Saturday, November 28, 2015

Signed Books Make Great Gifts! #shopsmall #SmallBusinessSaturday

Looking for a unique gift for the readers on your list?  A signed and personalized paperback is the way to go!  I send out some by request every year, so if you'd like to support a small business and give someone hours of entertainment while introducing them to a new author, send me an email at and we will get your order in.  I combine shipping for multiple books ordered!

GULL HARBOR is most people's favorite, as well as the least expensive, priced at $12.99 for a paperback.  This title has also been a #1 Kindle Bestseller on several occasions, as well as a Top Ten Reviewer Pick at MyShelf Reviews and a RomCon Reader's Crown Finalist.  A mixture of steamy romance and spooky suspense, this story follows psychic medium Claire Linden as she tries to rid a haunted house of a destructive spirit, while also unraveling the secrets Max Baron is keeping about their past.  A dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await Claire in Cape Cod's Gull Harbor...

Read the blurb: GULL HARBOR
$12.99 + $3 shipping

SILVER LAKE is my debut title, recently purchased by a larger publisher and also a RomCon Finalist.  The premise of this story is a reunion between a group of former friends who became estranged when their friend Brandy vanished their senior year of high school.  Five years later, the group returns to a lake house from their past in a final attempt to solve the disappearance.  Rain Anderson is determined to find closure for Brandy's terminally ill mother, and she's also anxious to reconcile with Jason Lansing, the man whose heart she broke.  As the paranormal activity escalates throughout the summer, it soon becomes clear Brandy's ghost has a message to share...and she's willing to put her friends in danger in order to expose the truth.  A haunting, an old flame, and secrets from the past...

Read the blurb: SILVER LAKE
$13.99 + $3 shipping

DIVINE FALL is my Young Adult title, suitable for teenagers as well as adults who enjoy YA. This book recently won the Reader's Choice Award in the Young Adult Romance category from The Romance Reviews.  As the only surviving Nephilim, Dothan Reed is an outcast in both worlds.  He'll risk his life to seek his revenge, but will he risk hers?  This title, filled with forbidden first love and supernatural secrets, has been recommended by reviewers for fans of Twilight and The Mortal Instruments.  Revenge, romance, and a rogue fallen angel...

Read the blurb: DIVINE FALL
$15.99 + $3 shipping

Saturday, November 21, 2015

SILVER LAKE is on the #Amazon 50 #Kindle Book Deals List! #Romance #Ghosts #Kindledeals

In August, I announced the exciting news that the electronic rights to my debut novel, SILVER LAKE, had been sold to Amazon Publishing's Encore imprint.  This reunion romance/ghost story is now exclusive to Kindle as an e-book, and has also been entered into the Kindle Unlimited program.  This has been really great for increasing the visibility of this title, and November brought another nice surprise--Amazon put Silver Lake on sale and added it to its "50 Kindle Book Deals for $2 Each" list for the entire month!

It will be half-price at $2 until November 30th, but grab your copy now to ensure you have a page-turning mix of second-chance romance and spooky suspense for your holiday reading! Shopping, traveling, entertaining, and visiting with family can all be stressful at times, and reading is a proven load up your Kindle now with November's Kindle Deals and make sure you factor in some time to sit back and get lost in a book.  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

DIVINE FALL won The #Romance Reviews Award! #YA #Angels #horses

I was thrilled when my YA paranormal romance DIVINE FALL made it through the nomination rounds for the Reader's Choice Award over at The Romance Reviews site.  Fifty votes were needed to advance into the final round...a voting period that lasted almost the entire month of October, one of my busiest months in terms of promotion since I write what can best be described as "paranormal romantic suspense"--romance mixed with a haunting mystery or supernatural secrets, which are especially popular during the Halloween season.  But I tried to remind my readers to vote as I scrambled to keep up with other commitments.  And then this week I received some exciting news--my book won the Young Adult Romance category!

Most of my books are considered cross-genre, and this one is no exception.  It's classified as "YA Paranormal Romance", but the tag line I use is "Forbidden First Love and Supernatural Secrets". A reviewer at BTS Book Reviews used this quote: "This delicious YA novel was filled with love, rich in history, suspense, and enough twists to keep the reader turning the pages." This reviewer's 4.5 star write-up actually put Divine Fall into the BTS Book Review's nominations for their Red Carpet Award.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

While my books always involve romance, I do try to mix in plenty of conflict, tension, and mystery, as well as enough details about the setting to make the reader feel like he or she is right there.  This novel is set in a fictional town, Huntsville, Maryland, close to where I grew up.  The rural town is located in the very real Frederick County, near the very real Monocacy National Battlefield, site of the Civil War Battle that "saved Washington, D.C.".  As a kid, I spent a great deal of time at the huge farm owned by good friends of the family, and their little girl and I whiled away countless hours riding the horses, playing with the barn cats up in the hayloft, throwing sticks for all the dogs that roamed the property, and exploring the surrounding woods.  These wonderful memories inspired "Fox Run", the barn where Jamie boards her horse Beau, and where the mysterious Dothan Reed works as a new stable hand.

