I did it!

For those who don’t know what Nanowrimo is, let me fill you in. Have an idea for a story, plot it out before Nov. 1. Then for thirty days write as fast as you can on your story and reach 50,000 words before midnight on Nov. 30. For most of the month I managed to stay ahead of the daily word count. I don’t write on Sundays. (That’s the Lord’s day).

And I knew Thanksgiving weekend was going to be a bust with family in town.
I actually finished a day early and I went over the needed word count by about 600 words.

I am feeling rather accomplished.

I am also so grateful for my amazing friends who kept me motivated and cheered me on when I just wanted to quit. Stephanie, Gussie, and Charlotte. You guys are the best!

So Dec. 1-3 I watched Netflix. And then on Dec. 4 I started a new novel and am excited about it!

What did you do in November that you celebrated in December?

Where to Find Your Muse


Say hello to my dear friend and author DeAnna Browne. She shares some awesome ideas on finding your muse.

Where to Find your Muse by DeAnna Browne

Most fiction starts with a single idea. For my novel, Demon Rising, it started as I was driving down the road listening to the song Demons, by Imagine Dragons. Dreaming about Demons, I started to think of a world filled with demons, literally and figuratively.
Everywhere, everyday people are fighting their own personal demons. What if they were real as well?
After several missed turns and being late, this small seed of an idea grew into novel. Now I don’t recommend brainstorming while you’re driving. It’s really distracting. I do believe in finding your muse or creativity in a myriad of places. I love trying new things and being open to creativity at all time. Whether I’m coloring or molding with my kids or listening to music while taking a long walk, inspiration can be found anywhere.

So to all those artists out there, don’t forget to feed your muse and keep those creative juices flowing. If you find your well dry, here are a few ideas:

*Try a new museum. Local libraries sometimes offer discounted or free passes.

*Go for a walk. Moving and clearing your head of stress helps make room for new ideas.

*Doodle. Whether coloring, drawing, or simply doodling, it helps to let your mind wander and play for a bit.

*Journaling. An author friend of mine journals every day for 15 minutes before writing. He rids himself of the stress of the day and lets the words flow.

I hope everyone takes time for themselves and continues to feed your muse.

If you want to see the finished product of my wandering muse, my debut novel, DEMON RISING, comes out mid-August 2017 with Black Opal Books.

You can pre-order Demon Rising on Amazon

“An enthralling new voice gives us a magical world where love leads to dark decisions.” ~ Jami Gray, award winning author

“…extremely well written, filled with wonderful characters, strange happenings, and face paced action. I, for one, found it very hard to put down. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.”
~Taylor Jones, reviewer

Some sacrifices cost more than death…

Thirty years ago, dark magicians unleashed new power on the earth fueled by demons. Governments toppled, millions died and magicians ended up on top of the food chain.
Twenty-four-year-old Becca survives these dangerous times by relying on her wits, her fists, and the limited goodwill of her boss, a local crime lord. When news comes of a fire back home and the family she left behind dead, she realizes her dark past has finally caught up to her.
On the hunt for her missing sister, she must rely on Darion, a treacherous ex-boyfriend with ties to the local coven for back-up. Problem is he’s a pyromancer that can’t be trusted, especially with her heart. Will she escape the sticky web of treachery and deceit with her sister and her heart, or will she sacrifice it all to save another?

DeAnna Browne graduated from Arizona State University with her BS in Psychology. She finds it helps to corral those voices in her mind and put them to paper. Her debut novel, A DEMON RISING, will be out in August 2017 with Black Opal Books. An avid reader and writer, she has a soft spot for fantasy with a touch of romance. Despite her love for food and traveling, she always finds her way back to Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, children, and pet dog.

Hunt her down at:

or on:  TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads

Finding Peace


Finding Peace and Getting Unstuck

I’m not one to share a lot of “trials” in my life, especially in the public eye. My preference is to keep my problems just with the family and close friends. That being said, it’s been a rough several months.
So what do I do when I need to rejuvenate, fill my bucket, get out of a slump?


There is such a peace within these walls.
And If I can’t get here, then the next best place is the visitor centers.
I am so amazed sitting here at His feet and listening to the narrator speaking the words that Christ spoke so long ago.
Then I come home and get to work!

I didn’t mention that I just sent book 3 of StarBride Chronicles, Surrogate Hearts to my editor.

Now I can start revisions for book 4, Kiss Me Kaela.

Flash Fiction-Jilted


Flash Fiction: A piece of fiction that is extremely brief. The challenge is to write it in under one hundred words.
Here is my flash fiction piece from the prompt:


Phineas Illingworth languished behind the steering wheel of his rusted model-t as it crept soundlessly down the street. In May of nineteen seventeen, he’d driven the prettiest girl in Oak Creek to the ball in it. She left with his rival. Frustrated, he ripped out his engine and left it for dead. A hundred years later, he still thought about her—the children they might have had.

