Category Archives: Miscellaneous
Happy New Year! I hope 2014 was a blast for everyone but that 2015 will prove to be better. I want to start 2015 with an exciting announcement – the third and final book of The Painted Maidens Trilogy titled ‘The Taking’ is nearing completion! We are working on the cover art now as the book is in the first stages of editing. I’m aiming for a release on or before Valentine’s Day.
For those of you who are anxiously awaiting the release, it will be here soon – I promise! In the meantime, I plan to tease you with excerpts from the book (see the first one below).
For those who haven’t had a chance to read the first or second books, now is your chance to catch up as the first book ‘The Rising’ is still listed as free across all e-platforms!
Get it now, FREE at:
Seventeen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.
Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.
Purchase it now:
Two separate worlds; the Undine of The Deep and the Wolves of The Dry. A history muddled in war but thick with family bonds blur the lines of right and wrong. The youngest members of each race unite, trying to steer their people away from the brink of disaster. Serena and Liam must work together to resolve the problems of their people before the pressure tears these twin siblings apart. But the betrayed are angry, and are out for revenge.
Over the next month, there will be several fun events as we ramp up to the release of ‘The Taking’, including more excerpts, a playlist (I cannot wait for this one), announcements for my next projects, giveaways, and the cover reveal!
For now I leave you with an excerpt (unedited) from ‘The Taking’. Enjoy!
‘The Taking, Book Three of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ Excerpt:
“Come on,” says Kai. “I have an idea.” He takes Serena by the hand and swims them both into rougher surf.
“Kai, what are you—” Serena is cut off by the next wave that crashes over both of their heads.
Tossed and turned, colliding into each other and pulled apart just as quickly, they flounder like guppies in the water. Serena straightens herself out, finding the surface and popping above just to be pushed below again by the next wave. Kai rolls by in front of her sticking out his tongue while his tail is tangled in kelp.
Serena laughs as she breaks it apart for him. As soon as he is free, he pulls her up. Picking up speed, the pair glide along the surface, angling in to join another wave. This time, they slide in front of it just as the crest folds forward, wrapping them in a secluded tunnel of brackish blue. Kai continues to jut forward, but turns on his back and dips below the surface. He pulls Serena on top of him so her chest rests on his stomach. She rides the wave just as she has seen the Ungainly surfers do, laying down on their boards.
Kai pushes her hands up and out, then releases them. Spreading her arms like wings, Serena’s fingertips skim the watery tunnel on each side. Here in the ocean’s breakers, between The Deep and The Dry, Serena is finally afforded a little privacy from both worlds and her title as queen.
A wide grin spreads across her face as she looks down at Kai in gratitude. She pulls him up just as the tunnel condenses, then collapses in on itself. They endure the chaotic aftermath, tickling each other as they roll into calmer surf.
Catching their breath as their heads bob above water, pure delight dancing across their faces with the last light of the sun, and Serena looks at Kai. “I want to pair with you,” she says. The words are out of her mouth as the thought enters her head. Her eyes go wide—she can’t believe she said that out loud. She looks at Kai, who looks just as stunned.
“Are you sure?” he asks, giving her a chance to retract her statement.
Serena bites her lip, her eyes falling to the frothy water surrounding them. The time between waves lengthens, as if the ocean herself awaits Serena’s answer. Finally, she looks up to Kai. “No more waiting, Kai. I’m ready, and I wish to pair with you—if you’ll have me.”
His eyes light up and he squeezes her face in between his hands, drawing her lips into his. A breath she doesn’t know he was holding escapes as his lips relax open. He tastes of salt. Another wave finally breaks, taking them both by surprise. He wraps his tail around hers as their arms snake around each other.
The wave pushes them under in a tumultuous celebration, and they hold on tight as the world spins around them. Hitting the sandy sea floor, they break apart. Serena’s hair has escaped her braid and black tendrils reach out, brushing Kai’s cheek.
