The Christmas Season for Idealist Perfectionists

•November 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Perfectionism. Is it a blessing? A curse? A disease? For me, during the holidays, it can be simultaneously helpful and disastrous because I want…no I need everything to be perfect.

I’m also an idealist who sees Christmas as an opportunity, a small window of time, where the world comes together and decides to play nice for a change, where kindness and generosity is the norm, not the exception, and where Christmas spirit is a tangible thing. 

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Every year, when I find myself in this brief and fleeting moment in time, the idealist part of me tries to take over. I pause the movie reel of life, whirl around to catch the snowflakes frozen in the air, breathe in deeply the smell of fires in fireplaces, listen to the sounds of Christmas music and laughter, and feel the chill in the air melt away as the warmth of hot cocoa or a Christmas latte rushes down my throat and through my veins.

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Okay, so most of that is in my head, especially since we don’t get all that much snow in Oklahoma. But I like to think of it that way.

It’s a time where we idealist perfectionists want to relax and revel in the Christmas spirit, but we also very desperately want to milk the season for everything it’s worth by squeezing in as many Christmas outings, events, parties, get-togethers, and fun for the kids as we possibly can. Which tends to make the relaxing and reveling a bit difficult. If not impossible.

So, is there a happy medium somewhere? Is it possible to get the most out of the Christmas season without sacrificing the Christmas spirit? If so, how do we do it?

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We plan Christmas fun, but we stay open for spontaneous changes.

We fill the schedule with Christmas events, but we save time to soak up the Christmas spirit.

We spend time with friends and co-workers, but we enjoy time with family the most.

We shop and buy gifts for loved ones, but we don’t get consumed with finding perfect gifts.

And we try our best to slow our pace and enjoy the season, but we don’t beat ourselves up when life makes us rush.

Enjoy the flow of the Christmas season. Just take time to hop out of the river every once in a while to breathe, refresh, and focus. If we’re not careful, we’ll get lost in the overwhelming, rushing flood of consumerism. Instead of getting lost in the fluid music of Christmas that is the salve to our jaded souls.

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We’ve Reached 4.0 on Goodreads!

•September 21, 2016 • 2 Comments

4.0 Rating!

4starsI am super pumped to announce that Shadow Eyes has finally made its way back to 4.0 stars with 69 ratings and 38 reviews!

I learned early on from looking at several other popular books on goodreads that a 3.9 something or even a 3.8 something rating is extremely common. People leave bad ratings that drag the book down. That just happens. It doesn’t mean it’s not a good book. So I was okay with my 3.9 something rating.

However, I am thrilled to have surpassed that ceiling now! Shadow Eyes on Amazon has always been over 4.0, but after researchng those same popular books there as well, I’ve learned that having a higher Amazon rating than a goodreads rating is pretty normal too. Most people would argue that a goodreads rating is more true and unbiased since anyone can leave an Amazon rating, but it’s generally only book lovers and actual book bloggers who are on goodreads. So that’s why I’m so excited about this.🙂

Goodreads Giveaway!

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In other news, I’m hosting a Goodreads giveaway of 2 paperback copies! I know I just had a giveaway, but a goodreads giveaway brings in a whole new audience. If you’d like to enter, click here! The giveaway lasts until October 18th.

Shadow Eyes Re-Release Blog Tour and Amazon Giveaway

•August 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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The time is here! You may now enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a signed copy of Shadow Eyes and a $50 Amazon gift card. Just click on the Rafflecopter logo below. There are many ways to enter!

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The tour will go from August 21st to September 10th. Be sure to stop by all the lovely blogs listed below who will be hosting me during my re-release blog tour. A major thank you to all of them!

For those who don’t know, Shadow Eyes was first published by Musa Publishing in 2012, but since Musa closed in 2015 I decided to self-publish it. It’s been a learning experience and an interesting journey, but I’m glad I decided to go this route.

Below is the schedule for the tour. The blogs are linked to their names, but as they post during the tour, I’ll change the link to that specific post.

August 21st – Kick off the tour here!

August 22nd – Sharon Ledwith (5 truths and 3 lies)

August 23rd – Tana Rae Reads (Review)

August 25th – Sara Daniel (Character interview with Patrick)

August 26th – Laurel Leaves (Small pub to self-pub)

August 27th – Fang Freakintastic Reviews (The creep factor in Shadow Eyes)

August 29th – The Minding Spot (Review)

August 31st – Suite T (New and Improved Shadow Eyes)

September 4th – Eleni’s Taverna (Iris, the Unlikely Hero)

September 6th – Clarissa Johal (My Dream Cast)

September 8th – The Story Sanctuary (Top 10 Quotes)

10September 9th – Carrie K’s Book Reviews (Review)

September 11th – Declare the winner here!

 

Also, check out Shadow Eyes on Goodreads to see previous reviews as well or some of my favorites all in one place here.

Buy Shadow Eyes on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple, and other online bookstores.

Shadow Eyes new cover

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

Why You Should Get the 2nd Edition of Shadow Eyes

•August 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Everyone who reads this will fit into one of three categories. And as the author and promotor of my novel, it is my duty to inform you why you should purchase it.🙂

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#1 For those of you who have read the original version from 2012 (especially those who know me) – I have 3 reasons why you should purchase this 2nd edition.

