Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Z Day!


It is the final day of the A-Z Blog Challenge! *Sobs into pillow* This was so much fun, not so much because I enjoyed blogging every day (totally stressed me out), but I DID love visiting others' blogs and discovering awesome new people to stalk. Er, follow. And I won't lie, I loved having people comment on my blog, too!

So my post today is ZOOM. Like, this month totally ZOOMED by. Everyone told me how hard the A-Z Challenge would be, but I didn't find it hard. Stressful, yes. Not hard. But having to do it every day made the month fly by so quickly. I think I might miss it when it's gone!

Also, it was Feudlings' first full month out, and watching it hit its stride and make the Amazon Bestseller lists was fabulous. It was a dream come true. Stressful, yes. But a dream :)

Thanks for the fun, A-Z Challenge! Thanks for the fun, April! *waves* *blows kisses*

Monday, April 29, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Y Day

People ask me all the time, WHY do you write YA? You aren't a young adult.
Nope, I'm not. Not even close.

BUT. I read young adult. That's where I have the most fun, and I'm not ashamed of it. I did, however, give it a lot of thought, and the reason I read it is the same reason I write it.

It's fun.

Okay, I mentioned that already. It's not just that it's fun. It's that teenagers still have so much potential. Me, I'm pretty sure I know what I'll be doing for the next ten or fifteen years - taking care of kids, combing hair, chasing dogs...but teenagers still have their whole life ahead of them. They can save the world tomorrow! And everything is so much more dramatic for them, which equals more entertaining to read and write about. They're still conquering the world, and me, I'm...well, I'm sitting on my little piece of land, happy to be where I am.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A-Z Challenge: X Day!

X for crossing off (it's a stretch, I know). I have this white board my adorable husband made me. It slides behind my desk when I'm not using it so little fingers can't mess up all my notes. Genius! Anyway, on this whiteboard, I put major plot points I need to hit, or things I need to go back and add to the story. My favorite part is X-ing them off. This also works well for making myself clean the kitchen, the bathroom, and do the laundry. There's something so satisfying about X-ing off to-do lists!

A-Z Challenge: W Day!

I'm a day behind. Yesterday I spent four hours getting my hair colored black and red like Ari's! It was so fun, but it also killed me and I took the rest of the day off. But look! Look!

Don't mind the dandilions. They've taken over our yard.

So W is my favorite letter because it's the first letter of my name! Today I'm talking about...ME! How fun is that?!

Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A-Z Blog Tour: V Day

Today is about Voice. Until I started writing, I didn't know what Voice was, but I knew there were certain stories I absolutely loved and I knew why, I just didn't know what it was called. So maybe I did know what it was...nevermind. My point is, the Voice of a story is uber-important and it doesn't seem to be something you can learn. It just has to come. I don't know if that means opening up and letting your characters take over or how it works. I'm still struggling to put it into everything I write. It's a work in progress. 

AND in talking about letting your characters take over, I realized today that I have a very weird relationship with Ari, the main character in Feudlings. This is going to make me sound insane, but somehow my brain equated success of Feudlings to mean acceptance of Ari. She's not real. I created her. But every time my numbers would dip I'd feel like I failed her. And then I started reading the reviews, and people love her, and I was literally telling her in my brain, "See? They love you, Ari. You aren't the monster you think you are." 

Ari is so much tougher than I am or ever will be. A lot of times when I'm facing something scary or overwhelming, I hear her sarcastically telling me in my head that I'm a big girl and I'll be fine. So, since I'm talking about Voice, I'll just say this: It seems Ari's has taken on a life of its own.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A-Z Challenge: U Day

U day! Hurray! I love U day because I can write about my newest project I just finished - it's about unicorns! But not just any unicorns. They're big, tough, powerful unicorns that protect the earth from soul stealers. But they need a human army to help them, and they unicorns have...trust issues. Convenient, because so does my main character, Scout, who tries really hard to hate her ex-boyfriend while secretly still being in love with him. 

This is in the editing stages, and I can't edit fast enough. I can't WAIT to submit this one! Ahem. I mean, what's your favorite mythological creature?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A-Z Challenge: T Day

The End. This is a tough one. When do you know when you've reached the end? Do you go for word count and once you pass it, you can finish the story? Or do you plot it out and when you reach a certain point, you're done? What if you aren't a plotter?

