Born and raised primarily in Northern Virginia, my family and I moved to North Carolina in 2006. Married for over 20 years, my husband and I have two boys and a gaggle of cats.
For me, writing is a great stress reliever. I can let my mind wander and let my emotions run free in a way that is generally not possible in my normal everyday life. My writings run the gamut in terms of style and genre – for instance my first novel is a historical romance set in the Civil War, but some of the other things I have in the works are fantasy or thrillers, among other things.
It probably goes without saying, but my poetry is somewhat eclectic in nature, and again while some may feel the need to stick with a particular form, I tend to write just whatever comes to mind. Let the winds of inspiration lead me on…
I’m always interested in comments and feedback. So please feel free to share your thoughts with me!
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I’m really excited that I was able to get an audio version of my book produced. Not only because there are those of us who like to listen to books while we do other things – work, drive, or do other creative endeavors. But also because I like the idea of having books (and all the wonderful stories within them) be accessible to as many people as possible, even those who are visually impaired or have some other disability that makes reading difficult.
Unfortunately I’m not going to hit my NaNo goal this year, and even though that’s kind of a bummer, I’m still not overly upset about it. Not only did manage to more than double what I started with on my DarkHarte first draft, but I was also able to connect most of the dots, in terms of getting from the beginning to the end. There’s still a lot more to do, but I have a much better idea of what that entails, so overall I’m pretty pleased even if I’m not quite where I wanted to be.
Though I had to go out of town last minute (hence not hitting my writing goals), I did manage to make a cool writing related stop along the way. I realized, as I was driving that I’d be going through Richmond, VA and that it wouldn’t be out of my way to stop at the site of the Chimborazo Hospital. Though none of the original buildings exist, the site does have a museum with info about the original hospital, as well as some of the other Civil War hospitals in the area.
By this point, you may be asking yourself what this has to do with anything. Fair enough question, to be sure. XD But the truth is that I’m considering a sequel to In Plain Sight. It’s only in the very early planning stages – as in I have a couple thoughts swimming around in my brain and that’s about it – but whenever I do get around to putting some words on paper, Chimborazo will feature prominently in at least part of it.
What was cool about stopping and, really, I’m so glad I did, is that I not only got to see the site, but I also got to talk to the gentleman on staff there and was able to run some of my thoughts by him. It’s one thing to think, well… I’m going to do this in my book and since it’s far enough removed from the actual time period, no one will ever know if it could really have happened that way or not. But in talking it out with him today, he confirmed that what I was thinking about was totally a possible scenario. YAY!!
He also pointed me to A Southern Woman’s Story by Phoebe Yates Pember, who was one of the chief matrons at the hospital. I’m looking forward to reading it, as it will also provide additional context for some of the things I have planned.
If by now you are also wondering exactly which character from IPS is sequel worthy… I’m not telling. At least not yet!! But you are welcome to guess.
Anyway… here’s some other pictures from my research trip. It was informative and a lot of fun.
PS… I’m still waiting word for when the audio version of In Plain Sight will be released. I’ll let you know as soon as I get the details, but it should be out just in time for last minute gift giving!!
Know it’s been a bit quiet on the homefront, but honestly if it’s November, most of us a NaNo-ing anyways, right?!
With that in mind, I’ve been making good progress on getting a full first draft of my next book – DarkHarte – completed. It’s a fantasy and you can read a brief excerpt here. Those dreaded middle sections are the bane of my existence, but I’m slogging my way through and have every confidence that I will get it done.
In other exciting news, I’ve just received word that the audio version of In Plain Sight is done!!! Once it’s been through the final review process it will be available through Audible and on iTunes. I’m hoping that it will be out before Black Friday, but either way it will be ready before the Holidays. As soon as it’s live, I will let you all know!!
I had an absolutely awesome time at the Holly Springs Book Festival yesterday. Want to give a huge shoutout to my fellow Romance Writers panelists, Amie Knight and Reese Ryan. We had so much fun, and I am so glad to have met you both!
This festival is annual, so if you live in the Raleigh area, definitely look out for next year’s event. You won’t want to miss it!
It’s a solid 3-Stars and overall very positive, along with some very good feedback that I absolutely appreciate. Some of the issues were things that I was aware of – a general use of more casual/modern language in places (and that was a choice I made, even knowing it would likely be an issue for some), while others were things that, quite honestly, I just missed, even though I was careful about researching particular things.
I will probably make a separate FAQ page as time goes by, but for now, I wanted to address some things just to clarify for myself (and anyone else who might have been wondering), but also, particularly for the things I missed – so I know to do better next time!
To start – though it was not a common name, and to be sure it was more often seen as a surname, Rylee as a name is not a completely modern thing. At least not according to my search through Ancestry records of the mid-1800s. In Ry’s case, it was her mother’s family name that her father, in his grief, decided would make a great baby name for his newborn daughter as a way to honor his wife.
