Rowling - for so very many things!

      Friday, July 19, 2013

      Living An Authentic Life: Confession Time

      Happy Friday everyone. In sticking with my themes of late, I thought I'd share a little confession. I am fat. Not PHAT, but fat. You know, obese. Seriously so, actually. I also happen to be tall, so I hide my weight well. But that doesn't change the fact that my weight and BMI easily classify my in the obese range.

      This isn't an easy admission for me. As a child, I managed my weight through extreme ways - juggling and eating disorder along with everything else. I alternated from anorexia to bulimia, all in an effort to manage a weight problem that didn't actually exist. It took years of therapy to no longer have body dismorphia and to see the truth of my size. But fixing that, changing that behavior, didn't solve some of the underlying issues. That took years more work.

      Now, having come to terms with all that is true about me - the things that are broken, as well as the strengths I have as a result of my life experiences, I am willing to admit my weight problems and publicly commit to taking the weight all the way off.

      I read somewhere that telling everyone you know that you are committed to something is a great way to own up to that commitment and honor it. So, here you go - me committing to a significant lifestyle change and taking off the weight that quite literally has the power to endanger my life.

      I also read somewhere that doing what you fear is a great way to let go of that fear. So, telling you guys - something that is terrifying to me - that is my act of courage. One of them anyway...

      So, for today's "things I Love" post, I am starting a fresh commitment to my lifestyle changes, committing to the exercise and eating habits I need in order to take off the 100+ pounds I need to lose. I have no illusions about this journey - I know how difficult it will be. But I am in it for the long haul.
      I will post period updates to the process and let you know how I'm doing.

      Until then, have a great weekend! Go out and do scary things...

      Thursday, July 18, 2013

      Dan Brown's Inferno - It's Dante, Italy, and Mystery!

      As I mentioned on Monday, I've decided to review adult and nonfiction books in addition to my normal Bookanista features. Today, I am gushing over Dan Brown's latest thriller, INFERNO. I am a HUGE Dan Brown fan. From his first, relatively unknown book, DIGITAL FORTRESS, to the ground-breaking DaVINCI CODE, to this latest book, INFERNO, Dan Brown always takes me on a ride that ensnares my mind, delights my senses and keeps me engaged from the first page to the end. He researches his material and presents a familiar thriller arc in a way that never bores me. Maybe it's the settings he so carefully describes, or the research he includes, but every book leaves me better than before I read it. He is, in many ways, the type of author I strive to be one day.

      Release Date: 11/21/2011


      Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
      In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.

      In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

      Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.
      Why I liked it: 

      In INFERNO, Brown brings his character Robert Langdon back to Italy with a story heavily influenced from the symbolism of Dante. The story examines ethics in the modern world, confronting the question of how we will use some of our newest medical and scientific discoveries. It is the melding of the Classics and the Modern that I love in this book. That, and the setting.

      I was fortunate enough to visit Florence, Venice, and Istanbul several years ago, and these cities have a carved a forever-beloved place in my heart. His descriptions throughout the book took me back to those cities. I felt as though I was standing where he was, living the story he was telling. And yes, that made me connect to the story all the more.

      So, if you love mysteries, are into well-researched stories that make you think, then get yourself a copy of INFERNO!

      And don't forget my Bookanista Buddies that are sharing these reviews today:

      Rebecca Behrens leaps over THE MOON AND MORE by Saran Dessen

      Elana Johnson has props for THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting
      Tracey Neithercott croons about CROAK by Gina Damico
      Kimberly Sabatini delves into THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by Lauren Myracle
      Corrine Jackson touts TEMPEST

      What are you guys reading?

        Wednesday, July 17, 2013

        Blog Chain: Summer is for...

        Welcome to another installment of the Blog Chain. There was a little mix up with this round's topic, so I took it upon myself to just come up with one...

        How do you spend your summer? Catching up on writing projects, taking time off of writing? Getting inspired? Inquiring minds want to know.