If you'd like to give this book a try, it's only 99 cents on Kindle and Nook!  All links to retailers are in the colored links above or on this page ~ DIVINE FALL.  Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Writing Inspiration ~ #amwriting #Nanowrimo

photo (1)Last November, I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time ever, and while I didn't finish a complete manuscript in one month, I did "win" in terms of word count.  By February, I had typed "the end" to my fourth novel, and now Haunted Souls is awaiting a release date.  I decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, as I've branched out into teaching writing classes as well, and to say I'm over-scheduled at the moment would be a tremendous understatement.  But I wanted to cheer on all the writers working on getting their daily word count in by posting the inspirational quote I keep on my keyboard.  And if your fingers need a break and you care to read the story behind the quote, I've included it below.  The original post first appeared as one of my contributions to The Pearls of Writing Wisdom ~ a blog co-written by ten published authors dedicated to sharing weekly writing tips on Tuesdays and inspiration on Fridays.
The quote taped to my keyboard came to me in a fortune cookie on New Year's Eve in 2010. It seemed appropriate for what I was feeling, since my resolution was to begin sending out queries for my first manuscript, Silver Lake.
Real courage is moving forward when the outcome is uncertain. - Michael Angier

Now, I'm not comparing writing to the kind of courage it takes to go into battle to defend your country or something like that.  But it does take courage to go after your dreams, especially when the dream is as big as writing a novel and getting it published.  It's easy to say "Someday, I'm going to write that novel." It's much harder to actually do it.  Even once those first words get typed, there's no guarantee your energy and inspiration will hold out until you get to "The End". A writer pours blood, sweat, tears, caffeine, and days spent in pajamas into a manuscript, and the outcome IS uncertain.  Will it all come together?

But if you don't start, you definitely won't finish.  And if you don't send queries out and risk rejection, you won't find a publisher willing to back your story. Putting your creation out there is nerve-wracking at best.  I knew I was about to enter a very unpleasant stage of the process for most writers.  And there was no guarantee that if I stuck with it, my novel would find a home.

I weathered the rejections.  I rewrote and made cuts.  I tried again.  I began receiving full requests, and then an R&R (a request to Revise and Resubmit) - with suggestions on what needed to be fixed.  Again, no guarantees, but I did the work.

And the day that contract offer came for my debut novel was one of the best days of my life.  December 16, 2011, almost a year after I opened that cookie and found the words of encouragement that remind me daily not to give up.

Keep at it, writers!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Same Costume, 9 Yrs. Later - #Halloween #JackSparrow #PiratesoftheCaribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean was always one of my favorite Disney rides, and the movie based on the theme park ride, Pirates of the Caribbean ~ Curse of the Black Pearl, came out in June of 2003.  At the time, I had a one-and-a-half-year-old son and a four-and-a-half-year-old son, so it's safe to say I probably never saw it in the theaters.  But somehow by the time my younger son was almost four, we owned the DVD and it seemed to be playing constantly in our house, much like Frozen is today at my sister's.  To be honest, I think I loved the movie more than my favorite form of entertainment combines forbidden romance with some supernatural mystery and danger--that is the mix that inspires the books I write.  So I was just fine with the fact that I knew many of the lines by heart.  In fact, my kids decided the necklace I wore (a silver heart) was our "medallion", and we played pirates quite a bit.

So it was no surprise when my younger son decided he wanted to be Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween in 2006, when the movie alternated with the latest Star Wars film on a seemingly endless loop on our television.  While I'm not particularly crafty, I decided I could make a convincing costume for him, and I set about stringing beads, buying fabric, and sewing, gluing, and pinning things together.  I loved the costume and I still think it's the best one I ever "made".

Nine years later, I pulled the old DVD out because I assigned it to my writing class for homework. Yes, that's right, they had to watch a movie--this one is a good exercise in Goal, Motivation, and Conflict for the characters.  My son found me watching it and settled in.  By the time it was over, he had decided what he wanted to be for this Halloween--Captain Jack Sparrow, again.

I'm fairly organized, and those old pirate accessories I made were still packed in our costume box.  Of course, he was much too big now for the shirt and vest.  He declared the plastic sword "too small" and insisted he needed the hat and dreadlocks this time.  But as a nod to the past, I was able to reuse the strings of beads from the headpiece, the sword belts, and the long red-and-white sash.

I couldn't resist snapping a picture in the same spot, all these years and feet and inches later, and making a little collage.  My heart twinges a bit at the incredible changes that have occurred in less than a decade--where does the time go?  But the memories make me smile, and my teenage boy is still the sweet kid he was in pre-school.  Just another reminder to enjoy every second!

Captain Jack Sparrow - 2006/2015