All Things Book (and not!)

I recently realized that the last time I sent any sort of update was five days before A Soul as Cold as Frost was launched. So, I’m shooting you a message to let you know all that’s happened since then, and what’s coming, and boy oh boy. Being a published author has been a real hoot!

The book launch of A Soul as Cold as Frost was phenomenal, so much better than I expected. My book became available worldwide, hitting the #1 spot on TWO best seller lists within hours of each other. Since then, it was nominated for the 2020 Indie Fantasy Book of the Year with Caffeinated Fantasy, has gotten 43 reviews on Goodreads with 83% of those reviews being 4/5 or 5/5 stars. I’m so proud of this book! Thank you to everyone who bought a copy and has supported me on this journey, and to all you churchy-folk who always boosted my confidence over the years by all your uplifting words. It’s truly remarkable to see how far this book has come from those early stages of plotting out this crazy novel idea I had about a girl discovering a Christmas-themed realm that carried all kinds of hidden gems about the Truth.

After being nominated for the 2020 Indie Fantasy Book of the Year, A Soul as Cold as Frost made it into the top ten and is now in the finals! (The winner will be determined by the number of votes, so if you’d like to vote for me, I would greatly appreciate it! Vote Here)

In other news, I’ve been avidly working on book #2 of The Winter Souls Series, called A Heart as Red as Paint. I’ve finally finished the revisions, and have just sent it off to six beta readers to get their feedback. From there, I’ll be rewriting it (again!) before I send it to my editor. (To see the synopsis of A Heart as Red as Paint, visit my “Books” page.)

In addition to starting the writing process of Book #2 of the Winter Souls Series back in December, I was also asked to participate in a collaboration project called Enchanted Waters, which is a collection of short stories by a handful of different authors, featuring mythical sea creatures. All profits of this project are going to Oceana to help support the health of our oceans and sea life. In this collection will be a short story that I wrote called Merrily, Merrily, featuring Zane from A Soul as Cold as Frost, during his life before he joined the Patrols when he was a pirate on the snowseas. Merrily, Merrily will also be available in a book of short stories I plan to publish in 2020, all of which take place in the realm of Winter. But for this year, the only place to get this story is in Enchanted Waters as part of our effort to raise support for Oceana. The ebook of Enchanted Waters is available for preorder for only $1.99! The price will be going up in March, so if you read ebooks, order your copy now. Pre-order Enchanted Waters on Amazon.com The paperback will be available the day of the book launch (I will keep you notified of when that is!)

In home life, I was pretty thrilled to learn that my son Chase was able to go back to school Monday (today.) I had his lunch packed, his clothes set out, his water bottle filled, and everything else imaginable. I even made a big “To-Do” list for today of everything I’ve been putting off for weeks since lockdown started, as my clingiest kid was finally going to be occupied elsewhere. But then, of course, we missed the bus this morning, because that’s just how we do things. My husband was gone with our vehicle, and my son’s first day of school turned into an hour-long scramble of me trying to figure out how I was going to get him there when I was home alone with no vehicle and three kids, one of which was supposed to be napping. So, to make a long story short, Chase was very late for school today, but he got there. Unfortunately, my youngest son, Austin (or “Austin-Mischief” as we call him at home) was pretty ticked that he missed his nap deadline, so after throwing plenty of snacks at my face and crushing a lob of playdough into the carpet, I spent my morning trying to get him to sleep and finally got him to go to bed about an hour ago at 1pm–thus why I’m able to write this blog post now.

Kids.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well and safe, and I’m sending out all kinds of prayers for random little blessings to fall on your lap today. You are so loved beyond measure, and the Lord has not forgotten your name or where you are.

Peace.

Preorder the ebook of Enchanted Waters

What really lies beneath the waves?

Dive into our magical collection of short stories written by award-winning and up-and-coming authors and follow the ocean’s call.

Meet murderous kelpies, hear the mermaid’s song, find a kidnapped prince, and explore the beautiful underwater kingdoms. Befriend selkie royalty, break fearsome curses, and swoon as you fall in love.

All profits go to Oceana to support their mission to protect the world’s oceans and promote sustainable fishing.

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Writing A Book With Kids (WABWK)

Is it just me, or when a parent decides to set out and do something non-kid related, it’s that exact moment all your kids decide to wind up and hoof you in the teeth? It’s as if they’re unanimously agreeing, “How dare you think of anything on this planet apart from us?”

My kids are my greatest treasures, but some days…

Some days they’re also the little turds who decide to raid your makeup cabinet and draw all over their body with lipstick three minutes before you need to leave for church, or dump an entire box of cereal into the floor vent to “hide it for later”, or rip off their diaper to sit and wait on the carpet for their diarrhea to come out. I’m certain they do all of these things, “just so mommy can’t write her book today.”

There is no good argument for why I should be allowed to complain after the years we spent praying for our children to come into this world so we could have a family. I don’t regret it, nor will I ever, but I can sure as heck rat them out when they’re being turds. It’s my own personal therapy.

It’s been a few fresh beats since I gave an update, but know that even though you’ve been experiencing radio silence about my upcoming book, there has been a whole lot going on at this end. There are mountains to climb if I want to see my indie book hit shelves this year.

This novel is one I wrote several years back, so when I hauled it out of storage, it was pretty dusty and needed some major polishing. The rewrite took the longest, weeks to be exact. But I got smart and started making lasagnas ahead of time to store in my freezer for the days I wouldn’t have time to make supper. Burning the midnight oil became my thing, and because of those late nights I finally finished the rewrite of my book so I could send it off to beta readers and get feedback. I’ve gotten heaps of valuable feedback from my readers and took plenty of notes. Based on all this golden advice, I get to rewrite sections of the book again. After hunting for the right editor and scoring a great one, I’ve booked in my manuscript with her for the end of March. I was confident in the date when I first booked it, but now I’m positive this deadline is going to creep up on me if I don’t keep pace. *Cue whip sound effect*

While I’m telling myself to stay focused on book revisions, I’m also betraying my own advice and working on the cover art. Someday soon there will be a cover reveal, but not yet. I can’t actually finish the cover art until I’ve formatted the book interior because, in Amazon’s graphic designer speak, “the page count will affect the length of the book spine.” That means, no diving into the grueling hours of formatting the book interior until I’m completely finished the manuscript (I have to finish my revisions based on beta readers feedback, then it goes to the editor, then back to me to revise AGAIN, then back to the editor for final touch ups, then I can format the book interior, then I can do the cover art). This is the part where some might cry, but you all know my more likely reaction is to laugh like a madwoman until someone’s coffee gets spilled.

It might come as a surprise, but I’m not even bothered by the challenge, or the late nights, or the kids crapping on the floor and running through it in bare feet. Even though it’s a whirlwind, and my kids are sanity-eating monsters, it’s life-changing for me to be able to navigate this publishing maze. I’m fully prepared to botch it the first time around, I’ll probably print it with the cover on backwards or something stupid like that, but I’m hoping all this hard work to blaze a trail through the publishing jungle will make it a hundred times easier when I go to do it again.

So far, 2020 is dragging me around like someone who wiped out on water skis an hour ago and the boat just keeps moving. With an audience.

I need to say a massive thank you to the three beta readers that have gotten back to me so far with notes, you have all been so amazing and encouraging. I’m overwhelmed by the valuable feedback and all the critiques.

Once again, I’m asking all of you reading this for your prayers as I kick down every new obstacle in this jungle. I will post other fun updates as they land in my lap.

Drop a comment if you have anything to say about this, or if you just want to heckle me in general. Bring it on.

Peace.