Category Archives: Books

posts directly related to books that I’m currently writing, or have published/in the process of publishing

Short Story Contests

Recently—not like I don’t have anything better to be doing (like working on DH or the IPS sequel, etc…)—I’ve been delving into the world of short story contests. It started sort of as an extension of the writing classes that I took via Coursera last year, where, at least for a period of time, I had relatively short deadlines in which to write a somewhat cohesive story (or fragment thereof). I also liked the idea of potentially getting some direct feedback on my writing, which not all contests provide but some do, so it’s definitely a great perk (almost better than winning, in some cases) if you can find those that offer it.

In any case, the first one I did was the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2019, in which they send you a set of parameters (genre/subject/character) and from there you have a specific length of time to hit your wordcount and submit. In the first round we had eight days to produce a 2,500 word short story. My group got sci-fi/summer school/fork-lift operator to work with—which was pretty much universally met with cries of anguish from all involved, and at least one other participant (in another group) actually chose my story as her favorite “making due with terrible prompts.” Unfortunately, I didn’t make it past the first round, which to be fair, I didn’t really expect to, but I did get some really great feedback from my judges. So, especially given that it was my very first time submitting, I wasn’t too disappointed.

Undaunted, I decided to try the Spring 24-Hour Short Story Contest, which—like it says on the tin—gives you one single day to write and submit your story. The topic and max wordcount is unknown until the day of the contest so you can’t cheat. In this particular case we had 925 words or less with which to write our masterpieces. There (literally) aren’t enough words to express to you how hard that was for me to accomplish. I was initially WAY over my wordcount and it was rough cutting everything down while still maintaining the the emotion and detail and cohesive plot (on the given topic). But, not only did I manage it… I just found out that though I still didn’t win, I did make Honorable Mention this time!!!!

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Anyway, I promise I am still working on my major projects (slowly but surely), however at the same time, I’m finding that doing these contests is a fun way to keep the creative juices flowing. All while (hopefully) helping to make myself a better writer!!

If you know of any other short story contests, feel free to post about them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ones!!

*Happy June!*

 

IPS Sequel Contest

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted their guesses over the last month as to who might be featured in a sequel to In Plain Sight. As I feared, no one got the right answer–and to be fair it was kind of a trick question to begin with–but still it was great to see all the wonderful ideas you all had. Though I’m still not ready to announce the actual answer (I really don’t want to spoil the surprise), all who submitted were entered into the drawing, as promised. The winners were chosen randomly and have been sent their free audiobook codes. If anyone has any issues redeeming their codes, please let me know.

Happy February!! 🙂

 

Contest Reminder

I know the new year is starting out a bit rough for a lot of folks, so if you are one of the ones for whom things are going well (and especially if you’ve been having an awesome year so far), maybe look for ways to help those who don’t have it so great right now.

In the meantime, don’t forget that you have until January 31st, 2019 (11:59pm PST) to submit your guess via the Contact page for which character from In Plain Sight you think will be the focus of the planned sequel (and why). The first 5 people to correctly guess will win a free audio version of In Plain Sight. Winners will be notified and receive their Audible promo code by February 4th, 2019. If no one gets the right answer (and honestly, the right answer isn’t as easy to guess as one might think), I will randomly draw 5 names from everyone who submits. You can find the original contest post here.

Happy guessing!! 🙂

PS… on the subject of reminders – if you’ve read IPS and absolutely loved it please consider taking a couple minutes to review it on Amazon or Goodreads (or both). I would really appreciate it!

Dream Big in the New Year

Happy New Year

2018 was a super exciting year for me. Getting In Plain Sight out into the world was a dream come true and I’m thankful to all of you who stuck with me along that journey. It took a while, but we did it!!

Looking to 2019, I’m really hoping to have Darkharte, if not published by the end of the year, at the very least I want to have a finished manuscript. Considering how long it took me to get IPS whipped into shape, I know it’s ambitious, but it’s a goal. And it’s a good time of the year to make dreams and set our goals.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I also have a possible sequel to In Plain Sight simmering around in my brain. It’s in the very early stages, and it will be a while before I’m in the right place to work on it, but it’s there and I think you’ll like it. I’d never thought to write a sequel (or even considered that IPS needed a sequel), but then this idea plopped into my head fully formed and it wouldn’t go away. So a little funsies for the New Year, now through January 31st, 2019 (11:59pm PST), use the Contact page to send me your guess as to which character from In Plain Sight might merit their own book and why. The first 5 people to correctly guess will win a free audio version of In Plain Sight. Winners will be notified and receive their Audible promo code by February 4th, 2019. If no one gets the right answer, I will randomly draw 5 names from everyone who submits a guess.

On that note, I wish you all a blessed New Year. Be kind – not only to others, but to yourself as well. Dream lofty dreams and even if you don’t fully realize them this year, remember that each step you take puts you that much closer to making those dreams a reality. So don’t be afraid to take baby steps, and if you stumble along the way, that’s ok, get back up and keep going. Ask for help if you need it. Life is a journey and we are all in this together. And together we can all do amazing things!!

Last Minute Holiday Sale: In Plain Sight

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It’s that most wonderful time of the year and to celebrate In Plain Sight is just 99 cents* now through December 27th!!!

 

In Plain Sight

 

So if you’ve been waiting to buy your very own copy or maybe you’ve still got a few last minute gifts to buy (it’s ok, we’ve all been there XD) – either way… now is the perfect time!!

Don’t forget, the audio version of In Plain Sight is now available as well!! You can find it on Audible,  Amazon and iTunes. Also, if you sign up for a trial of Audible you can get it for free!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!!!

🙂

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* Applies to the Kindle version in the US and UK markets.

A Little Holiday Freebie

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Simple Musings is available now through December 19th on Kindle – FOR FREE!!  

Simple Musings

 

Simple Musings is an eclectic collection of poetic thoughts on love and loss, life and death, nature, spirituality and so much more. If you need motivation, a little pick-me-up, or just need to relate – this is the poetry book for you!

 

It’s a little angsty in places, but given that almost everything in it was written a very long time ago, that’s to be expected. I think we were all a little angsty at that age. XD

Anyway, just spreading a little holiday cheer! Enjoy!!

PS… Don’t forget that In Plain Sight is now available on audio via AudibleAmazon, and iTunes. If you sign up for a trial of Audible you can get it for free!! Also, just a heads up, the Kindle version of In Plain Sight will be on sale for just 99 cents from December 21st through December 27th. So if you’ve been waiting for the right time to pick up a copy – this is your chance!!

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Just in Time for the Holidays: Audio

In Plain Sight audio

 

I got word today that the audio version of In Plain Sight has been released!!! It will be available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. If you sign up for a trial of Audible you can get it for free!!

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.

In any case, please enjoy!!

Writer Road Trip: Research

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.

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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!!

 

Being a Busy Little Bee

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!!

Well, that’s it for now. Happy writing!! 🙂