My greatest dreams involve waking up each morning to write novels as my job, having an awesome agent to give me tips and guide me through the process, and to fill my library at home (and the home libraries of my amazing group of churchy and community supporters’) with spectacular books that I can spend the evenings reading to my kids by the fireplace on cool summer nights. If I can get them to laugh out loud or beg me to keep reading after we’ve finished a chapter, then I’ve done what I set out to do.
Here are a few of my favourites:
COLD as FROST
This is my debut indie novel, coming this fall (2020)!
This completed manuscript of just over 110,000 words is an urban fantasy/ epic fantasy Christmas novel for the young adult and teen market.
Regardless of the time of year, if you want to get swallowed into the Winter World, feel the pinch of the icy wind in your lungs, visualize the sparkling lights, and get a near taste of the sweet gooey syrups, then you’re going to love this action-packed fantastical series that includes new and grittier versions of some of the famous characters out of our traditional holiday legends; such as St. Nicholas, The Snow Queen, The Nutcracker, Jack Frost, and even The Gingerbread Man.
Books this series can be compared to: The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (Think The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe meets the story The Nutcracker)
Helen Bell is probably the most boring and useless girl on the planet. Being dressed head-to-toe in worn out hand-me-downs, and with her ‘booksmarts’ as her only advantage in life, she doesn’t even blame people at school for passing right by her.
But Helen’s stale life is about to be tossed into a blender.
On a cold day when Helen is following her Aunt through the streets of Waterloo, Ontario, to get to a family gathering she would rather miss, Helen meets an unusual girl with a strange twinkle in her eye. A twinkle that makes Helen wonder if this girl is not quite normal.
And Helen would be right.
During this strange encounter, Helen Bell, the forgotten girl of Waterloo, is thrust from the realm of science and facts, into the realm of the impossible. A whole world of the unexplained rests before her. Helen needs only to enter.
As ancient mysteries of the Winter World begin to unravel, Helen finds herself in a brutal standoff with a bloodthirsty self-proclaimed Queen who is bent on hunting Helen down and savagely ending her life in a face-to-face Winter World duel called The Quarrel of Sword and Bone.
Unfortunately, with the Red Kingdom and the Green Kingdom at odds with each other, the Winter World is no kind place to strangers. And with only Zane, a young Patrolman, to guide her through the turmoil, Helen doesn’t think she will make it home without getting caught up in the rivalry between the Patrolmen and the Queen who once nearly drove them into the ground.
This blend of action and warm Christmas tradition brings the old forgotten tales of the season to life. It’s the kind of story that would be best put to use in front of a cozy fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate in the middle of a blustery winter.
I’m currently in the revisions and rewriting process for COLD as FROST before I send it off to an editor. If you want to help me promote my book (and receive a free copy) get in touch!
Book 2 of this trilogy, RED as PAINT, is also in the works, and its proving to be just as rewarding to write as the first.
A brief Synopsis of RED as PAINT:
Nothing could ever be the same for Helen after her first encounter with Zane and the Rime Folk who rule the Winter World. Even though she managed to get back into the routine of her ordinary life, Helen finds herself growing antsy the moment the snow begins to descend upon Waterloo. Winter is coming. And Helen knows better than anyone that when winter comes, so do the monsters.
Helen learns there is a bounty on her head in the Winter World when the pale-skinned Greed cross the intersect to come find her at her school, standing out among her fellow students like sparkling ghosts in the hallway. This propels Helen back into the snow globe she thought she might never set foot in again. Only this time, things are different; cities, storefronts, and even clothing are marked with red or green. War is brewing beneath the Red and Green Kingdoms as both sides refuse to reach settlements, and when the Ruby Legion rages against the Evergreen Host, all of the Winter World is forced to choose a side.
With nowhere else to turn, Helen is forced to impersonate a Red Kingdom celebrity, hiding in plain sight, attending lavish balls and even dancing with the Red Princes, in hopes of getting close enough to the Crimson King to save herself.
This second installment of the COLD as FROST series is filled with fairy-tale-like magic, danger that puts loyalties to the test, and subtle romance. Christmas won’t be the same anymore without reliving the battles, unearthing the secrets, and getting sucked into the devilish charm of the COLD as FROST series characters.
P.V. is a NaNoWriMo project that I wrote in November of 2015. The completed manuscript of just under 94,000 words tells the story of a sassy psychologically unstable girl who falls head-over-heels for a guy who hates her guts, in the middle of a multi-universe conflict, where the only thing that can save her is the right bargain.
Books this novel can be compared to: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols
As a little girl, Ella White suffered from nightmares. The dreams that came at night would go back and forth between full-length colour features and simple flashes, like scattered home video footage, creating bizarre worlds that Ella knew didn’t exist outside of her dreams. Was she crazy? Probably. Thus, her sarcastic humor began, forming beautifully into her best method to cope with dreams that no one else seemed to understand. However, even though the visions were confusing, bothersome, and never quite painted an entire picture, there was almost always one common feature.