I have this bad habit of ending too abruptly, and I always have to go back later and add more so the ending is so harsh. I'm working on it though!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guest Post by Rebecca Rode!!

I've seen author Rebecca Rode on our local channels. She's written a book that is fabulous for the women of today, and she has so kindly offered to stop by and talk about it! Check her out!

1- Tell us a little about How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces.

You got it! It's a quirky, silly, and inspiring book for moms who feel stressed and scattered. It examines the seven areas of a mom's life and helps readers put their lives back together so they feel more in control.

2 - Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

Well, it all started when I got desperate for a little peace in my own life, so I went to the library to find a book on how to have peace for moms. But it didn't exist! There was plenty about peace in general, mostly written by men, but none specifically by a mom for other mothers. So I did a little research and interviewed a few friends, and it turned into a book. I was surprised how many of us are going through the exact same things.

3 - When is your favorite time to write?

First thing in the morning is when I get the most done. My husband would laugh at that, because I'm not a morning person. But this book had a crazy deadline, so I'd get up at 5am and write an entire chapter before the kids woke up. It was the only truly peaceful time I had all day long!

4 - Number one important lesson you hope people can take away from How to Have Peace when You're Falling to Pieces?

I want to capitalize, italicize, and underline it: Stop Being So Hard On Yourself! We mothers are famous for piling unrealistic expectations on ourselves, and then feeling guilty when we fall short. We like to control everything, make everything perfect with ribbons and bows, and appear that we're Supermoms. I think the world would be a much better place if we allowed ourselves to fail once in awhile--and our families would be much happier too. This, unfortunately, is a really hard tendency to overcome.

5 - What is your biggest writing obstacle?

Hmm. I have three of them, and they're ages 7, 5, and 2. If I could, I'd write all day long! But fortunately, I have a life and a family, and they take first priority. I think that my kids haven't retracted from my writing career all that much, though, to be honest. What would I write about if it weren't for them? They enrich and throw color into what would have otherwise been a dull and predictable life--and if I had to choose again, I wouldn't change a single thing.

Find Rebecca:

Twitter: @RebeccaRode

My Good Things Utah interview (5 Tips for Moms):

A-Z Challenge: S Day

Story ideas. Without them, we would have no books, no movies, no favorite tv shows. I get my ideas from everywhere -- dreams, nightmares, a song on the radio, an image flashing through my mind...I'm random like that, but one small idea is all it takes to create a fantastic story.

Where do you get your story ideas from?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A-Z Challenge: R Day

R&R. In a nice world, it means rest and relaxation, which sounds beyond heavenly right now. In the writing world, it means something completely different, but also hopeful - revise and resubmit. This is when a publisher or agent sends it back to you asking you to change something (or many somethings) and resubmit. It's not a guarantee that if you do all these changes, they will accept it, but there's a pretty dang good chance.

When you are submitting your work, trying to find a home for this little piece of your soul, a revise and resubmit is an exciting step in the right direction. Even if you don't decide to do it, take a good look at what they're asking -- could it make your story better? This business is subjective, so what you change has to feel good to you.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Q Day

Quota. Word Count. Do you have a set word count every day/week/month? Or do you just write in snippets when you get time or until your brain gets tired? I used to just write when I got a chance. Which was basically never. Now I'm trying to teach myself to write daily, but my brain doesn't like to be forced when it doesn't feel like it, which means I end up writing crap. It's a conundrum. On the plus side, I get to use my favorite word!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A-Z Challenge: P Day

Plot. Basically the single most important part of a story. OR IS IT?

I've read lots of books where the plot was freaking amazing. But the writing was so lackluster that I couldn't finish it. Or the characters were so cliche that it wasn't believable and I've always thought, dang. What a waste.

And then there are stories with fabulous writing and the plot isn't so great, but I still love them. So maybe plot isn't all-important. Although to have an incredible story, it makes sense that you need it all - awesome plot, fantastic characters, and incredible writing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A-Z Challenge: N Day

I chose NOW for my letter N day, because I'm hoping if I write about it, I'll take my own advice. Not likely, but here's hoping.

So Feudlings is doing great -- it's on a few Amazon Bestseller lists and I should be thrilled, right? But instead I'm a nervous wreck, waiting for it to fall, praying it will keep climbing. WHY oh WHY can I not just live in this NOW moment and enjoy the fact that Feudlings is reaching lots of readers? Why am I ruining this really fun time?