        First, let me say that I love summer. Not only do I get a large hunk of time to regroup and rebalance, but my family all has the time off too. From mid/late June through early August, we relax and play. And usually this includes getting caught up with our reading and other hobbies that seem to fall by the wayside during the busyness of the school year.

        This summer I have finished three books, with about four more I'd like to get through. I have also managed to repaint the house, reorganize the garage and start eating healthy again (more or less!).

        But this question was specifically about writing. I use summer to revitalize my writing endeavors, my creative side. This is particularly true this year, coming off a period of time that drained me. So, I have been revamping my brand, re-launching my fiction, and writing. And yes, I will be doing a little traveling too - not only for the time with family, but for the inspiration I know will follow.

        I love summer!

        What about you? How do you use your summers? For more on this topic, check out Katrina's post tomorrow.

        Tuesday, July 16, 2013

        Author Spotlight - Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley's Extracted


        I am thrilled to finally be back to hosting my Author/Book Spotlight features. Today is a special two-for-one deal with authors Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley and their upcoming book, EXTRACTED.

        Before I tell you about the book, here is a little about the authors:

        Tyler H. Jolley was born in the era of the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sagas and has been enamored with science fiction and adventure stories ever since.
        Snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, bird hunting, camping, hiking, and backpacking are all things he enjoys doing with his family. However, his true passion has always been fiction writing.
         
        Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is often only seen in blurry photographs.
         
        Together they are the co-authors of The Lost Imperials saga from Spencer Hill Press. Extracted, book one, is due for release on 11.12.13.

        And now, a little about the book - 

        EXTRACTED (Spencer Hill Press, November 2013)

        Welcome to the war.
        The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.
        The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.
        Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.
        When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.
        Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
         
        Be sure to add EXRACTED to your Goodreads list here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16068631-extracted
         
        And check out the official website - http://www.thelostimperials.com  and Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/thelostimperials


        Now - doesn't this look EXCELLENT! Can. Not. Wait!

        Monday, July 15, 2013

        Monday Musings: Letting Go

        Hi everyone! I can't believe we are half way through July...summer seems to be going SO FAST. And yet, as I reflect on what I have managed to accomplish so far, I can happily say it has been productive.

        I spent this weekend cleaning out the garage among other things. My goal - purge the boxes and boxes of photographs and clean out the arts & crafts cabinets. It took more hours than I'd like to admit to get through everything, but I did it...I cleared out and organized 15 years worth of things.

        When the work was done and I had a chance to reflect, I felt as though an enormous weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Not just because I could cross this off the to-do list finally. No. It was more than that.

        Releasing the unnecessary, letting go of things that didn't make sense to keep, freed up the creative aspects of my thoughts, enabling me to think of new things, new ways to utilize some of the things I kept, new ways to use some of the pictures, etc. The cleaned out cabinets even motivated my husband to make new doors for the cabinets in the garage, something we had talked about for years.

        The process also reminding me of writing and editing. When we are busy creating, we collect ideas and scenes, holding on to everything. We are hesitate to release the unnecessary, sometimes for fear that we may not get a new idea, or have the material we need later on. But what happens when we let go of the scenes that clog the plot. Or when we release the stories that aren't ready to be told? What then?

        I am willing to bet that purging does more than spark creativity in our everyday lives. It sparks our artistic creativity too.

        So, the next time you find yourself burdened by unnecessary things, your creative energy depleted...try purging something. Your Pinterest boards, your creative files, something. You may just find yourself renewed as you let go of the things that no longer serve purpose in your life.

        Friday, July 12, 2013

        Fabulous Friday: Things I Love

        As I mentioned on Monday, I would be starting a "things I love" feature on the blog. I am deep in the throes of rediscovering myself. I know that may sound a little strange, but the truth is, I lost a deep part of myself when my mom passed away in 2010. Since then I haven't felt grounded or secure, haven't really felt like I knew who I was. Her death just shook my very foundation.