One month before her seventeenth birthday, Ella let her eyes drift close only to be sucked into a terrible nightmare, the worst one of all, because not only was she in some bizarre foreign universe she couldn’t place, in this dream, she felt herself brutally die.
But it wasn’t all bad. After this traumatic experience, the dreams ceased completely. Ella believed that after all this time she had finally been cured. Things in her life started to feel normal. Orderly. Predictable. She got a boyfriend and everything.
Two years of calm organized bliss went by without a hitch, and it was glorious, right up until the moment Ella walked down the main street of her hometown in Stratford, Ontario, and she saw him – the boy she watched so many times in her sleep. The same boy that had birthed a major fantasy crush when she was just a girl. A boy that she was certain did not actually exist, until this moment.
From there, even the parts of Ella that she thought were pretty held together began to unravel like a spool of thread. She’s kidnapped by her childhood crush, forced to stand trial before a council who speak another language, and is put under a binding claim by a stranger. And that’s all just in the first day.
PARALLEL VIEW is a standalone novel (with the potential to be turned into a series). This story weaves together realistic reactions, universal laws that can protect or destroy a person, and an awkward one-sided romance that’ll warm any heart. It’s a satisfying blend of comical dialogue and just enough intense encounters to justify rapid page-turning.
STRAW, STICKS, AND HANDMADE BRICKS
This story is loosely based off of the fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs. As a child, I always loved fairy tales, and they are still my favourite ideas to base my books off of. Today’s book market has become saturated with retellings of the most popular tales, and even though these based-on-fairy-tale books are doing extremely well, I knew going into this that if I was going to write a novel based on an old tale, I would have to recreate one of the lesser used ones for it to stand out, and fill it with the heart and grit that today’s YA market adores.
At just under 75,000 words, this was the sort of story that I could not leave until I typed out the final word. The compelling rivalry and the subtle build of romance made it so exciting that even while writing it, I became desperate to find out what might happen next.
Books this novel can be compared to: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young
Upon the quiet meadows where the great Kingdom of Arterria used to exist, a woman named Nadessa Kyntorren would pace. To the untrained eye, the woman might have seemed harmless enough. But this woman, who was often decorated with the blue stones her people loved, carried a reputation that was known across all the lands of her enemies. From her throat she could conjure a screech, horrific enough to leave one deaf, and powerful enough to render her enemies useless. As the appointed guardian of the remnant of the Arterrian people, Nadessa Kyntorren was considered a desirable target to the Sutherspen Warlords, as the warrior who might finally bring the Squealer to her end would be praised for the rest of his days. But for many years, every Warlord failed.
Until Goram Norsmith.
Being the King of Sutherpsen, Goram spent his life devoted to bringing down the Squealer, Nadessa Kyntorren, publicly naming her an “Arterrian pig”. After beating the odds and finally overcoming Nadessa once and for all, all of Sutherspen rejoiced at the fall of their greatest enemy, and Goram was revered as the greatest King to ever rule the Kingdom.
But Nadessa Kyntorren had secrets.
Nearly fifteen years after Goram had succeeded in bringing upon the woman’s death, he discovers, to his utter dismay, that he did not bring an end to the reign of the Squealer after all. Reports reach the Norsmith King that the woman had left behind three sons, all of whom have inherited her terrible gift.
These three boys, now young men, are coming for revenge.
As Goram’s two daughters have always been at each other’s throats, competing for his attention by becoming Warlords, and vying for the love of the people, Goram makes the ultimate decision to challenge the two of them to bring down the three little pigs of Arterria. With all of Sutherspen as witnesses, Goram Norsmith claims he will hand over his kingdom to the daughter that can bring an end to these Arterrian Squealers, once and for all.
This births the competition and heated Kingdom-wide rivalry that puts loyalty on the line, skills to the test, and forces Bane and Zienna Norsmith to face their greatest fears, even possibly at the cost of their lives.
For Bane Norsmith, this contest sounds too good to be true. Even though Bane is the illegitimate, controversial daughter of Goram Norsmith, she is the better Warlord; the better hunter, more trained, more patient, more heartless, and more feared. For her, this should have been a simple task, an easy victory, even with all of Sutherspen rooting for beautiful Zienna, their beloved Princess, and coming to Zienna’s aid.
But when Bane captures Lucan Kyntorren, everything changes. The second-oldest Kyntorren brother has a special gift, something Bane didn’t know about prior to his imprisonment. Something that is much worse than being a Squealer.
After the mind games, Bane is forced to battle through Lucan’s walls to try and discover what it is he really wants, what he might be willing to turn on his brothers for, so she can draw the other two Kyntorrens out of hiding. But after exhausting all her methods, and spending weeks of pushing every button she can find, Bane finds herself at a crossroads when she comes to realize that perhaps Lucan Kyntorren was not actually the one being persuaded all that time.