AND ALSO. NOW, for do it NOW. I'm a total procrastinator. I have two articles for the paper due tonight and I just barely started them. I have a 2,000 word count goal per day and guess when I usually start writing? 11 p.m. Yeah, I'm big on procrastination, and I think I would lots rather be big on NOW. Any ideas? Tips?
PS - I've already started yoga ;)

A-Z Challenge: O Day

Outlines! Creative people are so funny. We might all be writers, but each writer seems to have a completely unique writing process. Some are pantsers, and they sit down and write that story with absolutely no idea where it's going. Some are plotters and they don't even write the first word until every scene is plotted extensively. And then there are those in between who are a mixture of both.

That's where I am. I use an outline, because I like to see where I'm going, but it's a very vague outline. Like, one paragraph for the entire novel. But that brief outline gives me enough that I can work my way through the novel without a lot of deleting useless scenes, while not being so structured that my creatity screams in outrage.

I love to see how different everyone's process is. How do you do it?

Monday, April 15, 2013

A-Z Blogging Challenge: M Day

Today is M day! I'm writing about movies -- as in books that are made into movies.

My favorite books of all time are the Harry Potter series. And I liked the movies quite a bit, although the more they deviated from the book, the less I liked them. BUT it was worth it to see the world J.K. Rowling had created come alive, and I own almost all of them.

I also read the Twilight books. I didn't love them, but I didn't hate them. Until I watched the movies. The actors totally ruined the books for me and now I can't even read a paragraph of any of the books without cringing. Which is uber sad.

SO. My second favorite books of all time (I have lists of everything) are the Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare. They're making them into movies now, and I thought I would be so excited, but turns out I'm just mega-nervous. What if the movies ruin the books for me? I'm not thrilled with some of the casting choices, and I'm really struggling with the decision to see them or not (I have a lot of free time on my hands to stress about these things). What do you think? Stick with the books or venture into the movies?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A-Z Challenge! L Day

So. There's this little thing called LOVE, and people like to write about it. Even more, people like to read about it.

I'm TERRIBLE at romance. Even writing kissing scenes makes me blush, and I'm not a romantic person at all. I'd rather watch Avengers than When Harry Met Sally, and I'm much better at battle scenes that falling-in-love scenes. I've read all kinds of blog posts about it, but I still struggle.

Does anyone else have this same problem? Anyone have tips or tricks?

Friday, April 12, 2013

A-Z Challenge: K Day!

Today I'm writing about KINDNESS because the world needs it, right? Right.

Until I was in the process of publishing my book, I never even thought about my reviews and how they could actually *gasp* hurt someone's feelings. Authors were big rich people who didn't care about stuff like that, right? Umm, no. Now I wish I could go back and erase all those reviews.

But we don't want to lie, because readers want to know! So what are we to do? It's a conundrum (my favorite word ever). I have a new policy -- if I don't love it enough to give it four or five stars, I won't review it. If I do have to review it and I don't love it, I'll focus on what was good about it, because it is someone's baby and just because it wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean it isn't fantastic. Everything about reading is subjective.

AND we can use KINDNESS when we critique others' work. I know critique means we're supposed to find things that need to be fixed, but it also means find the things you love, and point them out. Writers are baring their soul and they need those kind words as well as the critical ones.

FINALLY, be KIND to yourself. We are our own worst critics, right? Yes we are (I am using the right? Right thing a LOT today. I'm not entirely sure why). We NEED to be our own biggest cheerleader. So. Go do that, would ya?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A-Z Challenge! J Day

Today is J day!

My word for the day JOT. Like, JOT down your thoughts. There have been so many times (usually at night when I'm in bed), that I come up with the most fantastic story ideas or plot line or hole-fixer and I think, "That's so awesome, there's no way I'm going to forget that."

And then I do.

However, when it's really important, apparently my subconcious takes over for me. I'm writing a battle unicorn story right now, and one morning I came upstairs to see a whole page of handwritten notes about the white unicorn. I didn't write them before I went to bed. I don't remember writing them. But there they are, in my handwriting. Well played, brain. Well played.

I have friends who carry around small notebooks with them wherever they go. I think that's an awesome idea! I have an app on my smartphone, but it takes me so long to type anything in that I don't even bother. Maybe I'm too old for apps. Who knows.