Her great-great-granddaughter, with pigtails flying, and tennis shoes thumping, darted across the road. Phineas didn’t even brake.

She turned to wave at her mother. He hated being a ghost.

How would you have written the prompt?

40th Anniversary


40 Years!

This guy still makes me the happiest woman on Earth. He’s my biggest fan. I love it when he comes home and says, “What did you get written today.” Then after I’ve read to him, he says, “That’s it?”

He gives me great feedback on my stories. Since he’s an avid reader, I trust his judgement on what makes a good story.

It’s been 40 years since we started on our crazy journey together, raising eight children and loving the heck out of eighteen grandchildren. Life has been an adventure. We’ve had our ups and downs. Through it all this man has stood by my side and I’m sure has often thought, “What is this crazy woman up to now?”

With retirement around the corner for him, he’ll get to spend more of his time asking, “Is that all you’ve written today? Get to work, woman. Oh and I’ll make my own sandwich, you want one, too?” He’s pretty handy to have around.

Crazy Month for a Crazy Writer


Grammy and her littles

Sometimes when you pray so hard for the Lord to hit someone you love over the head with a “spiritual 2×4,” you never expect that board to whip back around and smack you upside the head. Which is what happened. Needless to say, I am now the guardian of an adorable almost 4 year old, whose biggest questions of the day are, “WHY?” and “WHAT?” I thought I was the one with the inquisitive mind and the hard of hearing problems. Perhaps it runs in the family.

This adorable little man has consumed my time and energy. I don’t begrudge it at all, but it sure has thrown my life into the crazy cycle.
I was supposed to have had my third book in to my editor on April 24. That didn’t happen. I hadn’t even finished it at that point. After I finally completed it about ten days ago, it was among the most horrible writing I’d ever done. Hemmingway was right. “The first draft of anything is $^&*.”

I put it aside and am letting it percolate for a bit. In the meantime, little man goes to preschool three days a week, and I get to write two of those days. Cub scouts takes up the other one. That means, of course, that I have to cram my writing time into those two days and during naps.

On a happy note, little man is almost potty-trained! I am half way through writing book 4 and ready to dive back into revisions of book 3 and book 5 is another Hemmingway first draft. Guess that just leaves book 6 in this series. I may just reach my goal by the end of the year yet.

I can do hard things! The easy ones, not so much. This is what happens when you leave them alone in front of the TV watching Moana with a baggie of goldfish crackers so Grammy can go to the bathroom. I thought I was safe.

Cover Reveal-Falling for a Fraud-StarBride Chronicles Book 2


Here is Book 2 in my StarBride Chronicles series. This one was so much fun to write!

“Beauty is skin deep, but ugly is to the bone.”
That’s what Kat’s grandfather used to say. With the global games only a few months away, her jump team encounters serious financial troubles. Their only chance is for Kat to take the enticing, though questionable investment offer from Lorenzo Watt. One look at his handsome face reminds her of Granddah’s warning. She wonders if Lorenzo is worth the risk of a deeper look.
Lorenzo knows his looks are a commodity, an asset to charm and manipulate gorgeous women into marrying off-worlders. To him, it’s just a job that repays a debt.
Complications arise when he is assigned to lure Kat into being a starbride. He didn’t expect her to be quite so challenging, nor did he anticipate the lure of her beauty.

This futuristic tale reminiscent of the classic Beauty and the Beast will keep readers up way past their bedtime. Rich in amazing detail and compelling characters, the author has created a story readers will have a hard time forgetting. C. Michelle Jefferies Author of LATENT

Editing and Revising


Editing and Revising is by far the hardest part of writing! This is the part that most authors dislike. It’s at this point that a writer takes a harsh look at what they’ve just created.

So let’s walk through the process–at least what works for me.

The first thing I like to do after I’ve written “The End” (metaphorically) is to do a fast read through. Because I am a slow reader, I utilize a program called “Natural Reader.” You can check it out here. This program reads what I have written back to me in a somewhat natural voice. What I like about this program is that I can follow along as it reads back to me and catch a lot of problems such as missing words and punctuation. While the voice is flat, it does give me a sense of the flow of the story.

I understand that newer versions of Word also have a text to speech function, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

During the process of listening to the story, I keep a notebook handy and jot down the following:

  • Fixes in sentence structure, plot, characterization (things that don’t hold true to my character) and any other glaring problems. I note the chapter or page so I can find it quickly. If it’s not a huge fix, I’ll take care of it while I’m reading
  • Any ideas that I might have to add or delete from the story
  • Any fleshing out of plot lines, or structure or characterization

After I’ve listened to my story and gotten a sense of how it flows, I go back and make the necessary fixes/changes to the story.

