Monday, August 7, 2017

August 2017 Update

So it's been a while since I updated...some might say too long, and I would have to agree with that.

Sorry about that.

I have been busy, though!

Since you last heard from me, I wrote The Third Wheel...and it just didn't sing to me. I got something wrong, and I couldn't figure out what. So I decided to write a fun rom-com to balance out the heavy energy from The Third Wheel. But then I couldn't tell if the new story was fun or boring...and that seemed like a bad sign.

So I put rom-com to the side and peeked Pimpernel's way.

There was a lot of internal debate when it came to switching over to Pimpernel. I'd told myself (and you!) that I was going to write The Third Wheel first, and technically I did. I just didn't publish it. I debated back and forth as to whether I was going to be one of those fickle creative types, who says one thing on the itinerary and then changes things real-time.

I don't want to be that person. But, alas...I think I am that person.

I am so in love with the Pimpernel world, and it's speaking to me right now, so who am I to shun the muses and tell them to depart to make way for a story that is stalled while I figure out where I screwed up?

The situation is kind of akin to being out in the middle of nowhere with two cars to choose from: one that's stalled out and not even trying to make a sound when you turn the key, and another car that revs right up.

Which car do you choose to get you down the road?

A publisher would never let me get away with this. I would just have to plow through and release the books in their assigned order and just make them "good enough" to go to print. There are definite pros to being pushed like that, but conversely, sometimes (all the time, in my experience) when something is off, it means there's something I need to learn that I'm currently getting wrong.

It definitely happened with Kay, in the Rhea series. Kay was the first muse to snub me. She only talked to me in the first place because of Rhea (who is infinitely more patient). But somewhere along the line, I put some words into Kay's mouth that belonged in someone else's mouth, and BOOM! She was gone with the percussion of a slammed door that had no interest in opening again.

I didn't catch on to her exit immediately, which was the reason it took me so long to figure the sin that had put me into storyteller time out. But once I figured it out, Rhea talked Kay into coming back and finishing the story, as a personal favor.

At least, that's what happened if you believe in muses. If you don't, then...I just got writer's block for a while before I had a breakthrough and finished Kay'sville, and I have a similar block with The Third Wheel now, and I'll let you know when it's sorted.

I'll let you know when Pimpernel has a firm date for release in fall of 2017.

Thanks for your patience and support! It means a lot!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

8 Minutes of Zen

If you're feeling overwhelmed recently, you're not alone.

Look around. Anyone plugged in to social media is probably experiencing some level of anxiety. There's politics, sure, but also parenting styles, levels of desirability, social standards, and all manner of areas of people's lives where they may feel shamed or confused.

Shame sells. Confusion creates clicks. So if you feel like part of your brain has been hijacked, it's probably because that's exactly what's happened on some level.

If you find yourself in any sort of anxious or stressed state, the scientists at Mindlabs in the UK have a song for you, found to be the most effective at reducing stress in clinical tests. Listening to it "resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants' overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates."

To read the full article and see their Top 10 list, check out this article.

To experience their #1 choice and decompress right now, press play.

Let's Talk About Syria

I’m replacing the original post (full of tangential things for your brain to consider regarding whether attacks are justified) with two questions for you to consider instead:

Question #1: Am I my neighbor’s judge, jury, and executioner?

Question #2: Am I in the position to exercise the highest level of unilateral judgment on the matter?

There used to be about 45-60 minutes of material where your eyes are currently reading, but I’ll save you the time of hashing through and mentally processing it. Because while the view of the conflict in Syria may appear different to every single person looking at it, the core questions remain unchanged for determining what should be done.

Look at everything you believe, then look at everything people disagree with you believe. With all that in clear view, ask yourself two more questions:

  • Do you have the right to determine the fates of the people living through it? 
  • Do you have informed consent to make a decision by proxy?

I think if you know your answers to those questions, then you have your answer to what you think your country should do in Syria.

If you want to know how the people I know in the area feel and what they think, this interview with President Assad on April 13, 2017 paints the picture of what they believe.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

What to Look for From Me in 2017

First off, how is it possible that we’re already ¼ of the way through 2017?

Like, seriously…how?

Whether the time is flying for you (like it is for me), I wanted to give you a heads up on how things look for the year.

First off, some of you may be have noticed that I planned to have The Third Wheel out by now. What you may not know is that I have since been contracted to write a screenplay that will be filmed in the Middle East. The movie is not an adaptation of any of my stories. I am writing a story that an amazing director wants to shoot. Her name is Eva Daoud, and she is an internationally award-winning director for each of the short films she has created. This will be her first feature-length film, and I have the honor of writing it. Doing so meant switching my schedule around, but when you have a phenomenal director who wants to work with you, you kind of push current projects back in the queue and get to work.

Or at least that’s what I ended up doing.

This means that while last year I put out three books, this year I plan on putting out two: The Third Wheel and Pimpernel 2, in that order. The Third Wheel will be in summer and Pimpernel 2 in the fall.

I’m really excited for both!

The Third Wheel is Luke’s story and ties in with The Kiss That Launched 1,000 GIFs and King of the Friend Zone. I do have to mention that it’s a bit more intense and deals with some heavier topics, like gaslighting, narcissism, abuse, and infidelity. It’s a bit of a heavy one to write, but it has a whole lot of heart. I think you’ll like it…or at least my fingers are crossed that you will.