What kinds of methods do you use to JOT down your ideas/thoughts? Anything I haven't thought of?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A-Z Challenge: I Day

I was going to write about inspiration today, but I think everyone had the same idea, so I'm changing my mind. NOW I shall write about Involving the reader :)

It's probably the most important thing you can do when you write, but how, exactly, does one do it? I don't know. I'm still learning!


I know you can bring the reader into your story by giving them characters they can identify with -- not too perfect, not too evil.


Involve them in the story by bringing in the five senses - Sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, so that they really feel like they're there in the story. Someone once told me, after you write your draft and done your edits, do a sense edit, and add a sense for every. single. page. It takes forever, but I think it really helps.

What about you? Any tips on involving the reader?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A-Z Challenge: H Day!

Every. Single. Day. I scan my brain, trying to come up with writing words for the next day's blog post. Every day I fail. Today is H. I couldn't think of one. And my friends? They came up with TONS. TONS of H words that should have been so obvious to me and weren't.

I'm concerned.

Hero, heroine, Hero's journey, horror, humor. Yeah, I couldn't think of any of those.

I'm choosing horror because I'm just starting a horror story and I'm massively overwhelmed. But I have a fabulous friend, Mercedes, who writes horror and she wrote a whole guest post on it. Check it out here :)

She says it better than I ever could. And now, I am embarking on my horror journey and praying I don't give myself horrible nightmares every night!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A-Z Challange: G Day!

Clearly, I don't know my alphabet. In case you are wondering, the letter G comes after F. E actually comes before F.


Let's start over. Today is G day!
So G is for...Grammar! English has always been my favorite subject. I majored in English. I worked for a publishing company for four years. Do I know my grammar?

Umm. No.

I SUCK at grammar. I've had the rules drilled into my head for YEARS and I still suck. I just can't remember them all. Writing important emails...or just commenting on someone's post on Facebook cause me to have minor panic attacks.

But I still wrote a novel. Four, in fact! The way I survived? I have awesome critique groups. And awesome beta readers. So that by the time my novel got to my editors, they didn't want to strangle me slowly. Were they perfect by then? No. That's why we have editors, because they're brilliant and I am not.

My point is, we all have weaknesses. Don't let them stop you from chasing your dreams!

A-Z Blog Challenge: E Day!

There are a ton of E words in writing. Who knew? I was going to write about ending, because it's kinda important, but then I decided to use efficiency because the way I write? Most inefficient (unefficient?) way EVER.

So I don't format when I write. I don't split it into paragraphs or chapters. I don't do the whole blah blah," said Wendy. I do this: "blah blah." Said Wendy. And then I have to go back and CHANGE THEM ALL. It's a huge pain in the neck, and probably triples the amount of time it takes me to write a novel.

So WHY do I do this? Because that's the way my strange little mind works. If I try to format and remember grammar rules and correct spelling and things like that, it kills the creative side of my brain. It doesn't work for me and I can't write like that...which in reality, would be even more inefficient (unefficient? HELP?) than the way I'm writing now!

What do you think? Can efficient and creative co-exist peacefully?

Book Spotlight - Laura Josephsen's Rising Book 2:Rebellion

So I have this friend, Laura Josephsen. She's brilliant, and I love her to death. Also, she's been working on a fantasy series for years and she just released the second one! I've bought it AND the first one because I'm so excited to read them, and I talked her into visitng my blog to tell us about them! I'm sure you're as excited as I am, so here we go!

Since it's a two-part series, Laura has sweetly offered to tell us about BOTH books, AND book one is on sale right now for .99! I'll post the buy links below. Look, look!

All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.

Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.

And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.

(Book 1 of 2)

