Puppy Dearest

Puppy Dearest

I might complain, Dear Puppy,
That you get better treatment than I,
But when you roll to your haunches,
Belly exposed, eyes so hopeful,
Paws happily scratching the air for pets,
I have to admit,
You deserve it.

Three Two Sentence Horror Stories

Three Two Sentence Horror Stories

I enjoyed the Goodreads Two Sentence Horror Story challenge for Halloween so much I wrote a couple more. They’re posted on Twitter, but for posterity I figured they should be on my blog as well. It’s a little late, but here are all three. Enjoy!

Two Sentence Horror Story #1

In our youth he promised he’d never leave me,
would crawl through earth and stone to be near.
For forty days I yearned and mourned,
until I heard the scratch of nails across my floor
and a voice that rasped,
“I swore…”

Two Sentence Horror Story #2

“Such imagination,” she’d chuckled,
smoothing the blond curls of her precious boy
when he told her the doll on the shelf said they’d play forever.
Over his grave she cried a short time later,
and screamed when one doll became two,
the other with beautiful blond curls.

Two Sentence Horror Story #3

She’s always been the neat type,
her house in order
before she leaves.
So there’s no way to explain,
when she comes home from work,
the lone shoe
meticulously placed
in the middle of her floor.

A Year

A Year

My apologies for taking such a long time to update my blog. The year was a long one that ended in loss and one in which I did not write much. I have not, however, put writing aside forever. The stories I’ve been planning are still going to be written. Only the time frame has shifted. I’m still working on the story I mentioned last year, and the third book in The Hidden Gifted series will follow. There is a change to the series as well; there will be four books instead of three! An idea came to me for the third book, and I am super excited about it. The story will follow Samuel, who was mentioned in the second book, and will give us an idea about what’s been going on outside the world of those we’ve followed in the series so far. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. 🙂

Life is short, my friends. In this past year I’ve learned how important it is to love, to try to be our best selves, and to make the most of the time we have with each other. It is truly my hope that I write stories that add enjoyment to your days.

Love to you all.

Revving Up

Revving Up

I hope summer went well for everyone. It was an eventful one for me, one that took me away from writing for a while, but now I am thinking about what I want to accomplish in the months ahead. I’ve started a standalone story that has been pulling at me for a while that I simply have to get written, and then I have the third book in The Hidden Gifted series. Time to buckle down and get writing again!

I was really excited to find a kid’s review of The Worlds Traveler on the site Kids’ Book Buzz. I sent Kids’ Book Buzz a copy of the book in the hopes of getting a young reader to read and write about it and I lucked out! I always appreciate a review, but I have to admit, there’s a special pleasure in getting one from a young reader, as that is the intended audience for the series. If you have a chance, check out the review here.

I am also thrilled that The Worlds Traveler has found its way onto another library’s bookshelves! The Evergreen Public Library will be participating in Indie Author Day on October 8, 2016 and will be showcasing books from indie authors. If you’re in the area, stop by, take a look, and maybe discover a new author to enjoy. There are a lot of hidden jewels out there. I really can’t thank the Evergreen Public Library enough for the opportunity, and most importantly, the support. Many thanks to them.

Have a wonderful fall!

 

The Worlds Traveler Earns Literary Classics Seal of Approval!

The Worlds Traveler Earns Literary Classics Seal of Approval!

Oh happy day!! The Worlds Traveler has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. Thank you to Literary Classics International Book Awards and Reviews! I am so thrilled and honored. Their review of The Worlds Traveler has been posted as well. Feel free to check the site and see what books they’ve discovered as good reads!

 

Thank You Glen Ellyn Public Library!

Thank You Glen Ellyn Public Library!

Many thanks to the Glen Ellyn Public Library for adding The Magician’s Doll and The Worlds Traveler to its Emerging Author Collection! I’m so happy the books are on its shelves. If you’re from the area, stop in and check them out and experience for yourselves what a great library Glen Ellyn has!

About the Next Book…

Well, the sequel to The Magician’s Doll is in process for publication! The first draft was completed almost three months ago and after all the time it took to write, it’s a bit of a shock to feel how these three months have passed with barely a blink of the eye. So without further ado, here is where things stand:

The title of the book is…

*****   THE WORLDS TRAVELER   *****

Life on the run from a madman named Martin gets in the way of everything.

For fourteen-year-old Phillip, it means having to stay hidden, unable to use his gift of moving through maps to search for his missing father. But the arrival of a stranger named Delroy brings unexpected opportunity, for Delroy is a man with the ability to travel worlds hidden within our own, and he was sent by Phillip’s father. Now Phillip will do everything he can to find his dad, even if it means tricking Delory into helping him, or a quest through those hidden worlds.