Right here, right now, there are no worries in the world. There is nothing but Kai and all the fun, the security, and the affection he brings. Serena can’t pretend the moment will last forever, but she knows if Kai is by her side she can face anything.
* * *
I am behind in my blogging and need to catch you on a few new great releases from the wonderful ladies of Patchwork Press!
Please be sure to check out Grimm Memories, Janna Jenning’s exciting sequel to A Grimm Legacy:
It has been six months since Quinn and her friends returned home after barely escaping Elorium—but no one ever really leaves the world where fairy tales are born. Not a day has gone by where they haven’t thought about returning to save Jack. Even their dreams are urging them to return to the strange world.
Falling back into the fairy tale world, they find the situation even more dire than the way they left it. Jack has disappeared, and he’s not the only one. Elorium’s citizens are near panic as characters are missing and rumors are spreading about massive creatures roaming the sky. A rising darkness is enslaving the dreamers, and in a land filled with water nymphs and malevolent mazes, it’s hard to find any allies.
Despite the risks of their rescue mission, Fredrick is determined to bring back his grandfather, no matter how personal the cost.
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Also, don’t forget to nab Puppet by Pauline Harris!
Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology but many claim society has yet to catch up. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks.
When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette.
As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling.
As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.
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And I couldn’t be more excited to introduce one of our newest fellow authors, Angela Myron, who just released ‘Ennara and the Fallen Dragon’!
When strange accidents start happening around thirteen year-old necromancer Ennara and her friends, she must search for the mysterious stolen artifacts causing the attacks while learning the highest form of magic–the spells that could prevent the fruition of a terrible prophecy.
Patchwork Press is celebrating the release of The Lost Locket of Lahari! The blog tour features several posts that are part of a scavenger hunt. At each stop, we reveal one letter that, when put together with the other letters from each of the other stops, will spell out a secret message to announce the topic of our next anthology.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to the main characters from each of the short stories in the anthology. Take a look, comment on who is your favorite, and don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour by clicking here to find all of the letters and solve the puzzle!
Meet Adara from The Seeker, by Kara Baird
My favorite quote comes from a Latin phrase: esse quam videri, or, to be rather than to seem.
My favorite food is anything bready. My father is a baker and has learned how to make the most delicious naan in the land.
My favorite music is from Aamir, Isa’s father. He had a small wooden flute when I was growing up. He would play it sometimes while telling Isa and I one of his fairy stories. I remember it added a sense of spookiness or cheeriness when the story called for it.
If I had one wish, it would be to cook for others like my father did. There is no greater charity then feeding a man who is hungry.
Meet Odessa from The Empath, by Erica Crouch
My favorite quote is, “Fortune favors the bold.” — Virgil
If I could go anywhere, it would be somewhere new and very far from here. I’ve always had an interest to visit big cities and get lost in a crowd. Maybe New York, or London. I’m tired of roadside towns. I want to travel the world.
If I had one wish, it would be to fix the mistakes of my past and save the people I couldn’t.
My worst fear is losing myself and not being able to maintain control.
In a past life, I would be Michel de Nostredame (Nostradamus).
Meet Olivia from The Dreamer, by Terra Harmony
My favorite quote is, “Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle
I think a fun date would involve a fancy dress, a hopping speakeasy, and a handsome beau on my arm.
My worst fear is to end up back in an orphanage.
If I could go anywhere, it would be Paris!
My favorite color is glitzy gold, of course!
Meet Emma from The Confidant, by Janna Jennings
My favorite book is For Whom the Bell Tolls. Robert Jordan sneaking behind enemy lines, risking his life to slow the fascist forces, Pablo’s betrayal… You won’t tell Mamma, will you? She would say it’s not appropriate reading for me. I’m not sure I’m really my favorite anymore. I think I’ve had enough adventures for awhile.
