Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My muse brings me something new

Well, despite my best laid plans for getting all my sequels out, my obstinate muse has been harassing me about a wonderful new story.  And guess what?  Today, after wrestling with her for weeks, I gave in and decided to type just a few opening words, in hopes that getting it out would allow me the peace to finish Madly.  Not so.  I was immediately absorbed!  I typed 1000 words in just under an hour and I'm so excited about this book I can barely stand myself.  I even wrote a bit of a blurb about it, which I will wait to share, as my books seem to change dramatically from beginning to end no matter how much I think I have it all laid out in my mind.  I'll keep you posted as to my progress on my What I'm Writing Now page.  In all seriousness, y'all, this might be my favorite project of all time.  I'm already in love with the characters and the story is blossoming in front of me like a rose in spring.  This is why I love to write.  In times like these, it's almost better than breathing.  Almost:)

For those of you who are counting on reading more about Madly and Mercy (Wiccan), the two sequels I've been working on, please hang in there!  I WILL get them done, it just might be after the first of the year.  I hope that the work I bring you in the meantime will be worth having to wait a little longer to read more about the characters you already like.  Maybe you'll fall as deeply in love with them as I have--from page 1.

I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating on a daily basis.  I love each and every one of y'all who read and love my work, allowing me and inspiring me to continue writing.  I strive to bring you fresh new stories and better work with each book I write.  I hope and pray that it comes across to you, the ones for whom I create, in just that way.  Consider it a labor of love, 'cause that's exactly what it is:)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

YA Indie Carnival- THANKSgiving


I think the "carnival" theme is particularly appropriate around the holidays, don't you?  If your house is anything like mine, it sure feels like a carnival!  But it's a fun carnival, full of laughter and food and the best kind of chaos. The last few years, I've been unable to spend the actual day of Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family, which has really made me appreciate that particular brand of chaos all the more.  But, rather than mourn the quiet that envelopes my house, I am going to tell you about last Thanksgiving.

THANKSGIVING, 2010

In November of last year, about a week and a half before Thanksgiving, my husband and I made the decision that I would quit my job and focus solely on writing.  We had no guarantees that anything would work out, that I'd sell even a single book or that I wouldn't have to go on a job hunt as of March of the following year, but we both agreed to take that step of faith.  If you've ever made such a drastic life decision, you know how scary and exciting something like that can be.  Making it so near the holiday season only added to the anxiety of the situation.  Since that day, it hasn't always been easy.  It hasn't always been roses and bubble gum.  It hasn't always felt like I did the right thing.  I can't say that I haven't had my moments of doubt.  But now, just over a year later, I can say that, scary or not, it was the best decision I've ever made.  Despite the uncertainty of it all, I've had more job satisfaction in 2011 than I've had in virtually any other year of my life, since I started working that is.  Childhood was the best job ever, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count:)  Anyway, even though I've still seen many struggles with the path I chose, I can still say with absolute conviction that I honestly wish that everyone could have such a miraculous experience. 

I've seen God's provision like never before, His blessings and His comfort.  I've met some of the most amazing people I could ever hope to meet.  I've grown in ways I never thought possible.  I've been challenged in areas I never thought to be challenged.  I've prevailed in some ways, failed in others.  I've been anxious, ecstatic, devastated, satisfied, and perplexed.  I've never been more uncertain of tomorrow.  But I've also never been more optimistic, so curious to see what's around the bend. 

In short, today, Thanksgiving Day 2011, it occurs to me that I have more to be thankful for than ever before.  I've seen another year of good health for me and my family, I've seen dreams come true and miracles happen (even small ones that I've really had to look for) and I've seen what the possibilities of tomorrow look like through the realities of today.  My biggest wish is that everyone who reads this can say the same thing.  Whatever your dreams, your struggles, your failures, your losses, I hope you can look at your glass and see that it truly is half full.  Perception is reality, right?  Well then perceive the good.  Perceive the positive, the inspiring, the gratifying, the beautiful.  There's always hope and, if nothing else, we always have that to be thankful for.  After all, where would we be without it??