I let it sit for a few days and work on something else–another story, reading other authors, etc. This gives my brain a break from that particular story. After a few days, I listen to it again, repeating the process above.

When I’m satisfied I have worked on it enough, I like to send it out to at least two beta readers. Pick ones that either read widely, have read your work before, or that read specifically in your genre.

While my beta readers are slashing and bleeding all over my manuscript, I’m working on another story. Don’t let your writing lapse! This is detrimental to your career if you want to be an author.

After my beta reader returns it, I go through and address each of their suggestions. Most of the time they are spot on. Sometimes, I disagree, but will consider perhaps something I may have missed.

If time permits and my editor isn’t breathing down my neck to get the book in her hands, I will send it out to two more readers, preferably other authors who write in similar genres. When I send it to another author, I’ll generally ask for an endorsement to go on the back cover.

Then it’s off to my editor at Electric Scroll. Ann Marie is amazing! She’ll take my almost perfect book and make it truly fabulous! She has such a gift for catching all the stuff I missed when I was editing and revising.

I’m always looking for ways to improve. What would you add to the editing/revision process? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions!

Plotting for Pantsers in 6 easy steps


If you’re like me, then plotting is as frustrating as doing the back-stroke in the middle of a mud puddle.
Everybody keeps telling me to plot my novels before I even sit down to write. I even read one book that claimed that she could convince me to plot, even though I’m a pantser. I got excited. I could be converted. But by the time I got to the middle of her book, I got so overwhelmed that I almost froze trying to wrap my head around her system.
In my quest to become a better writer, I sat myself down and gave myself a good talking to! And in the process, I came up with these six steps for “plotting”–pantser style!

1. First of all you must decide on a story to tell. This goes without saying.

2. Write down everything you know about the story–loosely plotting. You can change it as you go if you need to. Most importantly, you need to know how it’s going to end. If you know the ending of the story, it will drive everything thing that you write to that point.

3. Decide on a theme. Come up with that theme in one sentence. For Soulfire I had two-”Stand for Truth and Righteousness at all times,” and “How would the Lord prepare the wife of a prophet?” In The Penny Project, the theme is “You love whom you serve.

4. Write down your cast of characters, starting with your protagonist. Describe him/her including important details. Give your MC a huge character flaw which he/she will have to overcome by the end of the story. In my current WIP, my female character, Havala runs when confronted with difficult situations. Her love interest, Mehlo, is highly superstitious. In the end, she will have to stand up and fight, and he will have to face his cultural values.
5. Next create your setting. Write down as much as you know about the environment, the political, spiritual, societal situation. Put your characters in situations where they will have to confront their flaws within the setting. This is called “world-building.” Even if you are writing real-world, contemporary fiction, you will still need to decide on where to place your characters and what the world looks like to them.
6. Last, sit down and start writing. Enjoy the discovery, while understanding your characters’s flaws, the theme, and the setting, and what the end will be.

Not every story has to follow a formula.

So, get OUT of the mud, silly writer, and enjoy the showers of inspiration.

Book Release-The Captain and the Healer


I am always amazed after a new book comes out, that I actually did this! I completed a project! I am so amazed at the whole process. From the initial idea, to the hard work of writing, and then being brave enough to let beta readers see it in its almost raw form to critique it. THANK YOU to my amazing beta readers who didn’t let me get away with lazy writing!
Here she is: Book Baby #4 and Book number 1 in my new series, StarBride Chronicles

Back cover blurb:

With an impending murder charge, Giada must escape Earth before the Amahrian enforcers find her. Desperate, she accepts an offer to be a StarBride to a wealthy governor on another planet. What she didn’t account for was the handsome and irksome pilot whose only thoughts are about profits.

Captain Skyler Rohn can’t go back to Earth; he’s a wanted man, and needs money to prove his innocence. When a job offer comes in that pays handsomely to transport a StarBride, Skyler can’t resist. His ship damaged, Skyler’s only choice is to land on a habitable moon before their oxygen runs out.

If only Giada and Skyler had met before she had agreed to be another man’s wife.

“A sweet romantic tale with adorable characters for people who enjoy reading light space opera.” Katie Teller, author of the Amazon best-selling Kiya Trilogy

Need to know where to get a copy?
Click here.

I hope after you’ve read and liked/loved it, you’ll write a review and say nice things.

One more thing before you run out to get your copy–follow me on Amazon, twitter, and my Facebook page. I’m also on Goodreads.