It seems like just last week when we ushered in 2022 collectively hoping it would be better than the previous years. Personally, this year was full of much growth, learning, and healing on a personal level. I've set and met my goals, read a lot of books, attended therapy, managed my health and wellness, and overall tried to do better. Some of that energy carried into my professional life, which has helped me make new connections and grow my network, which is so important in the indie author world. I've been so thankful to have met some wonderful people who are so fucking talented it's insane! I'm learning so much about this new bookish world—although I'm still behind the curve a bit.
As far as 2023, I've got plans! Currently, I'm working on a revised version of my bestselling Legacy of Secrets series. It will be completely rebranded, reimagined, and rereleased. If you read LoS, you'll be familiar with the characters and some of the story, but the new version is darker, grittier, and spicier than the last and I'm stoked about it, if I'm being honest. While it's been a labor of love, I'm committed for this version to be the last, which means the series will finally have a conclusion after all these years! *crosses fingers*
I also plan to have Falling Undercover revamped and released, though it will remain largely the same apart from new editing and some added scenes. This is currently being reviewed with my publisher and once it's been completed, the new version will be available first on KDP and then widely through retailers. The sequel, Loving Undercover, will follow later next year and there may possibly be a third installment, though that is still TBA as I'm not sure how far Kris and Joe's story will go!
Shifter Tales will also be getting a bit of a face lift as NLM works through my catalog of books. Currently, there are about seven novels/novellas planned for the series, Thea's Reawakening will be the first to be released and Layla's Vindication will follow. Several more titles will be added between 2023 and 2024. Updates will be in my newsletter.
There are so many more projects in the works that I can't wait to announce, but they're not quite ready for that stage just yet! Once I get the green light to discuss future projects, I'll spill the beans because I can't wait to tell everyone! I really hope you all will be as excited as I am!
I'll be posting again soon (no seriously, I will!)
Back in 2008, I made the leap to self-publishing my very first book, Cursed Secrets. Independent publishing was hard - like really hard back then. To be taken seriously as an indie author, one had to make it look like the book was published by one of the "Big 6" houses–this meant professional covers, editing, formatting, etc. It took a lot of work, money, blood, sweat, and tears to make an indie book thrive. There were some who made it and were rock stars to the rest of us because it showed we could do it, too. I thought I could. I was well on my way to a career I'd always wanted, but life got in the way big time.
A little over 10 years later, and I've not accomplished nearly what I thought I would, which is okay. I've had a lot happen in 10 years that has made me into who I am, but that also means I have to face the things I didn't get the chance to accomplish before. As in, I need to realize that while I did publish a book, as I'd always dreamt, I didn't fully realize the potential and so I did myself a disservice. Now, I'm taking control over that dream and recreating it into my current reality. So, in the coming months, I'll be releasing new anniversary editions of all the Legacy of Secrets books, including some new titles never before released!
All Legacy of Secrets books will be available for preorder soon! Keep an eye on the upcoming newsletters and social media to learn when you can order your copies of the new versions. Previous versions of LoS have been removed from Amazon and will not be available for purchase/download until the new versions are available.
Rest assured, you'll fall in love with the characters all over again! Are you ready for a new book boyfriend/girlfriend? Be careful what you ask for. ;)
Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get these types of updates before ANYONE ELSE!!
So one common thought or point made by nearly every author I've ever met is that one must read a lot to write a lot. I have to say that for the most part, this is true. Sometimes, ideas just come to you, whether you've been reading or not. Other times, you get stuck in a reading rut - much the same as with writer's block. How do you rectify this? For me, I go back to one of the novels that I read when I was at one of the lowest points of my life that helped me to cope. The story in and of itself did little to aid me, but rather the act of reading and finding an outlet so my mind didn't linger on all of the worst parts was what saved me.
That novel, was Twilight.
Now I know, you're thinking I'm crazy, but it's true. You see, back in 2007, my marriage had fallen apart, I was five months pregnant, and also had a two-year-old. I had just turned 20 years old. I was at a loss as to how to pull myself back together and I couldn't quite figure out how I had messed my life up so badly, which now would affect my children. I was in a pretty dark and scary place. At the time, I didn't recognize the years of emotional and mental abuse I'd endured because it was all too fresh and I even held out hope that we could work things out so my boys didn't grow up in a broken home, but as time went on, I realized that we were better off, for the most part.