        Healing from the loss has been a journey in-and-of itself. I have tried out different lifestyle changes (looks, home decor, hairstyles), made some changes in career and friends, etc. In short, I have been on a journey of rediscovering who I am - the things I like to do, the things I am passionate about, etc.

        And I wanted to share some of those discoveries with you! Taking a page from my own advice offered to young girls in The Girl Guide, I am doing something I haven't done since my early twenties - I am make a scrapbook of the things I love, a digital collage of sorts. And I am using Pinterest to do it.

        I will be revamping my Pinterest boards and sharing recipes, fashion, quotes, home furnishings, gardens, travel, etc - all as I explore these different things for myself.

        To start, I wanted to share my all-time fav place to find home furnishings at great price....Home Goods. As most of you know, I am going through a little DIY remodel (just paint, furnishings, etc) and Home Goods has proven to be my new "best friend", offering a vast array of novelties to put in the house. Here are a few of the great finds...

        (Not the books, obviously)

        The turtles, tiger shells, and vases all came from Home Goods, and I LOVE them so much. They make my desk, MY desk.

        Check out my boards, share things you love, and come back next Friday - you never know what great find I may share! And if you LOVE Home Goods the way I do, check out their Pinterest boards for TONS of inspirational pics

        Thursday, July 11, 2013

        Bookanista Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler


        It's Bookanista Thursday and time for a new review. Today, I am fawning over THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. I am such a huge fan of both authors. Why it took me SO LONG to read this book is beyond me! I had received it from my aunt who lives near SLO and goes to all of Jay's local signings. It's a book I told her about after attending a SCBWI event in which Carolyn Mackler talked about the process of writing this book...something I would love to do with some of my writing buddies one day. Anyway, this has been sitting on the shelf waiting to be read forever. I am so glad I finally pulled it out.

        But, before I tell you my thoughts, here are the other Bookanista reviews this week

          On to my Bookanista Review of THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

          Release Date: 11/21/2011


          Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
          Josh and Emma are about to discover themselves--fifteen years in the future
          It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long--at least, up until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD-ROM in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto Facebook . . . but Facebook hasn't been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
          Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates--it's all there. And every time they refresh their pages, their futures change. As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right--and wrong--in the present.


          Why I liked it: 
          THE FUTURE OF US is a great read. Not only is the premise fun, but the characters are relatable and "real". The book, though ostensibly about seeing a glimpse of the future and the impact of that, is really more about the relationship between the main characters, Josh and Emma. It is a wonderful book that shows that all-too-familiar shift from best friends to something more in a way that felt fresh and new. Although I had a strong inkling as to how everything would turn out, I was still enthralled with the storytelling enough that I had to keep reading. The end was sweet and satifying.

          All in all, a wonderful read that I completely recommend!



          What are you guys reading these days? 

          Starting next Thursday, I will be adding reviews of nonfiction and adult books on my "off" weeks, alternating with my Bookanista reviews. I am reading so many nonfiction and adult books - great books - that I want to share a little about them toom

          Up next week... Dan Brown's INFERNO. See you then

            Wednesday, July 10, 2013

            Wherein I talk about goals

            Hey everyone -
            picture courtesy of Wordle
            As you can tell, I've been madly working on my branding - the blog, a website not yet revealed, etc. I've been reading a ton of branding articles (like this one by Indie Author Ali Cross), looking at literally hundreds of author websites and blogs, and researching marketing and branding.

            In addition to that, I have been spending a lot of time thinking. That's right, stewing on what I want from my career: where I want to be in a few years, what I want to focus on, etc. It isn't that I never think about this stuff - I do. A lot, actually. It's more that I just haven't really determined what my short-term and mid-term goals are (long term goals I have in spades!). Yes, I know I want to write. And yes, I know I want to move into that direction with the hopes of eventually leaving or significantly modifying the day job. But what steps do I want to take to get there. Am I Indie bound, or do I want to look for an agent - a partner.