By the time an infant's cries pierced the air, the sun was rising and Alphonse was ready to fall over—whether from exhaustion or relief that it had ended, he wasn't sure.
"Alphonse!" his mother called. "Alphonse, I need that knife!"
Alphonse dragged himself to his feet and ran into the house. He located the sterilized knife and took it to the bedroom door. When he knocked tentatively, his mother said, "You can come in. Meet our new neighbor."
Yes, because he wanted to see Nella for the first time in two years after he'd spent half the night listening to her labor pains. "I'd really prefer to stay out here."
The door opened and Alphonse's mother held out her hand for the knife. She looked exhausted, but there was both amusement and happiness on her face. "Very well. Thank you for staying close. You can—"
"Mrs. Redding?" Nella sounded equally exhausted and there was a sudden fear in her tone that made Alphonse's mother turn quickly, the knife in her hand pointed down.
This was the worst thing she could have done, for it gave Alphonse a wide view of the bedroom and the bloodied cloths and sheets. He got a glimpse of Nella on the bed, holding a baby whose umbilical cord hadn't yet been cut. Coupled with the sweat and blood smell wafting from the room, Alphonse's nausea and dizziness overwhelmed him and his vision went black. The next thing he knew, he was opening his eyes from the floor, his glasses pressed uncomfortably against his face.
"Alphonse, are you all right?" his mother asked.
"I'm…unnnghh…" Alphonse scooted backwards out of the bedroom. He must have only been out for a second or two, because the conversation within the bedroom continued as though he had not just fainted like a coward at the sight of blood.
Alphonse pressed his face to his knees and decided maybe he should wait a moment before trying to stand up again. Though his mother might not know it yet, her chances of ever having a grandchild had just dropped to zero percent.
"What are these?" Nella asked. "These bumps on her back…is something wrong with her? Is my baby all right?"
There was a heavy silence, in which Alphonse imagined his mother to be examining the newborn. "Oh," his mother breathed. "Oh, Nella…these aren't bumps."
"Then what are they?" Bryce spoke this time, and he had more dread in his voice than fear, as though he already knew the answer and was afraid to say it.
His mother's reply was so quiet Alphonse almost didn't hear it. "They're wing buds."

Sounds AWESOME, right? Here's the buy links -- Grab it while it's only .99!

AND here's the brand new sequel! 
Lachlan's had a rough summer. First, the girl he shares a painful history with didn't remember him. Then Brenna, the woman he loves, showed up after seven years away and wants nothing to do with him. To top it all off, he almost died with the rest of his people when soldiers invaded his country.
Now the enemy could be using Lachlan's people as assassins. When Brenna leaves to find the truth, Lachlan invites himself along.

As Lachlan struggles to rebuild the trust he lost with Brenna, they unravel the dark secret their enemy has worked long and hard to hide--and its consequences for them are greater than they could have known.

(Book 2 of 2)

The wind blew tendrils of hair that had escaped Brenna's braid into her face. She didn't look at him, but something in her voice caught his attention when she murmured, "Same old Lachlan. Always the dreamer."
Lachlan's gaze fell on her hands, clasping the top of the gunwale so tightly they were white. He reached over and laid his hand on one of hers. Her face tilted up toward his, and her kohl-lined eyes were as tired as they'd been the night he'd woken up in the Viarre encampment.
"It's good to have dreams," he said quietly. "They keep us going."
Brenna's hand remained tense under his and she shook her head slightly. "The only dream I have is taking down King Tristran and his government."
Personally, he saw that as more of a goal than a dream, but he didn't say that. "And after that?"
Brenna laughed harshly. "You're assuming we'll survive this. There have already been so many times we should have died." She pulled her hand out from under his. "Dreaming about anything else only leads to disappointment and heartbreak."
"My life's already been full of both. So has yours." Lachlan turned fully toward her. "Some things are worth the risk of more disappointment and heartbreak."
"How can you say that? What in your life could possibly lead you to believe that?"
"Tegan. Reynold. Adria and Bailey and Ivy. Derrek, Lorelei, Riordan, and Mairwyn." Lachlan leaned toward her. "You."
Brenna leaned in even closer to him and whispered, "Then you're going to be very, very disappointed."
"Because you think you'll end up dead? Or because you think you're not worth the risk of heartbreak and disappointment?"
Brenna's face tightened just a bit and he knew he'd hit on something. She drew back from him. "Forget it, Lachlan. You let go of me in the years I was gone; stop trying to hold on again." She strode toward the ladder that led below deck and scrambled down it.
Lachlan hurried after her. "Brenna, wait."
She ignored him and pushed through their cabin door. He stepped through before she could close it in his face and shut it behind him. The tiny cabin was sweltering, and Brenna yanked the blanket out from under her shirt and threw it on a mat in the corner.
"Brenna." He caught her wrist.
She twisted out of his grasp. "I said forget it."
"I can't." Lachlan spread his arms. "You're wrong, Brenna. I had to accept that you left. I had to accept that I couldn't find you and I had to move on with my life, but even then…even then, I couldn't let go of you."
"Well, you should have." Brenna's voice was low, carefully controlled, but she folded her arms across her chest.
"No! Just shut up! You still don't get it!"
"Then tell me! What don't I get? What?"
"Everything I touch breaks, Lachlan! It dies and bleeds and falls apart. I'm not like you. You grow things and make them come alive, and all I do is destroy anything that matters. I swore I wouldn't let it happen again, I swore I would stay away, and then I had no choice because of Ziphas's weapon. I was prepared for what I might find when I got to Alatia again. I was prepared for you to have settled down and started a family. I was prepared for you to never want to see or speak to me again. The only thing I wasn't prepared for was this." Brenna waved a hand at him. "You, still waiting for me!"