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Since I'm putting my post up early, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to visit all the other carnis, but please do so.  You won't be disappointed:)

Dani Snell Refracted Light Reviews
Patti Larsen Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, The Hunted Series and the Hayle Coven Novels
Courtney Cole Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Nicole Williams Author of Eternal Eden, and Fallen Eden. She is also a contributing author in the Glassheart Chronicles
Fisher Amelie Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Laura Elliott Author of Winnemucca as well as 13 on Halloween, book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series
Amy Jones Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Rachel Coles Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms
T.R. Graves Author of Warriors of the Cross
PJ Hoover Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis
Alicia McCalla Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free
Abbi Glines Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys
Cheri Schmidt Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden
Lexus Luke Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga
Suzy Turner Author of December Moon and Raven
K.C. Blake Author of Vampire Rules
Gwenn Wright Author of Filter
Kimberly Kinrade Author of Bits of You & Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind
Darby Karchut Author of Griffin Rising and the upcoming Griffin's Fire
Madeline Smoot Author of Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
Cidney Swanson Author of Ripple series
Heather Self Blogger, Reviewer and upcoming Indie Author

Friday, November 11, 2011

YA Indie Carnival- 11


Welcome to the 11-11-11 edition of the YA Indie Carnival! 

The cool thing about everyone's blog today is that we're just using the number 11, in whatever way seems like a good idea.  Me?  I'm going to tell you, in no particular order,

11 Reasons Why I Love to Write

1.  Readers.  That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the reasons I love to write.  Although there are many more, you all have turned out to be the very best thing about my job.  I feel like I might've told you this once or twice before (hehe), but y'all never cease to amaze, inspire and encourage me.  I love to create a world and characters for you to fall in love with, for you to escape into.  It really does give me some serious writing mojo most days!  Really.

2.  I get to call my pajamas my "work clothes" and because they're my "work clothes," I get to buy some seriously nice pajamas:)  SCORE!

3.  I have complete control of the world!  Muwahahahahaha!  Well, at least the world that I create.  This one, the one that we live in?  Eh, not so much.  *sigh*  Maybe some day...

4.  There's always a happy ending.  At least in my books.  If you know anything about me AT ALL, you know good and well that I would have to be completely overtaken--body, soul, and spirit--to write a sad or otherwise unhappy ending.  I don't think I have it in me.  As long as it's REALLY me, mind you.  *eyes crowd suspiciously*

5.  The guys are hot!  Y'all, as much as I try to write about an ugly leading man, I just can't seem to let them stay that way.  They may be flawed, as everyone is, or they may be challenged, as everyone is in some way or another, but some how they still end up hot.  Then again, I'm looking at them through the eyes of the girls that love them.  Love goggles:)

6.  Somebody has a cool power or ability.  In my books, try as I might to make people ordinary, some sort of exceptional ability always turns up.  I guess in an ideal world, we'd all have a super power.  How cool would that be?  Michelle for President, 2016?  ROFL  Yeah, right;)

7.  I get to give the characters in my head a voice.  Finally!  After running around in my imagination for days, weeks, sometimes even months or years, they finally get to have their say.  Can you imagine being muzzled for months?  If someone wouldn't let me speak for even a day, I think I might die.  Literally.  Just sayin'.

8.  I get to take unlimited coffee breaks.  Y'all, I never realized how big a deal that was until I could do it.  It's pretty.  Frickin'.  Sweet.

9.  I stay caught up on laundry.  Is that a weird business perk?  Because it feels pretty important to me.  LOL

10.  For the first time in my life, I get to let my imagination run wild, have free reign, go wherever it wants to go, and y'all, my imagination is pretty dang wild!  Just be glad that I don't write everything that comes into my head!  "Fasten your seatbelt" wouldn't even touch it!!

11.  I get to have the best job in the world!  Thank God!  He finally let me find my sweet spot!  Whew!  It was a long time coming, but it was totally worth the wait:)

Alright y'all, as always TGIF and happy reading!  Go check out the other carnis before you jump head first into Friday.

