Do you love to read? Do free ebooks sound amazing to you? Well, join my review team today. I have openings for ARC reviewers willing to post reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Goodreads. If you can't post to some sites, that is quite alright, but the more the merrier. If you are interested, just follow the link and fill out the form, and I'll be in touch soon!
Hi everyone! I just want to post a little update about my life today. It's been a bit hectic, and finally things are slowing down. Yay!
This week, I have the day job a few days, and Friday morning I get to go and watch my daughter in the spelling bee, which she won last year and got to go to the Washington Qualifier, although she didn't make it all the way to Washington. She was in fourth grade, though, so imagine how proud of her I was. And even more so now.
My daughter is a straight A (with the occasional B) student. She loves homework, loves school, and even cries when it's cancelled due to a snow day. I think it's adorable that a fifth grader still loves school that much.
My son...he's in eight grade, and he's always went to school, just never loved it. His favorite period is probably lunch, but my boy, he is the creative one. He takes after his momma, and I went through the same thing in school, so I get it more than he'll ever know.
Mainly, my weeks have been filled with writing, editing, working, shopping, and the regular duties of a mother/wife. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.
I've been reading a lot of fantasy books, mostly YA. I just finished Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis, which was an interesting book I gave 3 Stars. It fell a little flat, but I would definitely still read more of the author, and recommend the book for a different take on the Hades/Persephone love.
Next up, I'll be reading Reborn (Shadow Falls After Dark) by C.C. Hunter. I think I'm going to likes this one.
Anything interesting happening in your life? Comment below and tell me about it!
Wooly mammoths. I know, they are archaic and old and nobody really talks about them, am I right? Well, today, I want to talk about them. Why, you ask? Because, they are a huge part of my newest book, Land of Strength and Sorrow, so I want to show you why I picked these massive, extinct creatures as a mount for my warriors.
What are woolly mammoths? They are huge, hairy like elephant creatures with super long tusks, even longer than their snouts. They are prehistoric, and haven’t been around for a long, long, long, long time. Because they haven’t been around, I found them perfect for my warriors to ride into battle. I wanted a huge, massive creature that would be able to tear a tree down just by stepping into it. Most of that last thought came from my husband, who was a huge part of my inspiration for this book.
Honestly, I’ve always been fascinated by woolly mammoths. I mean, why did they have hair and elephants don’t? Why were their tusks so large? And how were they so massive? I don’t have the answers at all, honestly. But, because I didn’t know much about them, they were a perfect pick to write about in my fantasy book. I could use my imagination and make them into what I wanted them to be, and it was so much fun to do!
Thanks for tuning in about woolly mammoths today. If you want to read all about them, you can pick up Land of Strength and Sorrow in my new book today.
Land of Strength and Sorrow is coming to paperback and hardcover soon! Here are the new covers! Stay tuned for more details!
Today, I find myself stuck in the past. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, today, I just want to climb out and find my way to the present. I blame the bitter cold winter, but regardless of what is to blame, I can't escape these feelings. So, I need to write about them.
The anniversary of my father's death is fast approaching. He died February 16, 2001, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him. But, never more so than this time of the year. I was the epitome of a "daddy's girl" and the day I lost him, I lost a piece of myself. I've never gotten that piece back, no matter what has went well in my life, no matter how happy I am with the family I surround myself with, my job, my writing, none of it ever gives me that little piece back.
Of course, it's a little piece, and it shouldn't make so much of a difference. But, it does, because when you loose a piece of your soul, your heart...well, it changes you. It makes you into something else, it transforms you from what you were into a completely different echo of the same being. For me, no matter how many years pass, I have never found myself again. I've reinvented myself, but that hole in my heart will never fully be filled.
I love my life. I love my family, my husband, my kids. I love everything about my writing, being an author, being an editor. I wear so many hats, and I love that because never do I get bored. But, as much love as I have in my heart, there's still a hole and it's with my dad, wherever he is right now.
I just hope he's smiling down on me.
So, I posted a review on Goodreads and Amazon, but I really want to go into a little more here. I don't like to give spoilers away in my reviews, but man, this book...
It finally got me out of my reading slump. And I've been in a big one lately.
The main character, Ryiah...my goodness. Sometimes I wanted to throttle her, but she was just amazing to me. I fell in love with her, rooted for her. I wanted her to succeed, no matter what she had to do to get to the top. She wanted to be a combat mage, and by God, I wanted her to be.