Author Bio:
Laura Josephsen has authored several novels and works as a freelance editor. She likes to listen to music, watch sci-fi shows, and drink coffee. She believes there's no such thing as having too many socks. She lives in Tennessee with her awesome husband, imaginative children, and feisty cats.

Find Laura:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Day of F

I can't say F day. It makes me blush. So we're calling today "DAY OF F". Here's my pretty F picture:

As you may know, I have this little book...called Feudlings. It starts with F! How convenient! Feudlings is the result of two years of blood, sweat, and tears, and then another year of querying that was mostly just a lot of tears. I LOVE my story and I LOVE my characters.

AND, the sequel, Feudlings in Flames, will be out in late July or August. Here's the back cover blurb:

Ari thought being in love with her prophesied nemesis sucked. But being responsible for her best friend's kidnapping? It sucks worse.

Ari and Shane thought they’d beaten Fate and ended the three-hundred year war plaguing their people. They thought love had won. But they were so, so wrong.

Instead of graduating high school like the normals, they’re in a battle to save Charity – Shane’s cousin, Ari's best friend, and the seer who might hold the key to ending the war for good. To do that, they’re forced to accept help from a boy they aren’t even sure they can trust. He’s powerful and knows spells even Ari’s never heard of, but he’s also secretive and has a past he’s determined to keep hidden . Add to that the fact that he has his sights set on Ari, and Shane would rather do without his help.

Ari has bigger problems than mysterious boys and their strange powers. The powerful Edren Family is hunting her brother, and she can't very well save him or Charity while they’re constantly being attacked by her own people. To stop the raids, she has to take the fight to them. But if she starts hunting the family that raised her, what kind of monster will she be?

Fate still waits for the death of one by the hand of the other

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Change of Plans Cover Reveal!!

My amazing friend Donna has a debut novel set to release in June, and I get to be part of the cover reveal! How awesome is that? SOOO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO:


Isn't it GORGEOUS? Doesn't it make you want to read it RIGHT THIS SECOND? Me too. We can't, but I can give you more information! Check it out:

 When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive. 
However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he's navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer.
Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn's fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.

As if that isn't tempting enough, this is the AMAZING book trailer. I ADORE it!

So you can't READ it right this second, but you can add it to your To-Read list on Google here: 

Author Bio:
Donna K. Weaver is a Navy brat who joined the Army and has lived in Asia and Europe. Because she sailed the Pacific three times as a child, she loves cruising and wishes she could accrue enough vacation time to do more of it with her husband.
At fifty, Donna decided to study karate and earned her black belt in Shorei Kempo.
After recording city council minutes for twenty years, Donna decided to write something a little longer and with a lot more emotion--and kissing.
Donna and her husband reside in Utah, they have six children and eight grandchildren who live all over the world.

To find Donna:
Twitter: @TheDonnaKWeaver
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Donna-K-Weaver/417995298257527?ref=ts&fref=ts

A-Z Challenge: E Day!

It's E day! Isn't that awesome? I'm very enthusiastic about E.

Aaaand now I feel like Grover in our Sesame Street alphabet book. SIGH.

There are all sorts of E writing words. Ego, Edge-of-your-seat (okay technically that's four words...work with me here). But I went with EDITING because it's a pretty big part of writing.

And also, it's my arch-nemisis. That and spelling.

Editing is HARD for me. There's no creativity involved. I'm not creating anything, I'm torturing something (not just myself). But no one, at least no one that I know, can write a perfect first draft, which is why editing is nearly as important as writing.