So where does Twilight come in? Honestly, it wasn't until after the first movie came out that I decided to read the books, and I'm so glad I did. You see, the movies by comparison were total shit - apart from the very last Breaking Dawn (I don't care - you can fight me on this). Anyway, when I read the first book, I realized how much more substance there were to the characters than what was portrayed in the movie and I loved it! I ended up reading all of the books in about ten days. The hardest for me to read was New Moon, but only because it brought me face-to-face with my abandonment issues. I was trying to hard to ignore the deeper issues I harbored after my divorce, but it was after reading that book I realized just how much of a hollow shell I had become.
It wasn't that any part of the story really spoke to me, but rather the emotions (yes, Bella has emotions in the books) that were portrayed during that time. I had felt everything that Bella felt and then some. I knew what it was like to be numb. I knew what it was like to feel like the abyss was swallowing me a little more each day. It was Hell. It was my life. But I wasn't alone in my fight. I had two babies to care for who depended on me for everything. I had been lost in the magnitude of what that meant and I couldn't figure out what I needed to do or how I could push forward. I was lucky most days to get out of bed.
While it was true that I had met the man that is now my husband during that time, I still had a lot of healing to do and we both suffered for it. He was eager to step in and help me with my children, but I was apprehensive and frankly afraid of what would happen to my heart if I gave it license again to feel. It was one of the hardest decisions I'd ever made because I was terrified of what could happen. We've been together 11 years now, but the first few years were definitely rough, to say the least. But I digress.
After reading New Moon and dealing with those repressed feelings, I was able to really and truly feel deeply again. As I read through the other novels, I was laughing and smiling and crying right along with the characters and it felt good. For so long, I was locked in a sinking ship and I had finally found something to cut me loose.
Now that I've moved past that time in my life, if I find myself in a rut or if I need to jump start my reading again, I usually turn to Twilight. Honestly, it's not about the book, but rather the journey it takes with you. I have found myself reading Harry Potter again, as well, but mostly that's when my kids leave theirs lying around and I don't have anything else to do. For me, Twilight helped to kick start my heart and it serves the same purpose for my mind.
Is there a special relationship you have with a novel? Do you have any tricks you use to get your mojo back? Drop a line and give me some pointers!
Hey, hey, hey!
Don't mind me, I'm lame...
So last week I was a bit under the weather, but I did manage to finish my next release! Thea's Reawakening is in editing currently (as my independent beta readers are working on it right now) and I'm hoping to release it in the coming weeks. I've got some graphics to be drafted shortly and then I'll be off to publish! Keep an eye out on social media for updates!
I posted a new episode of my story podcast today. My goal is to post a few chapters every Monday and even have some guests! My next guest is a good friend and beta reader, Julie O'Dell. She's an avid reader and loves all things literary. We're going to talk about some of my books, some of her favorites, and just some general bookish nonsense! I'll post more as we hammer out the deets.
A little secret...I'm not very interesting. I work a lot and kill a lot of time doing nothing or I'm spending time with my family. Writing and reading tends to be difficult sometimes. However, I'm working on my half-year resolution by writing an hour a day. It's hard, but as soon as I'm done with this post, I'll be cracking out some words (hopefully). Do you have any writing or time management tips? I'm all ears! Drop me a line and let me know what your secrets are!!
...til next time!
What makes your heart race?
What makes your legs weak?
What makes your palms sweat?
What makes your stomach feel like it's full of butterflies?
A convincing romance answers these questions, or at least challenges them. Not all love stories are "love at first sight" or "a universal love". I actually prefer the kind that makes the characters experience real issues that couples often face. No relationship is perfect. Falling in love is the easy part, but choosing to continue to love is where you have to put the work in. There isn't any justice given to love and relationships if the nuances are ignored.
Even when writing fantasy or sci-fi, faking the love story is very noticeable. The characters aren't relateable and the story suffers because the story just isn't believable. You can create a new world without the romance, but if you add the romance, at least make it seem real.
That being said, the love scenes in my books are not catered to my readers, sorry to say. Those love scenes are catered to the characters and how they react to one another. Two characters who are deeply in love may have a passionate encounter while two who are acquaintances may not. The chemistry is the biggest factor that sets the tone for the scene. I can definitely say that the sex isn't gratuitous, either. If the characters in my story are having sex, it's because they are either coming to a romantic milestone or progressing their intimacy.
RULE OF THUMB - if the sex doesn't progress the story, you don't need it.
Anyway, I hope I've made you think. Comment below if you have anything to add!
I'm a writer, a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter. My journey as a published author is in full swing and I'm inviting all my friends along for the ride!