Even if leaving home means Martin can now find him.

You may have noticed that the point of view this time around is Phillip’s whereas in The Magician’s Doll, it was Natalie’s. I thought Phillip’s point of view would be more compelling since this story is about the search for his father. Natalie is still a main character, though, and the two work very much in tandem.

I’m excited to be working with Editor Todd Barselow on The Worlds Traveler. Todd is a busy man, having just formed his own publishing company, Auspicious Apparatus Press, and I feel lucky to have booked him. If you get a chance, check out Auspicious Apparatus Press. I’m sure we’ll all be hearing great things about the works coming from Todd’s publishing house!

I’ve been fortunate to work with really great artists, from Candace Foy Chabot for my first two novels, to Julius Camenzind for The Worlds Traveler.

I had a feel for what I wanted for the cover of The Worlds Traveler, and once I saw Julius’ work, I just had to contact him! Not only did he not disappoint, he went beyond. My exact words when he sent the final illustration?

“Do I really get to put this gorgeous cover on my book?”

I’ll be doing a cover reveal soon, but you should check out Julius’ site in the meantime to get a feel for his magic. I can’t wait to share the cover with everyone!

The ebook version of The Worlds Traveler has been listed for pre-order at Apple iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. A release date is required for pre-order, so I listed a tentative one for December 11, 2015. The emphasis, though, is on “tentative.” As more of the publishing pieces fall into place, I’ll be better able to firm up that release date. My hope is to release sooner! I’m offering a special pre-order price of $2.99. The price will go up to retail shortly after the book’s release, so please feel free to take advantage of the special pricing!

You don’t need to have read The Magician’s Doll to enjoy The Worlds Traveler, but why not give it a try anyway? It is available as a paperback and ebook at most major retailers. Check for details here.

And that, folks, is all the news that’s fit to print. I’ll have more to share as we move towards publication!

From Fear to Finished

I happened to find a rough draft of a blog topic from early 2013 that I never got around to posting. It was about fear. Fear that I would not be able to write the sequel to The Magician’s Doll. To read it now is a bit of an eye-opener. I figured it’s as good a time as any to finish the post and put it up. So, from 2013, here it is:

Fear – oh, it’s there all right.

It hit me recently. I have another novel to write after The Magician’s Doll, and I found that even though I have ideas for it in my head, I wasn’t sure how to make them fall onto the page. Sorting them out suddenly seemed like a task so impossible, I froze. And once I froze, it all hit the fan.

I am in HUGE trouble, I thought. I am going to fail! What the heck was I thinking, trying to write a story that was going to require even more story? I wanted to crawl under the covers and huddle in a tight ball.

Yes, fear will shut.you.down.

Fear stuck with me for days. At times I could push it away, but it stood by, waiting for the moment my guard was down to steal over me and remind me that I had nothing.

Darned fear.

I finally started writing my worries down. If I couldn’t write the story, might as well write something, even if it was a jumbled mass of pessimism, right?

One thought stuck out from all the clutter on the page: the story I wanted to tell was there. Maybe it wasn’t clear to me just yet, but it was there. And even though I was terrified, on some level I could feel it.

So the next morning, I let the mind wander.

And suddenly the beginning was clear. And I was excited with the idea. And other ideas started to flow…

Now I find myself in 2015, and the first draft is finished and moving through the process for publishing. It took a while, but who would have thought?

As it turns out, not me in 2013.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” 

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Right Book Right Time

I first came to Ivan Doig’s work when I read The Bartender’s Tale for book club. I loved that story and resolved to read more of his books. Just last month I finished The Whistling Season. At the time I’d been having difficulty finding something I wanted to read. Ever hit that wall before? It’s like craving something to eat, but every food that comes to mind or makes it to the belly just won’t hit the spot. I had checked online for recommendations, sampled all sorts of reads, all to no avail. Finally I went through my TBR pile and found The Whistling Season. Starting it was like settling into comfort food, nourishment for the reading soul. The storytelling is pure and rich, borne of a love of people and place and time, with the actions, the humor, the choices all rooted in warm observation. It was the perfect book at the perfect time and it cemented Ivan Doig as one of my all-time favorite authors. To hear of his passing hits hard; I’m so sad there won’t be more writing from him. I can’t wait to dig into his other works, but I also think I’ll save them for those times when it feels like a craving won’t be satisfied.