My heart broke for her, though, with all the trials she went through. But, overall, she was the reason I wanted to keep reading. Her, and of course Prince Darren. I had a feeling he might be a love interest, but then even when he was, I just still wasn't completely sure. I mean, Darren was kind of a jerk, more often than not, but I always felt an underlying sense of...something. Like, underneath his hard layers, there was a big softy under there...well, maybe "big softy" is a little too much, but you get my drift, right?
The teachers at this place, too. My goodness. I couldn't have lasted a day with these people. They were harsh, and Ry had so much to overcome since she didn't have the same kind of upbringing as, say, Prince Darren. Or the other elitist richy fools.
Anyway, I could really go on and on, but for now, I think I better stop so I don't make you all go crazy. This book, if you haven't already, check it out. Seriously. I got it free with my Amazon Prime account, but had been watching the author on Goodreads for a bit already. You need this book in your life if you are a fantasy reader!
Would love to hear what book you read last that made you jump into reading full steam ahead. Comment below, and I'll be sure to respond!
Land of Strength and Sorrow is out now, and to let you know a little bit about it, I thought I'd do a little interview with my characters. Meet them first, then scroll down to get into the interview.
Meet Princess Jovi
Jovi is the main character. She's a sheltered princess who wants nothing more than to get outside of the castle walls and find an adventure of her very own.
Meet King Ryan
King Ryan rules Kingsperch, as well as Jovi, since he is her father. He does his best to be fair, but hatred lives inside him because of one rogue mage.
Now, let's get to the interview, shall we?
Cassandra-Hello! I’d like to welcome Jovi, Malador, and King Ryan here to the stage to answer some long-awaited questions burning through our minds. Thanks for coming today.
Jovi-It’s my pleasure.
Malador- I am excited to be here.
King Ryan-*clears throat* Yeah, well, let’s get on with it, shall we?
Cassandra-Okay, well, sure. Let’s get right on with it, then. My first question is for Jovi. What has it been like scouring Orendor for a cure to save your parents?
Jovi-It’s been…enlightening, I guess. I have always been tucked safely inside the walls of the castle…*glares at King Ryan* so, basically, seeing the land I’ll one day rule was eye opening. I met the people of so many different villages and towns. And they are all so kind. And, the cure…well…it’s a work in progress, but it reunited me with my uncle, whom I haven’t seen in such a long time. *Another glare at King Ryan*
Cassandra-I’m sure that wasn’t easy?
Jovi-Well, no, it wasn’t. I mean, I almost killed myself more times that I want to count, but hey, you have to put yourself out there to succeed, right?
Cassandra-*nods* Of course. And moving right along, Malador, this next question is for you. Why put Jovi through this? Why not just count your losses and let people live their lives in happiness?
Malador-As you know, it wasn’t something we did spur of the moment. The attack on the castle only came because King Ryan wouldn’t give us the cure for a curse he enacted on our people. We can never have children, so our race will die out while Ryan’s goes on, living in happiness. Where’s our happiness if he doesn’t change our fate?
Cassandra-Oh, my. I didn’t know it was that bad. Ryan, do you care to elaborate?
King Ryan-I have nothing to say to that vermin! But, I will tell you this, Cassandra…the curse came about because the act of one of their Mages.
Cassandra-Oh, my. I can’t believe…Malador, how could you let that happen?
Malador-It wasn’t my doing. One of our people went rogue and took it upon himself. If I would have known about it, I’d have stopped it. And, I stopped the Mage from ever doing it again. He was killed for his crime. The deed is done, the person punished…the curse should be no more.
King Ryan-In your dreams, Mage King.
Malador-Get over yourself, already.
Cassandra-Okay, okay. Before this gets out of hand, Jovi, what do you think of all this?
Jovi-I think my father lets anger rule him, which isn’t the sign of a good leader. I think Malador is desperate and there’s no telling what a desperate man will do. And I think because of the stubborn ways of men, I’m stuck digging my father out of the mess he made.
Cassandra-Well, then. Okay. I want to thank you all for joining me today. If you’d like to know a little bit more about Jovi, Malador, or King Ryan, you can catch up with them in Land of Strength and Sorrow.
Buy it for 99 cents today!
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It’s a new year, so I decided it was time to update the website! I’ve spent most of the day working on graphics, and have updated almost everything.
