Tag Archives: historical fiction

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!! 🙂

 

 

NCWN: Open Mic

A huge thank you to the North Carolina Writers’ Network for hosting the Open Mic event last night. I had a great time sharing my work and listing to other authors as they shared theirs.

The entire Open Mic is available to listen to below. And though I absolutely hate hearing my own voice, you can to listen to me reading an except of In Plain Sight starting around 49:30.

Enjoy!!

Reviews and FAQs

I got my first official Amazon review!!!

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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!!

 

How to Read In Plain Sight for Free

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.

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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…).

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In Plain Sight – Now Available

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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.

Anyway… ENJOY!!!

🙂

 

Final Countdown…

One More Day
As much as I love Les Mis, I really needed a little Eliot and Margo singing today!

This is it!! In Plain Sight will be officially released tomorrow!! Have I mentioned how excited I am? Well… I’M EXCITED!!!!!

But also nervous, of course. So once you read it, please leave a review and let me know what you think of it. I hope you love Ry and Eli’s story as much as I do.

The Kindle version will definitely be available tomorrow (not sure if it will automatically poof from pre-order to available right at midnight or if there is some sort of lag involved), and physical copies should follow soon after (well… as soon as my lazy butt gets out of bed and pushes the publish button). Whether they will be available the same day or not, I don’t know, but generally within a day or so at the most, I would think.

🙂

 

 

The Marketing Process: Book Trailers

(the part where I share my epic fails so hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes)

I got a wild hair up my butt the other night (after watching a trailer for particularly interesting looking book) and thought that it would an absolutely FABULOUS idea for me to make a book trailer for In Plain Sight. I mean, how freaking cool would that be?!!!

I will fully admit that I was overly excited and totally didn’t think any of this through before I sent off the request to the random guy on FIVRR (who had the highest number of positive reviews). The first mistake, besides my failure to employ any sort of critical thinking skills, was choosing “expedited delivery” – meaning I wanted this bad boy in my hands within 24 hours. I mean, really this is what this person does, how hard could it be? (I know, I know… I’m an ass. It’s super freaking hard to do it right. But… EXCITEMENT!!!)

Bless his heart, he tried. And though I really wanted to be mad, as I watched the first video he sent me in a kind of horrified silence (the burning roses were particularly delightful… NOT), I realized almost instantly that it was entirely my fault. I mean, yeah, it was a total travesty, but at the same time, given the difficulty of what I was actually asking for, it was probably about the best he could do in less than a day. So being pissed wasn’t an option and I briefly considered just accepting the video as it was and writing the whole thing off as “lesson learned.” Because one of the things I finally realized – harsh light of day and all that – is that trying to come up with a video to accurately represent the Civil War era (in particular), along with the other elements of my story, on a minuscule budget (I’m cheap so sue me), all in less than 24 hours, is nearly impossible. So I’d totally set him up for failure. Oops, my bad.

However, I did have some revisions built into my “contact” (such that it was) so as a last-ditch, I contacted him and was like, ok, I’m so sorry but… ummm… that’s not really what I was looking for. I followed that with a laundry list of more specific feedback, and a few things that I probably should have included the first time I messaged him. What?! Pretty sure we’ve already established that it was late and I wasn’t thinking! XD Thankfully, he agreed to do some editing without adding any additional charges. Whew!

The finished product still isn’t necessarily near to an idealized version of what I might have wanted, though honestly, I think that would have been difficult to pull off even with a decent budget – short of actually making my own mini-movie, which obviously isn’t something I’m able to do at this time – but at least it does get the point across.

Anyway, let me know what you think of it.

The moral of the story though, is it’s definitely worth it to take the extra time to fully think through your projects before rushing to get them completed. No matter how excited you are, if you fail to cover all your bases in the beginning, odds are you will be disappointed in the end. 😉