Finally, the Pirate News!

After that super downer of a post, I want to make a happy announcement!

treasured Love coverRemember when I kept saying I was working on a pirate project? I’m pleased to finally announce that my novella, At Her Pleasure, is going to be a part of a pirate-themed box set, Treasured Love, which will be released this November!

This box set is going to feature some very talented ladies, many of which are bestselling authors, and a ton of new stories. I’m really excited to be a part of it and I hope you’ll pick yourself up a copy when it comes out. I’ll give out a little more information when we get closer to our release date, but until then, here’s our gorgeous cover, done by the very talented Victoria Miller!

It’s also available to preorder on Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes! Amazon links will come a bit later but if you use one of these platforms, be sure to preorder now!

Kobo Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/treasured-love-1

B&N Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124194041

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The Struggle

I’ve been pretty silent recently, due mostly to the fact that I’ve been a little depressed. As I said before, Booktrope’s closing has been really rough on me. Without resources to self-publish The Detective’s Brother, it leaves me with no books available to promote or sell and no means to go forward self-publishing on my own with any degree of professionalism. As much as I would like to put out my own work, the fact remains that I just can’t afford it.

Our family’s circumstances have changed dramatically in the months since Booktrope closed, and part of the reason I went with Booktrope in the first place was because I didn’t have the money or resources to self-publish on my own. Now that we’re in an even worse place financially (temporarily, I hope!), I’m stuck with a lot of work that may or may not ever see the light of day.

I do have a couple of publishers I would like to submit work to, but to submit Detective’s Brother to them I need to have it free and clear from my Booktrope obligations and right now I don’t have the money to do that. I’m looking to submit Turn the Page to a small publisher as well but I need to finish editing it first. I’ve got so much to do and zero motivation to do it.

It doesn’t help that I see friends who have been able to turn their Booktrope titles around and self-publish them having success because I know that if I had the money to do what they have, I might be in a different place. Instead I’m back to where I started before I was ever picked up by the now-defunct Sinnful E-Books.

I envy people who say they’ve never considered giving up on writing. I’m not saying I’m giving up, but this is the sort of thing that makes me want to curl up in a corner and never touch a computer again.

I’m tired. Just tired.

Book Review: Duma Key (Part Two)

duma key

As I said before, I consider the second half of the book to be after Edgar’s art show. The action starts pretty quickly after that fateful night and, like many of King’s books, once the endgame starts it moves fast.

Once the paintings and sketches are sold, the people who bought them are in danger and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of those people die. One of them, however, pushes Edgar past his breaking point and he takes Wireman and Jack to the original Heron’s Roost to find and defeat the evil that has woken up again.

The ruin of Elizabeth Eastlake’s childhood home is creepy in and of itself, but the creatures that live in the overgrown jungle around it make it all the creepier. Birds lying upside down, moving lawn jockeys, and the local non-supernatural fauna make for a terrifying trip down memory lane for the three men, and that’s all before it gets dark and the real horrors show up.

When Edgar reveals what happened at Heron’s Roost and the real hero of the 1920’s horror invasion, it gets very sad. Thanks to them, though, he has the power to finally defeat Perse and put the evil back to sleep.

I unapologetically love this book. There are a lot of people that I talk to that roll their eyes when I tell them I like it but I love it. It’s good and creepy, I had to leave the lights on after I read about the big boy, and the setting-up chapters moved quickly. I got really attached to the characters in a way I usually don’t with Stephen King books and enjoyed the ending. If you’re a fan of Stephen King and haven’t read this one, give it a go. At the very least it’s an entertaining 600 pages, unlike Bag of Bones. Don’t get me started on that one.

As far as Stephen King goes, I’m considering giving the Dark Tower series a shot again. My husband gently shoves them at me every time I finish a King book and this time I might let him. Provided he buys me a bagel sandwich first.

Alone Again, Naturally

Detective's BrotherWell, I have some incredibly sad news. As of May 31st, The Detective’s Brother will no longer be available as Booktrope is closing down.

I got the news on Friday and immediately started texting and messaging other Booktrope authors that I have become friends with, as well as my editor. As near as we can figure out, until I pay the team what their usual rate would be my book will be stuck in limbo.

I’ve decided – as have a number of my fellow authors – to go the self-publishing route. I’ve learned a lot from my time with Booktrope and I think I can go it alone as well as possible. I have a day job that I love so I’m not in danger of losing a large chunk of my income, and I’ll have a little more control over what I’ve written.

A couple of friends have encouraged me to try and explore small presses but honestly, I’m not looking forward to doing that again. I’ve been down that road before and it only leaves me stressed and unhappy when no one wants to read historicals or requests chapters and then never says anything again. Not to mention the fact that the two indie publishers that picked up The Detective’s Brother both went under. Sinnful at least returned the rights to me with no strings attached. Booktrope is returning the rights but, as I said before, I can’t republish until my team is compensated and that will take a while if they want the money up front. I adore my editor but I can’t afford her rate unless she lets me pay her back in installments or something.