Dani Snell Refracted Light Reviews
Patti Larsen Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, The Hunted Series and the Hayle Coven Novels
Courtney Cole Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Nicole Williams Author of Eternal Eden, and Fallen Eden. She is also a contributing author in the Glassheart Chronicles
Fisher Amelie Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Laura Elliott Author of Winnemucca as well as 13 on Halloween, book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series
Amy Jones Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Rachel Coles Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms
T.R. Graves Author of Warriors of the Cross
PJ Hoover Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis
Alicia McCalla Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free
Abbi Glines Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys
Cheri Schmidt Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden
Lexus Luke Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga
Suzy Turner Author of December Moon and Raven
K.C. Blake Author of Vampire Rules
Gwenn Wright Author of Filter
Kimberly Kinrade Author of Bits of You & Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind
Darby Karchut Author of Griffin Rising and the upcoming Griffin's Fire
Madeline Smoot Author of Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
Cidney Swanson Author of Ripple series
Heather Self Blogger, Reviewer and upcoming Indie Author

Friday, November 4, 2011

YA Indie Carnival--Blast from the Past


Step right up, peeps!  Glad you came back for some more carnival fun!  Today's post ought to be interesting.  Well, it was to me.  Our topic is:

Blast from the Past

This is supposed to be a post where we dig up some old work, some ancient writing that we did from way back when.  Well, unfortunately, my "way back when" began only two short years ago.  I wrote my first non-school related piece of work in June of 2009.  Now, granted, that feels like a lifetime ago in author years, but it really wasn't.  Not at all! 

Many of you have probably already heard the story of my first novel, and many more of you have asked me if I'd one day publish that story.  The answer is: probably.  But I'll need to do some serious clean up on it, as I discovered when I went back and pulled out an excerpt for the purposes of this blog post.  Hopefully, all of you have read my more recent works and will agree that I've come a long way as a writer since this first book.  For those of you who haven't, though, please don't judge me based on this!!  I've learned so much about myself, my craft, my strengths and my weaknesses since this book and tomorrow I hope to be able to draw even better illustrations for you than I can today.  That's what I want more than anything--to grow as an author, to continue to put out better and better work until...well, forever!

So without further ado, I'll let you read an excerpt of my first novel, an adult paranormal romance featuring, of course, vampires.  Y'all, meet Alex and Michaela:



“No!”  Alex said vehemently.  “No doctors.  I just need to cool off.  I need to get into a cool bath and I’ll be fine.”  Seeing that she was hardly convinced, Alex continued reassuringly, “Trust me.  I know what I need.” 

Reluctantly, Michaela let Alex steer her toward his bedroom.  Despite his determination, he stumbled and staggered the whole way.   When they got to his room, Alex wasted no time heading for the bathroom and the big tub.  He had but one thought in mind: cold.  He would need blood once he got his body temperature under control--need it badly--but he’d have plenty of time to worry about that later.  He had to get the situation under control before he lost his head and did or said something stupid. 

Alex sat on the edge of the tub to turn on the cold water spigot when a wave of dizziness washed over him, causing him to nearly fall into the empty tub.  Michaela reached out to steady him. 

“Let me help you,” Michaela offered gently, turning on the tap.

“Ice.  Get some ice,” Alex breathed weakly.

As much as she hated to leave him even for a second, Michaela did as Alex asked and went to the kitchen for ice.  She all but ran, lifting the entire receptacle out of the freezer then flying back the way she'd come, prepared to dump the whole thing into the water, even the bucket. 

God, please let him be okay, please let him be okay, Michaela chanted silently as she ran.  By the time she made it back to the bathroom, Michaela found that Alex had climbed into the tub, clothes and all. 

At least he took off his shoes, Michaela thought, spying them where they'd landed on the other side of the room. 

If she hadn’t been so worried about him, she’d have laughed, but the sight of him so weak caused her stomach to twist into a knot of fear.  Michaela refused to entertain the notion that something might happen to him.  Hurriedly, she dumped the ice into the tub.

Alex opened his eyes when the cubes splashed against the placid surface of the water.  Michaela noted that his eyes were dull with fever.  Kneeling by his head, she dipped her hand into the water and pressed her cool fingertips to his forehead.  His skin was still burning hot.

“Where are your washcloths?”  Michaela asked, looking toward what she assumed was a linen cabinet. 

Alex weakly lifted a finger to point in the direction she had supposed.   Michaela got a cloth from the cabinet and returned to her position by the tub.  Dipping the cloth into the water, she wrapped the wet material around an ice cube and began dragging it across Alex's feverish brow. 