My favorite food is sugar. Anything made with sugar. Cakes, puddings, toffee bars, ice cream… pretty much anything we haven’t been able to make in the past four years.
If I could go anywhere, it would be home! I was old enough when we left America I have some memories of living there. With the war over I’m ready to go back.
My worst fear is losing Mamma. When Papa died it was like living in a nightmare. If Mamma were gone to, it would be worse. I’d be alone.
Meet Madeline from The Adventurer, by Ruth Silver
My favorite color is black. I prefer to blend into the background. It’s something I’ve always been good at.
If I could be any animal, I’d be a cheetah. I’m fast but I could always be faster. I also think they’re beautiful creatures.
If I had one wish, it would be complete freedom; never having to look over my shoulder.
My worst fear is being caught.
I have a lot of trouble with trusting others. I’ve been alone for so long, I’ve gotten used to it.
Meet Ben and Serra from The Dancer, by Kellie Sheridan
I’m not really a big reader, but my favorite books are the Percy Jackson books.
A fun date would be something super romantic and cheesy – whatever will make her feel special.
In a past life I would have been Charles Darwin – looking for answers to life’s big questions.
My favorite quote is, “Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” ― Voltaire
If I could go anywhere, it would everywhere! Paris, Rome, London. I’d love to backpack around Europe after college.
My favorite author is anyone who writes contemporary. Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Gayle Forman are my favorites.
I hope you enjoyed meeting all the characters!
And now to reveal my piece of the puzzle:
Download your copy of the Lost Locket of Lahari from:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or Kobo.
It has been a week full of cover reveals. If you missed the last two be sure to check out the art for The Lost Locket of Lahari, an anthology from Patchwork Press (including one of my own short stories), as well as the art for Puppet by new PWP author Pauline C. Harris. Both compliments of amazing author/artist Erica Crouch.
I’ve got one more, very exciting cover reveal to top off the week for you!
‘The Betrayed, Book Two of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ is almost here! And I can’t wait to hear what you think of the awesome cover:
Thank you again to Keary Taylor, who has done each one of my awesome covers! Here are the two books in the series side by side.
Synopsis: Two separate worlds; the Undine of the Deep and the Wolves of the Dry. A history muddled in war but thick with family bonds blur the lines of right and wrong. The youngest members of each race unite, trying to steer their people away from the brink of disaster. Serena and Liam must work together to resolve the problems of their people before the pressure tears these twin siblings apart. But the betrayed are angry, and are out for revenge.
For those that want to know more about Clan Werich, ‘The Betrayed’ goes deep into the lives of the werewolves, and we get to see their society from Liam’s point of view! If you loved ‘The Rising’, you are going to absolutely fall for the second book of the series. ‘The Betrayed’ will be available September 26th, 2014.
Amidst finishing up The Painted Maidens Trilogy, I’ve been busy – and so have the other ladies of Patchwork Press. We have teamed up to create something we really think you’re going to enjoy… our first anthology! Five of our authors, including your truly, plus one of our fantastic interns, have each contributed a story to The Lost Locket of Lahari, which is being released into the world on September 9th! We can’t wait to share it with all of you! But for now, here is the amazing cover given to you by talented author/artist Erica Crouch:
In a dusty, dilapidated stall tucked away in an alcove of a bustling Bazaar in India, a man with a rickety spine and a spindly beard bends over his work bench, forging a locket with accidental magic. There’s power in a wish, and there’s nothing he wants more than for his children to return home. The locket was intricately crafted, adorned with one dragonfly for each of his children—and the power to find them.
With the guidance of fate, the locket skips through time and journeys across oceans, traveling from person to person in a constant search for the souls whispered into its vessel. Centuries after the magical old man in the Bazaar became near-forgotten myth and whispered legend, the locket has fallen into the hands of those with echoes of the six dragonflies: the seeker, the empath, the dreamer, the confidant, the adventurer, and the dancer.
