Category Archives: Uncategorized

Elephant in the Room

coverA good friend of mine has her debut novel release today! Elephant in the Room is being published by Dove Christian Publishers. I had the privilege of reading an early copy (after Kristen and I did Nanowrimo together!) and it tackles a really interesting topic.

In the US, our whole society is dealing with the difficulties of obesity and ill-health, but for the Christian there is another dimension. The Bible names the sin of gluttony right along with drunkenness and greed, and this novel gracefully tackles the gluttony issue. Ill-health is not a sin, nor is being over-weight, but our heart attitudes and actions towards food (and other consumption) can be.

With kindness and compassion, this Christian fiction novel follows a pastor and his family as they confront this elephant in the room. Check it out!

I want to learn more about Kristen and the book!

I want to order straight from Dove!


Summer Anthologies

Dean Wesley Smith calls summer ‘the time of great forgetting’ because it is so easy to get busy around the end of April and forget all about our New Years goals until September! (In my case, this goal is writing.) In an effort to stave off the forgetting, I decided to submit new short stories to a couple anthologies this summer.

I just found out that my short story, The Grape Thieves, was accepted. Woohoo! I am excited to work with Alasdair Shaw (author of the Two Democracies series) and the other nine authors who contributed to the anthology. It will be titled The Officer, and include eleven stories between 3-7k words. Similar to The Newcomer. Perfect for your lunch break or just as a compact evening read.

Looking forward to it.

Do you have any plans to avoid the time of great forgetting and make the most of your summer?


Christmas Mega-Giveaway!


Science Fiction and Fantasy Promotion
3-4 December 2016

This monthly event is on again this weekend. Over 100 authors have made their books FREE.

The best part: this promotion is NOT limited to Amazon only. There are pages for books on Kobo, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Smashwords.

This month, we have a contest to win $100 towards your Christmas bills. Get extra entries for referring your friends. Details on the page.

Click on the link above, or go to!

Instafreebie promotion!


There’s a great little site called Instafreebie where you can try out new authors for free. It’s similar to finding free ebooks on Amazon, but it’s more helpful to the author, besides offering Nook, Kobo, etc. I’m part of a big science fiction and fantasy promotion where you can pick just one book or all of them! I submitted a new Christmas fantasy romance called That Christmas You Remember. Enjoy!

New Release! Spo novella…

“Self,” I said to myself, “maybe you should try writing short form fiction. People say it’s Evaluate2flatSMALLgood practice and boy do you take FOREVER to write novels. (Yes, you can write one in a month, but then what do you do? You pick your toenails and drink hot chocolate and refuse to edit.) So, self, here’s the deal. Write a short story. Pull that tooth.”

So I started a short story. Which turned into a novella (at roughly 20,000 words), and it took me so long. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t love writing fast for its own sake, but my life is so hectic that if I lose momentum, the chances of finishing are inversely proportional to the likelihood that a toddler pounding on the keyboard and sucking on the mouse will accidentally delete the whole thing (and all its back up copies). The odds of finishing STINK, is what I’m saying. So, I’m trying different methods to learn how to write faster.

My scientific conclusion: novellas are right out. (<-Read that with a British accent.) Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m quite proud of my little story! Writing a whole character arc in that little space forced me to really delve into tone and theme and character flaws and hit the beats. It’s one of the best things I’ve written, frankly, with one of my favorite characters, because of those constraints.

But man, it was hard. I felt like a baby trying to walk in a sleep bag. Does anybody use sleep bags for their toddler? They’re awesome, provide a good bit of room to wiggle but keep the kid from throwing off the blanket in the night. Anyway, sometimes my eight-year-old liberates the baby from her pack-n-play (’cause we’re cheap and never got the fourth one a crib or anything), and she toddles around in her sleep bag. Step, step, thud. Stepstepstep. THUD.

Where was I?

I don’t know. Anyway, new novella, favorite character, yada, yada, yada.

Thanks, have a great night.


Nanowrimo 2015

I’m doing it again. Nuff said, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re not familiar with it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, when people from all over try their darnedest to finish a 50,000 word novel in November. Now that I’m more familiar with indie publishing, I know that a lot of people do this sort of thing every month, and that blows me away.

I’m a slow writer, and a part-time writer, so for me, like many of you, 50,000 in a month is no small feat! This year I’m a little exhausted, so I’m doing a modern retelling of Jane Eyre. I’m getting all the fun of writing but I don’t have to come up with plot or character motivations! (Actually, I am changing some of that, but it’s SO much easier to mess with an existing story than create my own!) ๐Ÿ™‚

I venerate Jane Eyre and almost everything the Brontes wrote, so it feels a bit sacrilegious to do my own version. But… well, there’s no but, it just does. However, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sure helped me squish that voice down to my subconscious!