If Michaela hadn’t been there, Alex would’ve submerged his entire body, head and all.  Vampires could hold their breath for a very long time, but Michaela would freak out when he didn’t come up for air so that was not an option.  Besides, considering her current ministrations, he might not need to anyway. 

As the frigid water lapped around his pyretic body, Alex felt the swirling in his head diminish as his core temperature dropped.  Closing his eyes and concentrating on the tender loving care of his life mate, Alex calmed and let his vampire body begin its accelerated healing. 

Michaela watched Alex closely.  The ice in the tub was gone, but it had obviously done the trick.  She could tell he was feeling better.  His color was healthier, his breathing had slowed to a more normal rate, his eyes had remained calmly closed for several minutes--all signs that he was no longer in such acute distress.  She thought his skin was even starting to feel much cooler, but she couldn’t be sure.  Her hands were painfully cold, making it difficult to judge temperature.  Dragging her fingers lazily through the water, Michaela let her eyes roam his beautiful physique as she circulated the water over his smooth skin. 

Even in sickness, Alex was powerful in form.  He looked massive lying in the tub, and it was a big tub.  His wet jeans clung to every long muscle in his legs.  They also clung elsewhere, revealing a thick bulge that sent a thrill racing through Michaela. 

Michaela forced her eyes up, afraid if they lingered she might be tempted to take unfair advantage of the sick Alex.  Unfortunately, raising her eyes didn’t help much.  The wet cotton of Alex’s shirt clung to the ridges of his abdomen and to his wide, thickly muscled chest.  Through the pale cotton, she could see the dark hair that spread across his chest and narrowed into a sharp V as it descended down his belly and disappeared under the waistband of his jeans. 

Looking at all the cloth that covered his skin, Michaela thought maybe he would feel even better  and would cool more quickly if she lifted his shirt and let the water rush beneath it and move across his skin.  Gently, she grabbed the fabric of Alex’s shirt and tugged, freeing it from his waistband.  She pulled straight up on the material and a wave of water gushed beneath it, traveling under the material to emerge at the neckline with a blurp as it broke the water’s surface.  

The current of the water pushed Alex’s necklace out from under the collar of his shirt.  Michaela heard the metallic clink of something hitting the floor of the tub.  Without thought, she reached down to retrieve the item. 

A charm dangled from the necklace, a charm Alex must've been keeping hidden inside his shirt. 

But why? Michaela wondered, letting the drop of gold fall into her palm so she could more closely examine it. 

With a sharp gasp, Michaela’s eyes flew to Alex’s face.  His eyes were open and trained on hers, unblinking.  A thousand irrational thoughts swirled inside her head as her gaze darted between Alex’s steady stare and the charm.  Michaela didn’t know how it could be or what it could mean, but the charm that lay against the cool skin of her palm was familiar to her.  In fact, it was intimately familiar to her.  The charm she held was an exact replica of the one she wore, an exact replica of the one personal item she'd been clutching the night she woke up with no memory of her life.


Now I feel like giggling.  It seems like a thousand years ago, and yet it was only a matter of months.  Boy, how things change!  Crazy, right?  Yeah, I think so, too. 

Alright, y'all, as always, TGIF and happy reading!  Before you go, say hello to the other carnival folk that you'll find listed below:

Dani Snell Refracted Light Reviews
Patti Larsen Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, The Hunted Series and the Hayle Coven Novels
Courtney Cole Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Nicole Williams Author of Eternal Eden, and Fallen Eden. She is also a contributing author in the Glassheart Chronicles
Fisher Amelie Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Laura Elliott Author of Winnemucca as well as 13 on Halloween, book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series
Amy Jones Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Rachel Coles Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms
T.R. Graves Author of Warriors of the Cross
PJ Hoover Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis
Alicia McCalla Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free
Abbi Glines Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys
Cheri Schmidt Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden
Lexus Luke Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga
Suzy Turner Author of December Moon and Raven
K.C. Blake Author of Vampire Rules
Gwenn Wright Author of Filter
Kimberly Kinrade Author of Bits of You & Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind
Darby Karchut Author of Griffin Rising and the upcoming Griffin's Fire
Madeline Smoot Author of Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
Cidney Swanson Author of Ripple series
Heather Self Blogger, Reviewer and upcoming Indie Author