Since it is the new year, let’s talk about resolutions. I’m not really a resolution kind of girl, but I do like to set goals for myself. I want to write three more books this year, and I want to do my best to read and review as many books as I can get my hands on. We’ll see how well I do with it, but that’s my goal and I’m sticking to it.
If you haven’t checked out Land of Strength and Sorrow, it’s out now across all platforms. You can get all links by checking out my Books tab at the top of the page. If you love fantasy, you will enjoy this new book, and it’s only 99 cents right now across all ebook platforms! YAY!
I hope you all have a fantastic start to the new year, and I hope you have many joys to come your way in 2018. For me, I’m just taking everything one day at a time. That way I keep my sanity in check.
If I ever had any…haha.
Today, I want to give you 10 tips to become a better writer. Writing the book is the first step and the easiest. Once you get that book out there, the real work starts, but that’s for another blog post. Today, here are some tips to make sure your writing gets better with every book you write.
1. Write and write often. You will never better your craft if you write one book and stop. So keep at it. Keep writing. You will find what works for you.
2. Read and read even more. No matter what genre you are writing or how you are being published, you need to read popular books in that genre. It will help you come up with things that will better your own craft and might even inspire you to write something you wouldn’t have thought of before. Keep reading.
3. Edit like there’s no tomorrow. This one is very important. Your first draft is never going to be the perfect manuscript. You need to edit and edit some more to make it shine as much as you can before you try to publish.
4. When you’ve exhausted self-editing, hire an editor or utilize the one provided through your publisher. Freelance editing is huge. You can find an editor at the drop of a hat now. If you self-publish or traditionally publish, use those editors. A fresh set of eyes on your manuscript can make all the difference.
5. Establish yourself on social media. Another thing that is very important. I got a late start on this and have realized you can never start this step too early. Make a Facebook Author Page, a Twitter page and an Instagram. Post frequently and build your platform. This is essential for connecting with readers and writers alike.
6. Build a newsletter. Another very important thing. The more people you reach, the better. But don’t spam.
7. Avoid using “to be” verbs like the plague. Again, you can’t take “was” out of everything. But, when you can, do. It will make your sentence pop and the reader more immersed in your world.
8. Outline your characters. Build character sheets and give them flaws and annoyances. Make them as real as you and me. Another very important thing in writing. When you read something, do you want a character that is so perfect he/she isn’t believable? Nope. So take the time to get them right before you start.
9. Keep it active. Find strong verbs and utilize the scene with little things such as picking up a fork or drumming fingernails on the kitchen counter. It will help the reader “see” the scene more clearly in their heads and will make your story come to life even more.
10. And finally, don’t read reviews. If you’re like me, so many people have told you this already but you still read every single one. And that’s okay too, but remember, not everyone will like your story. It doesn’t make it bad. It just makes it real. If you read reviews, take what you can from the critical ones and don’t dwell on the bad ones. Use them to your advantage. But never, ever complain about reviews. Be thankful, no matter how many stars you were given, that someone took the time to let you know what they thought.
That’s about all I’ve got for you today. I hope my advice rings true. I have been published for over a year and by October will have four books out in the world. I’ve learned quite a few things since I took this venture and am happy to pass along my insights today.
Hi friends! Today, I want to talk about deadlines.
I know. I hate them too. But, here’s the thing. We all have them. Whether we are writers or publishers or accounting professionals or teachers. It doesn’t matter what job you do. You will come across a deadline sometime and have to meet it. Often, when it’s crunch time, you feel that thread of sanity holding you together start to slip. Slip some more. And then…yup. It snaps.
But, let me tell you how to avoid this. First, set goals and meet them, but don’t beat yourself up for not hitting them either. This is very important because stressing over whether you’re going to finish a story or an outline will make it impossible to work on. Trust me on this. I have anxiety so I am constantly stressed. It staunches the creative flow…
So, when you get stressed, when you look at the clock and see what time it is and start to freak out. Don’t. Just get up and walk outside and take a walk. A drive. Whatever you love to do that relaxes you. Then go back to work. Sometimes, clearing your head is all you need to make the mind flow a little better.
If that doesn’t work for you, maybe you need to keep working. The thing is, everyone is different. What helps you might not work for anyone else. And that’s okay too. You have to find what works for you and stick to it.
As for the staying sane part, though. I’m pretty sure nothing will work for that. I lost my sanity quite some time ago. Someone who kills off people in her books like I do can’t be sane, right?