All about Helping…

This month our topic was, well, there was no topic. It’s a “freebie” month. Scene13ers get to blog about anythingFirst Cover Reveal!they want. Well, normally I don’t like freebies. I freeze. I over-think until I can’t think. I stress myself out to the point that my stress is stressed. But this month something really great happened and I want to share.

Last month I shared that I signed a contract to publish my first young adult contemporary romance, “Unspeakable.” Now I have a novella, “Finding Willow,” releasing, too. But as great as that is, it’s not what I want to write about.

When I wrote my debut novel, “PODs,” I knew nothing about the writing community. I didn’t use critique partners or Betas—I didn’t know what a Beta was! I had no idea there were bloggers that lived to review books, nor did I know how many there were.

But writing “Unspeakable” I had a group of ladies who read my work and told me honestly what worked, what they liked, and what they loved. Man, that was a great feeling to hear them gush over my book! Then came the second half of their email… “And this is what sucks…” Well, that let the air out of my balloon.

Second Cover Reveal!

Second Cover Reveal!

So I read their critiques, did some rewriting and had some Beta readers take a look, mainly girls the age the book would be marketed toward, and of course my group of critique partners.

Their suggestions made a huge difference. “Unspeakable” went from a good book, to a great (IMHO) book. And I realize now how essential, how priceless my CPs and Betas are in my writing career.

But there’s one other group of people other than the bloggers who are golden to authors, CPs and Betas who are priceless, and that group is other authors.

I had two cover reveals in a week. I found out about both the day before. Whoa. So I started emailing anyone I could think of that might help. And the response was Amazing. Many of you already know this because you blog here, and you stepped-up and helped. I want to tell you, you are AWESOME.

The authors that dropped everything to set-up a post at the very last minute—twice—just rocked. The way they came together to help really showed me how tight the bond is between authors. Well, how it should be, anyway.

I love helping other authors. I keep a blog for that reason, and only that reason. But to have it turned around and the help focused on me was a very prodigious experience. And for those of you who helped, thank you. You made my cover reveals awesome.

How about you? Have you ever had a time when you needed help and authors or bloggers jumped in?

It's time to read!

Slings and Arrows

I love reading. I always have. I was reading before my first day of kindergarten and, as my mother tells it, when I couldn’t read something, I’d just make up the story as I went along.

424608_10151092482722909_2071727673_n(And thus, a writer was born.)

Being a writer isn’t a huge leap from being a reader, or at least it wasn’t for me. I feel like it was the only logical progression. To create a world and characters of my own was the most rewarding thing I ever tried. For the first time I controlled the ending–happy or sad. I got to create beautiful or terrifying worlds. I got to take that journey first, as the characters dragged me along for the ride. It was magic. The closest thing you can get to actually existing inside a story.

That said, publishing is a whole other beast.

events poster(That’s me! That’s MY name! I am so legit!!)

Publishing is hard and slow and scary in ways most people can’t imagine. You basically spend months (sometimes years) carving out pieces of your heart and soul, putting them on paper, then send them off to be cut up, brutalized, criticized, and generally mutilated by everyone from editors, to reviewers, to that nosy neighbor who begged for a copy but then decided to tell you every chance she got just how awful it was. So why do we walk that tight rope of insanity? Well, it’s kind of obvious really.

We love books.

We LOVE them. I LOVE them.

DSC00634(Why yes, I AM riding a bike in that bookstore. I do what I want.)

The joy and pride we feel when someone else loves our books the way we love other people’s books, is indescribable. I remember the first time I fell in love with a book. It was My Antonia and I was probably nine. That story lived inside me long after I’d put the book back on the shelf. Even today I can remember my favorite parts and how they made me feel. I’ve fallen in love with countless other books since then. Books of all genres, sizes, and POV’s.To be able to do that for other people, wow. It reminds me of a line from Harry Potter. “…to brew fame and bottle glory…” That’s what a writer does. We are word magicians.

*Watch closely as we create stunning worlds of imagination using only caffeine and lunacy.*

big_90640(that’s about right…)

And when I survived the slings and arrows of publishing my first book, something amazing happened. People fell in love with MY book. They told me how much they loved this or that and how it touched them. Mind=Blown.

And I was hooked. Slings and arrows be damned.

So here I am, many books later (and many more to come) and I can’t imagine doing anything else. So, thank you, dear readers, for letting me do what I love more than anything: making stories for you to fall in love with.

That’s a lotta love, people.

Extracted_cover_120Welcome 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 are 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.
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