In the hands of its new owners, the power of the locket adapts, bending and remaking itself to answer need. While the locket never found the children of Lahari, it found the next best thing… Their spirits.
The six novellas of the Lost Locket of Lahari anthology pause a moment in time when the locket finds the ripples of its ancestry. From the Victorian-era to the Roaring Twenties, the 1940s to modern day and beyond, this anthology is a collection of stories as dynamic as the authors themselves.
Blog tour time! Check out the latest by very talented PWP author Erica Crouch:
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea…
Annaleigh Wells and William Calloway had a love even the angels envied. It was as if the universe spun them toward one another, like the stars crafted their souls to fit perfectly together.
With a wedding on the horizon, fate had a change of heart. Whispered warnings from phantoms and morbid nightmares darkened every night—but even visions of the future couldn’t save Annaleigh.
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Annabel Lee, Crouch’s period romance Madly, Deeply tells the tale of love so great, it cannot be contained in just one life.
Sign up for your free copy of Madly, Deeply! Click here: win a free copy now.
And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR list.
Catching up on all thing social media, and I realized I haven’t posted since…January. Oops. But I promise I’ve been working! I just finished my 7th full length novel – it is now in the editing stages. ‘The Betrayed, Book Two of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ follows ‘The Rising’, my young adult mermaid fantasy series. Catch up now before the release date; you can get The Rising on Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords.
Even though ‘The Betrayed’ falls in the middle of a series, I think the book – or at least the writing process for the book – stands apart from any I’ve ever done, for several reasons:
- 100% of this book was written between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. There were no exceptions. Writing time competed heavily with my brain telling me I need to sleep. When life gets busy, my desire to write is not put on hold – I just have to make a few adjustments, and a few sacrifices.
- This book was hard to write! As any author will tell you, significant time and energy go into creating a full length novel. But with my Akasha Series, and to an extent the first book of this mermaid trilogy, the ideas were plentiful. Looking back, I almost feel like the stories flowed straight from my brain out through my fingers and onto my keyboard. They were fun to write and they went quick. ‘The Betrayed’ was slow writing. There was a lot of stopping to research and lots of solid brick walls that sent me tumbling backward. I really had to pull out all the stops to finish this one.
- I almost quit. Or at least I told myself I should just quit, which is as close to quitting as I’ve ever come since I started writing. Maybe it was the difficulty level of the book, or maybe it was writing hours, but for the first time, my second job as author became too cumbersome.
- “Great work. Certainly your best yet, I would say. I very much enjoyed reading it.” Exact words of my primary editor, who has edited every one of my other six books. Now, the novel still has several editors and beta readers to go, but I am certainly going to ride the high of her words for as long as I can!
Over the next few months, get ready for some fun posts. Guest interviews, cover reveals, writing samples and lots of giveaways. My goal is to reconnect with my readers in the best ways possible. Please sign up to follow my blog via email if you haven’t already, you don’t want to miss out!
Thanks for reading!
Beyond a good story, nothing is more important than the book’s cover (other than maybe the blurb, but that is a post for another time). Creating the book cover is an exciting, gut-wrenching process for an author. It is trying to convey the greatness of your masterpiece into one simple but striking visual image. And we usually don’t get it right the first time around. Case in point; the before and after pictures of my first novel, ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’:
The difference: the first cover is a product of my imagination. The second cover is a product of the artist’s imagination.
In creating the first cover, I just kept thinking of more stuff the cover should have and telling the artist to revise, revise, revise. She did everything I asked her to do; her mistake. After seeing the final product I sat back, looked at it, and thought, “What in the hell was I thinking?” I paid the artist then hired another. My decision was validated by a friend’s opinion, “It looks like a vagina.”
The second cover is a product of the artist’s imagination. I gave her all the same instructions I gave the first artist, and she plain out said, “no.”
I tried again, giving her the simple instruction of, “Water. Fantasy. Go.” And….voila. A vagina-free masterpiece. She came up with an attractive cover that pops against the black background. The design was easily mimicked for all books in the series; Air, Fire and Earth, and even the boxed set. Branding at its best.