Turn the Page is still slated for a release this year, though it may be a little longer in coming than originally planned since I’m going to have to shell out the money for the editing and cover myself. However, I’ve got a designer I like picked out and a couple of stock photos for her to work with. I’ve got a few ideas for contemporaries and historicals, so you definitely haven’t heard the last of me, and I hope you’ll stay with me through the next big adventure.

Failure As a Motivational Tool

Open Book BH 3

This week we’re talking about failing at the goals we’ve set for ourselves. It happens to everyone at least once in their writing career, moreso if you’re trying to balance family, a day job, and writing. It’s not the easiest thing to do – especially if you have young children who can’t entertain themselves – and at some point you find yourself with your head in your hands wondering how you managed to get there.

Setting goals for yourself is a great thing for those of us with super hectic schedules. I’ve heard many people say that it’s a good thing to schedule some time in your day to write and even read one person say you should commit to being creative during your scheduled time. The problem is, your brain doesn’t always cooperate.

You can’t schedule creativity. You can find time to write but if the creative juices aren’t flowing there’s a good chance you’re going to have to cut everything you just wrote when you edit it.

So what do you do when you fail at a goal you’ve set? I accept the fact that I didn’t get where I wanted or what I expected, then use it as a lesson. What worked? What didn’t? Was there a reason I didn’t make my goal, and if so can it be worked around next time? By asking myself these questions I not only learn a lot about my writing process, I also learn about myself and get that much closer to achieving my goal next time.

How do my fellow writers deal with failure? Check out their posts on the blog hop!
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.



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A Preview of Turn the Page

As promised, here’s a little bit from the contemporary I’ve been working on, Turn the Page. It’s very early in the process and I can’t guarantee it’ll even be in the finished book but I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

“Sorry I took so long to call you. I should have done it yesterday. I like hanging out with you,” Marc said. “Even if it’s squeezing in a snack on my way to a reading.” Then, before she could come up with something clever to say, he leaned down and gave her a quick kiss. Chelsea stopped in her tracks and he looked at her curiously. “Should I not have done that?”

“No,” she said quickly. “You definitely should have done that.”

“I’m glad.” He grinned at her. “Mind if I do it again?”

“You can do it all you want.” It didn’t seem possible but Marc’s grin got even wider and he put the hand not holding the last of his ice cream on her waist to draw her closer. The warmth of his body pulled her like a magnet and she resisted the urge to press every inch of herself against him. It had been a long time since she let anyone kiss her and she had missed it. His mouth that was still slightly cold from the ice cream warmed as his kiss became deeper and Chelsea’s lips parted to let his tongue brush past. She tasted blueberries as their breath mingled and her heart beat faster. When they parted, his face was completely serious for the first time since she’d watched Crosswind and she hoped she hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I hope you don’t think I’m bailing on you after that,” he said with another glance at his watch, “but I have to get going.”

“Sorry if I made you late,” Chelsea said, tugging at her shirt uncertainly. It was something else she hadn’t done in a long time and she willed herself to stop it. Marc smiled at her, this time more gently than he had before.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “It was worth it.” He brushed back the side of her hair. “Are you going to ask me out now?”

“You’ll have to wait and see,” Chelsea said with a smirk. “See you tomorrow.” She walked to the end of the block, then turned around to make sure he wasn’t following.

Book Review: Duma Key (Part One)

duma keySix months after a crane crushes his pickup truck and his body self-made millionaire Edgar Freemantle launches into a new life. . He leaves Minnesota for Duma Key, a stunningly beautiful, eerily remote stretch of the Florida coast where he has rented a house. All of the land on Duma Key, and the few houses, are owned by Elizabeth Eastlake, an octogenarian whose tragic and mysterious past unfolds perilously. When Edgar begins to paint, his formidable talent seems to come from someplace outside him, and the paintings, many of them, have a power that cannot be controlled.

Because I felt like reading something older, I picked Duma Key up again because it’s become one of my favorite Stephen King books. I first read it a few years back when illness kept me from working for a period, and I wanted another dose of the creepiness that entranced me the first time I read it.

I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since I was in middle school and sneaking around with The Dark Half and Misery, and I’ve been disappointed in some of his more recent work. An old friend recommended Duma Key to me and I loved it.

Like a lot of Stephen King books it takes a while to get to the good stuff. Most of the first part of the book is dedicated to Edgar Freemantle’s unfortunate construction site accident that takes his arm, his marriage, and a large chunk of his ability to remember words and phrases. He goes through rehab, moves out to their lake house, visits his daughters. Pretty mundane stuff, right up until his daughter comes to visit him on Duma Key.

The island itself is good and creepy right from the start. The shells under the house “talk” to Edgar and half of the island is covered in jungle-like flora that has no business being there. He meets Wireman and Elizabeth soon after, and slowly his paintings become more surreal and he feels them take on a life of their own.

I love Edgar’s progression from suicidal to comfortable to genius artist. I feel it’s very genuine, and when the old Stephen King supernatural element comes into play it happens gradually, ramping up until you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next.

Personally, I consider the first half of the book to be up until Edgar’s art show. You suspect a bit of the supernatural presence that has been hinted at, but it’s not until the show that the cover is thrown back by a terrified Elizabeth. After that, things pretty much get full-blown frightening.

Next week: Part Two