STRAW, STICKS, AND HANDMADE BRICKS is a standalone novel (though I have ideas simmering to make it a trilogy). It’s part of a fairy tale inspired collection of novels I’m working on. I like to call them “Bathtub Books”, because lets face it, some books are just read better while relaxing in a hot bath with bubbles up to your chin.
This is a book I finished only recently, based on the tale, The Ugly Duckling. UGLY is more of a spy/thriller than my other books, but still takes place in a Kingdom, with a few fairy-tale elements. It’s a story about revenge, love, and using street smarts to unearth deadly secrets.
Stories this book can be compared to: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (Not in the historical fiction sense, but in the general nature of the story), and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
When Hectora Roland ran away from home, it was to escape the cruel Lords in the small town of Ellette and their relentless mocking. Unfortunately, after her long run through the forest and onto the cobblestone road of Vantic, she found out the hard way that the city was no kinder to freaks like her.
At first, Hectora became an outcast in the big city; a girl with crooked teeth and gangling limbs that no one would dream of hiring. But after making a scene in a dress shop, the scar-faced girl catches a stroke of luck and lands a job in the city, working as a maid for a particular woman. A woman, who just happened to be a Lieutenant for the undercover army of the Kingdom of Charity.
For the next six years after her escape, Hectora keeps the Lieutenant’s mansion clean, works hard, and even delivers secret messages across town, because, who would pay attention to someone who looks like her? She was the least suspicious employee at the Lieutenant’s disposal. Timid. Shy. Scrawny. And ugly.
But when word of trouble brewing in the town of Ellette reaches the Lieutenant, things change. Needing an educated spy, and fast, the Lieutenant calls upon her maid, getting the idea to send Hectora back into Ellette to try and locate a dangerous traitor. Hectora, the only one at the Lieutenant’s disposal with a vast knowledge of the town, including personal histories, common rumors, and family businesses, undergoes a full body transformation. Now, being beautiful and trained to lie, the young girl from Ellette heads back into the town she hoped she would never set foot in again in an attempt to expose the traitor to the Kingdom, and in doing so, burn the town she hates to the ground.
But there is one thing that stands in her way. His name is Atticus Coreblair, and he was the only boy that had been kind to her when she was young. Being debatably the wealthiest young Lord in Ellette now, Hectora finds herself struggling to remain focused on her mission, as she realizes that even though she wants to see Ellette burn, she does not want to see Atticus fall with the town. And as time goes on, and Hectora begins to grow attached, slipping up in his presence as a result, she becomes certain that Atticus Coreblair will find out who she is and expose her to everyone.
And if he does that, the traitor will get to Hectora before she can figure out who it is.
UGLY is a standalone novel; also part of my fairy tale collection of “Bathtub Books”.
This is a novel I am nearly finished writing. With clever bickering at its best, and a love-interest antagonist, ACHE is a sassy Young Adult Fantasy novel based off of the fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, filled with outspoken characters, creepy monsters, meticulously crafted religions, and royal snobs.
Books this story can be compared to: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
For most of her life, Iva Thresh was able to hide in the Royal Armani Isles, pretending to be an Armani citizen, and fooling everyone with practiced words and the dyes she had created from the plants in her garden to darken her light hair.
But when they came, she was not ready.
Ensons; creatures of a dominating race that killed the weak and took the strong humans as slaves. They arrived in villages and cities all over the Royal Armani Isles in a unified formation, giving the citizens no chance to escape in any direction.
When Iva was taken from her house and thrown into a cage with another prisoner; a boy who seemed to have a hard time keeping his hands to himself, Iva thought it was all over and reluctantly accepted the fact that she would spend the rest of her life as a slave to the Ensons.
But later, when she is forced into her sleeping quarters and climbs onto a hard mattress to sleep, she feels an uncomfortable lump pressing into her back. When she finally unwraps her clothes to investigate, a ring falls from her belt. But it’s not just any ring. As Iva lifts the gold piece from the floor, she recognizes it right away as a Signature Ring. And only royals carry them.
In that moment, it dawns on Iva that the boy she had been with in the cage had slipped the ring into her belt. Thus, why he couldn’t seem to keep his distance. He passed the ring to her so he wouldn’t be discovered with it. And with good reason.
He was the last living Prince of the Royal Armani Isles. He was the one the Ensons were looking for. And she held the one thing in her palm that could prove it.
ACHE is part of my fairy tale collection of “Bathtub Books.”
Thanks for reading about all my projects and I sincerely hope you are dying to dive into one of these epic stories and get lost for days.
I don’t currently have representation for my books. If you are a literary agent and want to contact me about any of my projects, please get in touch!