And a story should go through many different edits before it's considered done. Grammar and spelling (particularly if I wrote it), content, story arch, pacing...I honestly believe you can never get your story completely flawless, no matter how many times you go over it. Eventually you'll start doing damage, in my honest opinion, and it's time to let that baby fly!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A-Z Challenge: D day!

D as in the alphabet D, not the OTHER day. Just so we're clear.

So I was stuck trying to think of something writing related that started with D. I asked some writer friends and they gave me a whole list, and now I'm feeling not so brilliant because there are a TON of letter D words: Drama, Description, and Dialogue, for example. I'm picking Dialogue because I really struggled with it when I first started writing, but now it's my very favorite part of creating a story!

Dialogue can be difficult because you have this whole witty thing going on in your head and on paper it seems stilted or unclear. But done well, dialogue can totally transform a story. One of the things that helped me was watching people interact and writing their conversations in my head. I tried to include mannerisms, too, because very rarely do people stand absolutely still and stare at each other while they speak. I try to include that in my writing.

And I read, of course, everything I could find on writing dialogue. I picked up my favorite books and studied how their authors did dialogue. It went from being my least favorite thing to write to my favorite. Now, if only I could find someone to act out my battle scenes for me...

Book Spotlight with Lynn Spangler's Whiskey Whispers of the Past

Today I am spotlighting my fellow Astraea Press Author Lynn Spangler. She just released her new book, Whiskey Whispers of the Past. It looks fantastic! Check it out!


Kendra thought her life was her store; Chance thought his revolved around his addiction. What if they’re both wrong?

Looking for a new start, Chance Daniels moves from hectic, big city living to a small town in South Central Pennsylvania. He decides opening his own music store on Main Street will help him beat the demons of his alcoholism. He discovers the beautiful business owner from across the street may be the lift he needs to beat his addiction. But little does he know that parts of his past unbeknownst to him are about to come to light. Chance receives strange objects in the mail and the woman he falls in love with is nearly run down by a crazed driver.

Kendra Strafford, owner of Strafford’s Candle Creations, finds herself drawn to the tall, handsome man from Los Angeles after starting a standing weekday coffee date with him. She can’t help but fall in love with him, despite his addiction and the strange happenings that seem to surround him.  Her own brush with death only draws her closer to Chance.

Was her accident just an accident or was it part of a more devious scheme arising from Chance’s hidden past and will they overcome the bizarre occurrences besieging them to explore their developing love?


     "I hear someone is looking at the old Donaldson's building."

     Kendra peered out the front window of her candle shop, Strafford's Candle Creations, toward the brick façade of the adjacent building. She saw the local real estate agent and her good friend, Nancy Lewis, walking toward the old structure. The converted row house had once contained Donaldson's Hardware Store, which had been a fixture of Main Street, right across from Kendra's establishment.

     "Oh, yeah? I wonder what business someone would put in there," her assistant Deanna commented.

     Kendra frowned as she sipped the now lukewarm coffee then set the cup on the glass shelf beside her. "I don't know. Rumor has it it's someone new to the area. A guy looking to make a fresh start, from what Nancy told me. She said the buyer told her he needed a change of pace and a new locale. Why he'd end up in such a place as Jonerstown is beyond me. This area isn't known as a hotbed of business like York or Harrisburg."

     "I don't know. Jonerstown is a nice town. Perhaps its charm won him over."

     Kendra nibbled her lip — a habit of hers when deep in thought. "Maybe." A quick glance at her watch indicated it was nearly time to open the shop. "How's our merchandise looking? Do we need to restock anything?"

     "No, we're good. I took care of that chore last night while you were in the dungeon replenishing our inventory."

     Kendra stepped to the counter, which was tucked in the back corner of the sales floor. "Really? A dungeon? Where I come from it’s commonly called a basement. Hand me the duster. It's time to open and I haven't completed the dusting yet."

     Glancing around her shop, she surveyed the three rows of gleaming glass shelves filling two walls of the sales floor. Floor units graced the center of her shop, reflecting the brilliance of the morning sun against the ceiling of the store. The shelves were stocked with candles in a vast array of sizes, shapes, colors, and scents. She inhaled, marveling at the combination. Oh, how she loved the fruits of her labor. Every day her wares brought a feeling of warmth and pride.

     She strode to the storefront, unlocked the door, flipped the Closed sign to Open, and went about dusting the shelves while rearranging a candle or two along the way.

     "Wow. You've got to see the guy meeting up with Nancy."