            All of this stewing and contemplation has lead me to one important decision - I am definitely a hybrid kind of author, one who writes a variety of genres to a variety of audiences. And one who wants to be take advantage of the Indie possibilities AND partner with an agent to source more traditional publishing routes.

            Developing a brand and a website, a hub about all things "me", that meets the needs of all that is tough. I thought about doing two or three sites, as many of my writing buddies do. But that is more work than I want to commit. After all, I NEED more writing time. That is why I switched careers, to secure more time to create. Not so I could build a social networking empire that pushed me away from my writing. So, I want to create a brand with a site that can meet my diverse needs.

            Whew - no wonder this is taking me a while.

            So, as I am contemplating my new branding, and determining the next stages of my career, I thought I would throw it out to all of you:

            What are your short-term and mid-range goals? Do you have them? What about long term goals?

            Monday, July 8, 2013

            The Requiem Facelift Continues: A New Cover for Libera Me

            I am so excited to bring you the new cover for LIBERA ME today. The cover was designed by me based on background material from Breedstock.deviantart.com and Wikipedia.org, and the model photo by Osipova Anastasia (all under a Creative Commons License) and like LACRIMOSA, it captures the heart of the story.

            Let's start with a little more about LIBERA ME, book 2 in the Requiem Series:

            The line between good and evil has never been so blurred.
            Aydan wants to believe Nesy has returned to him in Vanessa. But her lack of memories and incessant nightmares begin to erode his faith. Zane is used to trusting his mind, his wisdom and his angelic senses. But these attributes are no help with Vanessa. He has no way to be certain of her true identity. That is, unless he listens to the one thing he has refused to acknowledge throughout his existence - his feelings for Nesy. 

            Blind to both angel and demon, Aydan and Zane must now figure out the truth behind Nesy's identity before all is lost, Azza discovers the truth and the Beast is again unleashed. 


            This special edition includes the bonus stories Mea Culpa, Zane's story that leads into LIBERA ME, and Enigma, the story behind Lorelei and the Seers. And yes, I have matched the interiors to LACRIMOSA as well.

            I anticipate re-releasing LIBERA ME at the end of the week! EEP!!! This is exciting. Which brings me to the point of this post - The NEW COVER...




            To celebrate the re-releases of these stories, I am offering a little giveaway for copies of both Lacrimosa and Libera Me, as well as posters of the book jackets for the entire series. Just enter the rafflecopter giveaway below. Easy Peasy.

            a Rafflecopter giveaway

            I hope you love everything as much as I do.

            Well? What do you think?

            Sunday, July 7, 2013

            The Week Ahead...

            It is going to be a busy week around the interwebz this week, and I am thrilled to be sharing things with all of you.

            First, I am releasing the NEW COVER for Libera Me TOMORROW on my blog, and releasing the ebook by Friday (I hope). In honor of everything, I will be hosting a little giveaway with books and beautiful posters of the book jackets. 

            On Weds, I am back to WIP Wednesdays for the summer, an opportunity to share what I am working on and hopefully hear from all of you!

            On Thursday, my Bookanista reviews are back with a review of The Future of Us.

            Friday features something new - a chance to get personal and share something I love that I've recently discovered. Hopefully you all will share something too!

            For today, I wanted to share a little news...

            Michelle Zink, author of the highly acclaimed Prophesy of the Sisters series and one of my all time FAVORITE authors, graciously blurbed The Girl Guide and I wanted to share the blurb with all of you:

            "The Girl Guide is chock full of awesome information on everything from self-esteem, friendship, goal setting and family relationships. Truly an essential guide for girls and their parents in navigating the wild and wonderful teenage years!"

            Thank you Michelle. Between this blurb and the great review from School Library Journal, I am beyond humbled and excited about the warm reception the book has been getting!

            Thursday, July 4, 2013

            Happy INDIEpendence Day and a Special Offering


            Happy 4th to my US friends. I hope you are going to have fun spending some time with family and friends. I wanted to take a quick moment and let you know that LACRIMOSA (second edition) is now out in the world!