She even did my vampire anthology cover:
Now that I am ready to publish a brand new series, I thought I knew enough about the business to take a crack at creating my own cover. For ‘The Rising’, a mermaid, young adult fantasy trilogy, I came up with several versions:
I sent it around. My husband and mom loved it. No shocker there – they are biased. But a few problems were quickly pointed out by the lovely ladies of Patchwork Press (my new partners in crime). In the first version, there isn’t a real ‘mermaid’ element, all of them look too similar to my New Adult series (branding across genres isn’t always the best idea), and they are not very typical of young adult covers – which may or may not be a good thing.
I searched the internet for images, and came across this one on Deviant Art (you’ve seen it in my previous blog posts):
Grr! (If you are interested, click on the book cover image to purchase and read and let me know what you think!)
Finally, I went back to the same amazing cover artist that did the Akasha Series covers, Keary Taylor. Turns out, she basically lives where the story takes place, and she was super excited to do a mermaid cover. I turned her loose on my mermaid pinterest page for inspiration, and I am so excited to do the final cover reveal. It turned out great! Here is a sneak peak:
Boo! I know – you don’t get to see the whole thing yet! Stay tuned for a reveal in mid-September. Book Review Bloggers can sign up here to do a cover reveal on their own blog, plus sign up for the book tour and an ARC. And be sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR list!
Several days ago, I clicked ‘save’ then closed the document on the first draft of my sixth novel. ‘The Rising; Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ is now with my awesome editing team, and an equally awesome bunch of beta readers. I welcome the break as I wait for the feedback, but my fingers can’t stay idle for long – it is a curse and a blessing. They itch to get back to the keyboard.
I’ve already started on the second book of the trilogy, but want to take some time to reflect on my writing journey, and how it came to be. My first novel, ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’, took nearly ten years to write. It started in high school, when I would be stuck in class daydreaming. I daydreamed of a cute boy coming into the classroom to sweep me off my feet. I’d dream of an equally cute villain coming into the classroom to take us all hostage. I dreamed of fighting the snobby girl next to me. How would I react? What would I do?
I went through the same daydreams over and over in my head, changing minor details until the scene was perfect – then I’d go over it again. I couldn’t stop. Finally, in order to keep some level of sanity, I began writing them down. They were just scenes; not even complete short stories. It worked well in class, I looked like a very studious note-taker.
I graduated high school and tried my hand at college. It was…boring. So, I joined the Marine Corps. Boot camp wasn’t so boring. And neither was the first two years in the corps. But things settled down, and the daydreams started as once again, I sat behind a desk, this time at work but in cammies and boots. I can’t sit still for long.
I got married, had a child, and went back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree. I also resumed writing.
After five years, I left the corps for a career in the translation business. The job was good, but I still continued to write. Eventually, I took all these little ‘scenes’, saved in a folder from my high school years, and melded them into a story. I typed them up, working on my lunch break at work, in the early morning, or in the evenings.
In September of 2011, more than ten years after I started, my first novel was finished. My second novel, ‘Air’, only took two months. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of writing, editing, and marketing. I have six books and seven short stories to my name, and I still have so much to learn and do. The ideas are still flowing – I’m not sure I will ever be done writing.
One thing I’ve learned from writing on scrap paper, literally on the back of my biology notes, and eventually turning them into an actual published novel – even if it takes ten years, never give up!
Keep pushing for your dreams. If you never quite get there; the journey itself will be worth it.
Kaitlyn’s adventure has ended. But mine is just beginning! I would love to visit each of the places in The Akasha Series (see my post here to read more about them), and I am going to start at the end. Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado is the location of the final battle in ‘Earth’. I was fortunate to go there this weekend with my sister. Fair warning – this post contains crap loads of pictures; hope it loads okay for you!