     Kendra spun around, gazed out the window again, and was greeted by a pleasant surprise. The man shaking Nancy's hand stood about six feet tall at a guess. He was dressed in well-worn blue jeans and a black t-shirt that fit snugly over his arms and chest. "Hmm. At least we'll have some eye candy to stare at. He reminds me of a boxer with the trim, muscular build."

     "I like the spiky hair sticking out in every which direction. Too bad we couldn't see his face."

      Yeah, too bad. The body is killer.

Author Bio:

I live in South Central Pennsylvania with my wonderful, loving husband and my beautiful daughter. I also have a son who is currently serving in the U.S. Navy. I have a cat named Kolzig and a dog named Cede who allow us to live with them.
I love to write and read. I also make jewelry when the mood strikes. I'm a huge sports fan. I love football, NASCAR, and hockey. I'm also a bit of a game show freak. I love old game shows from the 70's and 80's like Match Game and $25,000 Pyramid. Television shows like Criminal Minds and The Voice are also favorites of mine.

Buy links:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A-Z Challenge - Letter C

It's C day! C is one of my favorite letters -- Two of my kids' names start with C. But that's not what I'm talking about today :)

So. Since I'm not talking about my children, I'll talk about something else dear to my heart -- critique groups! I tried to write Feudlings without one. It didn't go well. There are things that I just don't see in my own writing, even if I can see them everywhere else (stupid things, like to and too. I KNOW these things, but when I'm writing, not so much. And when I'm editing my own writing? Even less). Having outside eyes who are in a similar boat as you is sooo helpful when you're writing. 

My critique group have become so much more to me than that. They're all very good friends and an awesome support group as well. I'd be lost without them!

Book Spotlight by Rose Gordon!

USA Today Bestselling Author Rose Gordon has a brand new book scheduled to release Friday, April 5, 2013. To celebrate, I'm sharing an excerpt from the book. Enjoy!
Her lavender dress appeared to be well-taken care of. It didn't have any signs of wear or stitches where it had been mended, even if it was plain with no lace or frippery.
Say, how is it that you managed to keep your dress so nice while traveling all the way here?”
I do own more than one gown.”
He frowned. “I never suggested otherwise.”
Yes, you did. You asked how I managed to keep my dress so nice while traveling, thus implying it is the only gown I own.”
He blinked at her. Beautiful, tart-tongued, mindful of her appearance and intelligent, she was a combination that could prove deadly to a gentleman's pride, to be sure. “You arrived with nothing more than that dress and bonnet and the papers in your hands. What was I supposed to think? That you'd already had all of your earthly possessions moved into Watson Estate last week?”
She didn't so much as frown at his sarcastic remark. “Perhaps I should have done that.” She lifted her hand to stare down at her flawlessly manicured fingers. “Instead, my items are being delivered to your cottage right now, I expect.”
Henry pulled the horses to a halt. “I beg your pardon.”
She lowered one hand then brought the other up for inspection. “My things, they're being delivered to your cottage. Since it's you I'm marrying and not your brother, there's no reason to have them delivered to his house.”
Henry tried not to grind his teeth but could help it no longer when she shrugged and dropped her hand as casual as could be.
Where are we going?” she asked, her hand clutching the fabric of her skirt as if it were a lifeline.
Back to the house,” Henry bit off. He steered their horses into a large patch of thick green grass and then turned them in a slow circle, heedless to how much it jostled Her Highness as she sat mounted atop Lightning as if she were a queen waiting to be presented before all of her subjects.
There's no need to rush back. I'm sure Brutus and Alfred have it well in hand.”
He was bloody sure they did, but he didn't want her things in his house. He came to an abrupt halt. “Do you plan to spend your nights in my house—and in my bed—too?”
Absolutely not.” She lifted her chin a notch. “I am still a lady. I shall sleep at the main house until our wedding, but there was no sense in moving all of my things twice.”
Or once. The next time he saw Elijah, he was going to box his ear for this. “Won't you need your clothes—” The rest of his sentence died on his tongue as a truly wicked thought formed in his mind. “Perhaps it's for the best your things are being moved to my lodgings and not Alex's house. As it would be, Alex and his wife, Caroline, are in London right now, leaving Watson Estate with a skeleton staff and no lady's maids. At least if you stay with me, I can help you dress each morning.”
If that's what you think you need to do.”