            I am so excited to bring you the book at a great price - Just .99 for the ebook in mobi (kindle) or ePub (nook) formats, and 12.99 for paperback.

            Here is a little more about the book:
            Some sacrifices should never be made, even for love.
            Nesy is the best of an elite group of angels, warriors called Sentinals, charged with one job—vanquish the UnHoly. She’s never made a mistake, never gotten emotionally involved, never failed.
            Until she comes face-to-face with Aydan.
            He is evil incarnate. A fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate.  But she can’t, because he’s also the human love of her life; a love she was never supposed to feel.
            Now she must choose between doing her duty or saving Aydan, a choice that will cost more than her life...

                        Or his soul.  


            You can get the book on Amazon  and Barnes and Noble, with wider distribution coming in the next week.

            And remember, the book INCLUDES the Requiem novella, Dies Irae. Get your copy today. And if you already have it, get another one just to have the beautiful new cover and see the subtle changes to the story!

            Libera Me will be available in about a week and will also be offered for a great price.

            Enjoy the day!!!

            Wednesday, July 3, 2013

            Blog Chain Confessions Get Steamy...

            Happy Summer!!!

            Today the Blog Chain gets a little steamy with this topic from Demetria:

            What are your guilty pleasure books/genres?
            Ooooooooh, guilty pleasures! I love me some guilty pleasures. And my guilty pleasure is...adult romance. Yep, I'll admit it. Not 50 shades of Gray, but just as...well....hot.


            Sylvia Day's Crossfire series: Bared to You, Reflected in You and Entwined with You (saving that one to read for my vacation time)

            There is just something about this storyline I love. It's steamy and forbidden like 50-shades, but better somehow. The romance, the passion, and yea...the heat. It is all in this book!!! And I love it.

            Whew - it feels good to just admit it!

            What about you? Any guilty pleasure books you are willing to admit to?
            For more on this topic, check out Sandra's from yesterday, and Katrina's post tomorrow.

            Monday, July 1, 2013

            LACRIMOSA gets a new cover!!!


            I am so excited to bring you the new cover for LACRIMOSA today. The cover was designed by me based on background material from Breedstock.deviantart.com and the model photo by Osipova Anastasia and captures the essence of the story in a way I just love.

            Now, before I reveal it, I want to also share the new blurb:

            Some sacrifices should never be made, even for love.
            Nesy is the best of an elite group of angels, warriors called Sentinals, charged with one job—vanquish the UnHoly. She’s never made a mistake, never gotten emotionally involved, never failed.
            Until she comes face-to-face with Aydan.
            He is evil incarnate. A fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate.  But she can’t, because he’s also the human love of her life; a love she was never supposed to feel.
            Now she must choose between doing her duty or saving Aydan, a choice that will cost more than her life...

                        Or his soul.  

            I also redesigned the interiors of the book with a little help of some fabulous book designers. Here is a little screenshot of the opening page of the new paperback. Beautiful, isn't it.

            So there you have it - new blurb, new interiors, a little editing, and poof....

            The second edition is nearly complete. This has been a terrifying and amazing experience, re-releasing the series.

            I hope you love everything as much as I do.

            Which  brings me to the point of this post - my new cover:



            Well? What do you think? I am expecting to have both the digital and the paperback books out at the end of the week (with luck). And remember, the Requiem novella, Dies Irae, is part of this special second edition.

            Summer Bucket List

            As most of you know, today is Day 1 of my summer break - six glorious weeks of renewal. THIS is the reason I continue to work in education - the fabulously long summer!!!

            So, what will I do for the break?

            Here is the bucket list my kids have (courtesy of PBTeen):


            My summer is filled with home renovations, re-branding, new words, and an epic road trip as I open myself to inspiration this summer. Too fun, yes?!?

            What's on your summer bucket list?