While I did spend quite a bit of time looking up individual words to ensure that they were not too out of place – I missed “mantra” completely. I can honestly say I didn’t even think twice about it as I was writing it, or any of the numerous times that I read back over it in the various editing phases. The same goes for “kudzu.” That stuff is all over the place and it never occurred to me that it hasn’t always been that way. But I learned something new, so today is a good day!! XD
I really can’t tell you all how much I value thoughtful, specific feedback like this, because no matter how much we, as authors, think we’ve covered all our bases, there’s always stuff we’ve missed (and I will endeavor to be much more detailed in the future). But if our awesome readers don’t tell us – we might never know. So please – and this isn’t just for In Plain Sight (or any other of my books to come) but for anything you read past or future from other authors – when you read something, especially if you really like it, write a review. Be enthusiastic about what you liked, but if there are issues, don’t be afraid to mention what things didn’t quite work for you. For my books, if there is something truly glaring that you come across, you can also always message me if you don’t want to leave negative public feedback.
I was browsing through the reviews I’ve done for others over the years, and realized that I actually haven’t done that many, which is a travesty because I do read frequently. Not quite as voraciously as I used to, but still… the lack of reviews I’ve done is pretty appalling. I aim to fix that and I want to challenge my readers to do the same. Especially for books that you really like and/or authors who are not as well known, your review can make a difference to other readers who are considering reading that book. So if you’ve got thoughts about a book, be sure to share them and encourage others to do the same!!
Every single one of you amazing people who have bought a copy of Ry and Eli’s story, or who have read it via Kindle Unlimited – Thank You so, so much! Honestly, you ROCK so freaking hard!! I don’t even have words…
For those of you who might be on a tight budget, but still want to read In Plain Sight… I invite you to check out the Kindle Unlimited program.
The first month is free, and if you don’t like it you can always cancel. But if you read a lot, it’s a great way to access a ton of books for a fairly decent price (after your trial, KU is only $9.99 a month). Once you sign up, you can go to the page for In Plain Sight, and click on “read for free.”
Don’t have a Kindle reader… that’s ok too. Because there is an official Kindle reading app from Amazon that makes it super easy to take your entire library with you, wherever you go. It’s free and available for most devices (phones, tablets, computers, etc…).
It’s official – both the Kindle version (currently $3.99) and the physical copies (currently $9.98) of In Plain Sight have been released!!! I’ll be hanging out tonight on Facebook if anyone wants to drop by and celebrate with me. Currently, it’s only available on Amazon, however, in the coming weeks it will likely be available in other places, though at a slightly higher price (due to things that are completely out of my control).
Once you read Ry and Eli’s story, please let me know what you think, not only Amazon reviews (which are always welcome), but feel free to message me here or on FB. I am already aware of some minor formatting issues with the Kindle version, and though I’ve pushed a quick fix for some of them, I am working on a full re-formatting. So hopefully that will be up soon, once I’m done fiddling with it.
When I announced that I was releasing my book on August 7th, some who know me may have questioned the date. The fact is, it’s generally a pretty shitty day. One that I, given a choice, would rather spend wrapped like a burrito in bed, doing my best to ignore the rest of the world. This year, however, I wanted to do something different. Something that would make it a better day.
My mother was always one of my biggest supporters in life – no matter what. She was always there for me. That ended 20 years ago when Al Qaeda targeted the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. I’m told that she helped save lives, right up to the last moment before everything went to hell. And honestly, that’s exactly the sort of person that she was, so it’s not surprising to me in the slightest. But the gods themselves know how much I miss her and that each year that goes by, doesn’t really change that. Hence, me adopting my queen of the blanket burritos persona, at least once a year.
But this year, when I realized where things with the book were in relation to being completed and when I might actually be able to get everything ready for publishing – it was hard to miss how close it was to the date. I’d used said day as a moment of significance in the book as well, so it was really impossible resist taking a much needed chance to make a positive change.
And so, I dedicate the release of my debut novel, In Plain Sight, to my mother. Who never got a chance to read it, but absolutely would have loved it nonetheless. She was an avid reader, and among other things, instilled her love of reading in me as well. I would not have made it far in life without her, and the gaping void that was left with her passing has been really hard to fill. Not that I expect it ever will be, but at the very least, I can do this one thing to make things just a little better.
Anyway… thank you for allowing me to be a bit maudlin for a moment. I will post again a bit later today after the book goes live. For now I leave you with a poem from Simple Musings (which to be honest, is mostly filled with angsty poetry from my younger days, but there’s a few, like this one, that were written for my mom, as well)…
A tearing hole
So deep inside
A pain so real
I just can’t hide
A gaping void
Within my heart
Tears me apart
The silent tears
I shed each night
A silent rage
I have to fight
A light so bright
That now is dark
I long to see
One tiny spark
As memories fade
My heart clings on
Knowing that you
Forever are gone