As for the second Pimpernel book, what is there to say about that except that each book in the series goes bigger than the last and they’re all giant rides. So if you liked the first one, I’m hoping you like the next one even better.

But right now all the focus is on getting the screenplay done.

An interesting thing about these projects is that they’re all intense in different ways. Writers have different ways of composing their stories, but I’m one of those writers who goes and sits in a scene and tries to capture what I see and experience with text. Sometimes scenes kindly loop over and over, letting me see things again and again (sometimes even zooming in and out) until I get them right; sometimes they pass through like a gusting breeze that makes contact before zipping on, and I have to focus to capture that one exposure as best I can before a bunch of other breezes cloud that specific memory. So it’s interesting to sit inside the scenes of an accused suicide bomber, a devoted gaslit wife, and a mastermind guiding a team of differently gifted masters who pull and snip strings in the world of “too big to fail.”

I love it. I wouldn’t trade these muses for any others, but the screenplay and The Third Wheel, in particular, are intense scenes to sit in and it’s a challenge (that I happily accept) to find the right words to pull you into that space with me and share those journeys.

So that’s where I am right now.

I’ll fill you in as things unfold, but I wanted to let you know where things are at.

Also, we’re less than 2 months out in finding out if either Walk of Infamy or Pimpernel will win a Whitney Award. Fingers crossed, but thank you so much for nominating me! That means a ton! I could tell you which muse wants it more, but I’ll keep that to myself for now.

Thank you for your support and thank you for reading! I literally couldn’t do any of this without you.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

YOU Did This!

Writing is fun. And it only gets more fun when people like what you've written.

Not everyone, obviously. We all know no one can please everyone. Not even a deity can do that, so why ask it of ourselves, right? But all that is a tangent to the fact that in 2016 I put out 3 books:

King of the Friend Zone
Walk of Infamy

Then you guys did things like nominate them for awards and put the books on your yearly list of favorites.

For example, all 3 of 2016 titles are nominated for Whitney Awards and you voted for them on the Swooney Awards list.

You all did this, and if I win any awards for 2016, it will be because of you all.

Thank you! 

And here's to a 2017 filled with just as many, if not more, great books!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Happy (My) Birthday to Us All!

This year, I decided to give myself the birthday present of FINALLY COMPLETING the last book in the Rhea series.

And guess what? Mission Accomplished!

This means you get to celebrate my birthday (Halloween) with me by seeing the final Rhea book appear on Amazon, ready to purchase. The ebook will be available ON my birthday with the physical book coming out shortly thereafter for everyone who has the physical books from the rest of the series.

This is definitely the last book in the Rhea series, although the word is still out on whether it can be read as a standalone novel. (Pimpernel fans, I'll let you know when reviewers who have not read the rest of the series let me know, since this book may be one you like if it truly stands alone.)

The cover looks like this:

The synopsis goes like this:

Rhea always knew she worked for a powerful men, but she didn’t understand the full scope of their influence until she quit her job—or tried to.

The clandestine group that calls themselves The Fours doesn’t accept two-week’s notice from employees. Instead, they’re demanding Rhea perform a final task of their choosing to earn a life free from their demands.

Rhea knows whatever The Fours ask of her will be unlike any challenge she’s ever faced. She’s prepared for the worst, but what she’s about to learn is that groups like The Fours are a secret for a reason.

Because no one gets to walk away from them. Not even Rhea.

I've been warning y'all for a while now that this final book in the Rhea series is a rough ride. That said, I hope you still LOVE it!

Content warnings: Mild language and much more violence than Rhea would prefer.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Totally, TOTALLY Overdue Update

Okay, it’s WAAAAY past time for an update from me, right?

So here’s a little self-Q&A of all the things you need to know to be totally up to date.

Question: What’s the next book that will be coming out?

Answer: King of the Friend Zone on September 1, 2016.

Now if you’re thinking, “Hey, it was supposed to be Walk of Infamy,” you would be correct. So what happened? Well, I writing King of the Friend Zone as part of the awesome Power of the Matchmaker series, and one of the other authors asked to switch months for release dates, so I had to stop Walk of Infamy (which is very, very close to done, I assure you) and put both feet into getting King of the Friend Zone ready first.

SUPER sorry for the bait-and switch. The good news is, it’s very possible you’ll get two books very close together. So yay for that?

Question: What’s King of the Friend Zone about?

Answer: Happy you asked! Here’s a synopsis:

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancĂ©, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancĂ©, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?

Question: What are the other books in the Power of the Matchmaker series?

Answer: It’s so crazy to me that 7 of the 12 Matchmaker books have already been released, and #8 will be released in a matter of DAYS.

Next is #9: September. Me. *gulp* (I hope you like it!)

But if you want to check out the other books in the series up until now, they are all up with tons of reviews to help you find your perfect fit! They are all different genres and all stand alone novels that can be read in any order.

Check them out.

April: Love is Come

September: King of the Friend Zone

October: To Move the World

November: How I Met Your Brother

December: The Reformer

And here's a look at all the covers so you know what they look like.

Got any other questions? Ask away in the comments, and I'll try to be a good author and answer them all in the next post.

How about that? :D