Wish me luck. I’m off to desecrate a classic.


Captivate release day!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERABook 2 is now available on Amazon!

Survival is sanity, or so they say, but sixteen-year old Akemi has survived in such an unorthodox fashion that even her sister fears for her sanity. As part of an alien computer system, installed in a space station orbiting Earth, Akemi is both uniquely powerful and uniquely isolated.

When the space station explodes in the night sky, sabotaged by unknown enemies, Akemi survives yet again, but this time suspicion for the catastrophe falls upon her. Determined to discover who is truly responsible for the attack, Akemi and her sister set out to track the other suspects to a foreign world far from Earth.

Accompanied by capable Sam and irrepressible assassin Shara, they find themselves drawn into a political game with one of the most powerful aliens in the galaxy. With the perilous feeling that they are playing right into his hands, Akemi and her friends must uncover the truth about the sabotage without jeopardizing humanityโ€™s fragile new status. Or exposing Akemiโ€™s fragile existence.

Manipulate Audiobook, now Whispersync! (produced on ACX)

manipulate amazon

I took the plunge to use ACX to produce the audiobook for Manipulate, and so far my experience has been great. It was completed a while ago, but just this week it has been approved by the Amazon gods (or whoever sorts through these things) to be a Whispersync title! I’m super excited about that, because now I can promote it to all the people who already bought the ebook and not feel like I’m asking an arm and a leg!
2.99 is just an incredible price for an audiobook and I hope it can act as a good gateway to my series for audibook listeners or Audible subscribers.

I know a lot of indie authors are pondering using ACX, so I thought I’d post a little more about how the process worked for me. I know I searched for all the ‘my experience’ blogs I could find before I pushed the button!

I went with the royalty share option, meaning I asked for audiobook producers who were willing to work for free and then split the future royalties. I put two of my books up on ACX and then ignored them for a month or so while I worked on other things. After about a month, I received an audition for both of my books. The audition for Manipulate was quite good, though not at all the style I’d had in my head for my 19-year-old main character. I don’t really know what voice I had in my head, but after I heard the voice actor (Sergei Burbank) read the audition portion of my manuscript, I was hooked.

I was SUPER lucky to receive such a good audition right off the bat, and I decided not to wait around looking for something better that might never materialize. (That’s just my personality though. If you like to be 100% sure about things, you should probably shop around a lot more!)

After that the process worked pretty much exactly as outlined on the ACX site. I talked to Sergei through email about the timeline before making him an offer, and he told me what dates would work for him. Since I wasn’t in a hurry, I decided to pad those dates by another week. Then I uploaded the full manuscript.

He sent me the first 15 minutes several days before his deadline, and it all sounded good. I do wish at that point that I’d sent him a more extensive list of the names and words with specific pronunciations for my book.
He did a fantastic job with all the alien words, but being from a different part of the country from me and a different background, some names that I thought were completely normal ended up having a different pronunciation. I didn’t feel like it was appropriate to ask him to change all of those at the end of the whole book (since it was my error in not providing a full list), and I’m glad I didn’t as it hasn’t been a problem. (My sister, for instance, said that she’d been saying the names his way anyway!)

The full book was done a week early, and then I had a certain amount of time (10 business days, I believe?) to proof it.

That was actually the hardest part for me! ๐Ÿ™‚ You know that weird disconnect of hearing your voice on a recording? It was like that, only worse, in a way, because it was like hearing my BRAIN read aloud. If it had actually been in my voice, I think I would have been completely incapable of handing it. Anyway, that was just my weirdness. I did eventually manage to listen to it, and make a list of slight adjustments that I wanted – noting the chapter and time and whichever word or pause I wanted changed.

And this is getting long, so to abbreviate:

Adjustments made.
Approved by me.
Two week wait.
Audiobook published.

Three months later, ebook and audiobook linked via whispersync.

And that’s it! Sales have been low so far (a few a month), but I’ve been so busy writing the next novel I’ve done zero promotion. After book 2 and 3 are out this year, I’m hoping to see a serious sales boost. I might even see if I can get an ad in the illustrious Bookbub. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading! If you’re trying out ACX, good luck and I’d love to hear about your experience.


The Autobiography of Jane Eyre (a modern adaptation)

If you need something fun (in short bursts) to watch, I HIGHLY suggest The Autobiography of Jane Eyre on youtube. It’s similar to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries which I gushed about a while ago (which is also worth watching!). This web series is intentionally less polished than LBD, but I enjoy the character interactions so much that I don’t even notice. I might even enjoy it more because it seems so (awkwardly) real!

Anyway, one of the latest episodes was a scene where Rochester happens to meet Jane at the airport when she’s coming back from her stay at the Reeds. It was a wonderfully perfect scene, but I wanted more, so I wrote their drive home – to give myself a little more closure until the next episode.