  1. This version is soooooo much better!
  2. It’s probably been over 4 years since you’ve read the first one, so you’ll need a refresher before the sequel (and I’d really rather you read the better version).
  3. Your purchasing it will help offset the cost of self-publishing (trust me, it ain’t free!)

 

#2 For those of you who know me and know of Shadow Eyes but haven’t read it yet, all I have to say is…

  • Yea! You didn’t have to read the old version! This is one is much better and way more polished. So go check it out!🙂

 

#3 For those of you who haven’t even heard of Shadow Eyes before, I have a quiz for you to see if you might be interested…

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  1. Do you like to read?
  2. Do you like to read young adult books?
  3. Do you like to read fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and other popular genres?
  4. Do like twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end?
  5. Do you like romance but a plot that isn’t solely focused on that romance?
  6. Do you like books that get you emotionally invested?

If you answered yes to most of those questions, you would probably enjoy Shadow Eyes.

Now I have just one more thing to say about my true Target Audience. My readers are people who love popular YA books but wouldn’t mind reading something a bit more spiritual and morally-grounded, yet still edgy. Do you have to be a Christian to enjoy it. Absolutely not, and there’s nothing overtly Christian in it. It’s like any normal popular YA book except that it’s written through a Christian filter.

 

Below is the synopsis, and the buy links are at the bottom for pre-ordering (release date is September 2nd!). Also, don’t forget the blog tour with a $50 Amazon gift card up for grabs starts this Sunday the 21st! Happy reading!

Shadow Eyes new cover

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

Amazon

Apple

Barnes&Noble

Shadow Eyes Re-Release Blog Tour and Amazon Card Giveaway Schedule

•August 17, 2016 • 1 Comment

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Do you like free stuff? Do you like to read? Do you want to win a $50 Amazon gift card?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, be sure to stop by all the lovely blogs listed below who will be hosting me during my re-release blog tour.

For those who don’t know, Shadow Eyes was first published by Musa Publishing in 2012, but since Musa closed in 2015 I decided to self-publish it. It’s been a learning experience and an interesting journey, but I’m glad I decided to go this route.

Okay, here is the line-up so far. If anything changes, I’ll update it here. For now I will link the blog to their name below. As they post during the tour, I’ll change the link to that specific post.

August 21st – Kick off the tour here!

August 22nd – Sharon Ledwith (5 truths and 3 lies)

August 23rd – Tana Rae Reads (Review)

August 25th – Sara Daniel (Character interview with Patrick)

August 26th – Laurel Leaves (Small pub to self-pub)

August 27th – Fang Freakintastic Reviews (The creep factor in Shadow Eyes)

August 29th – The Minding Spot (Review)

August 31st – Suite T (New and Improved Shadow Eyes)

September 2nd – Carrie K’s Book Reviews (Review)

September 4th – Eleni’s Taverna (Iris, the Unlikely Hero)

September 6th – Clarissa Johal (My Dream Cast)

September 8th – The Story Sanctuary (Top 10 Quotes)

September 10th – Finish the tour here!

 

 

Click on the Rafflecopter logo below to enter the Rafflecopter for the Giveaway. You can also access it from any of the blogs listed above as they post during the tour.

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Also, check out Shadow Eyes on Goodreads to see previous reviews as well or some of my favorites all in one place here.

Buy Shadow Eyes on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple, and other online bookstores.

We Are Go for Launch!

•August 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Shadow Eyes is officially available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple, and Kobo! Print copies will be available through Amazon soon as well. I am super excited!

Just a reminder, the Re-Release Blog Tour starts Sunday, August 21st, with your chance to win a signed print copy of Shadow Eyes and a $50 Amazon gift card! I’ll post a schedule soon for you to follow.

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In the meantime, go pre-order your copy of Shadow Eyes!

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

Apple (in the iTunes store)

Kobo

Shadow Eyes new cover

What if the entire world was populated by murky shadows…but you were the only one who could see them?

Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

I Survived the Summer with 5 Kids!

•August 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Well, today is it. Teachers have to go back for professional development tomorrow, so my summer is officially over.

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Do you know what that means……? Do you?! The kids go back to daycare during the day!

While other teachers are all dreading going back to school and their summers being over, I’m here with mixed emotions. In truth…they’re mostly positive.

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I understand as a mother that sounds bad. Parents around the world gasp in shock that a mom would admit to being happy about going back to work, away from her kids. Shouldn’t moms want to be around their kids as much as possible? Shouldn’t they savor the moments they get with them and be upset when their summer with them is coming to a close?

Well, sure. And I do. But I also know that I am not meant to be a stay at home mom. And that’s okay. God put me here for these 5 precious foster kids for a reason, for such a time as this. And He equipped me to take care of them without going insane during the summer. But he also put me here to teach. So I’m not going to feel guilty about looking forward to going back.

Of course there are negatives too – I won’t get to sleep in (however, due to my going to bed late and my kids not sleeping in much past 7, total sleep time won’t be too different); I won’t have quite as much free time (however, I didn’t get that much anyway with taking care of 5 kids); I’ll have much more stuff to have to worry and think about with teaching (however, not all of that is bad).

No matter what my emotions of going back to school are, I feel like my surviving the summer with 5 kids, all 6 and under, is quite the accomplishment! I mean, seriously! I’m not kidding when I say I was quite concerned going into it. I even considered, early on, getting a part-time job or something just to have a little time away. But we made it work!

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I didn’t go completely crazy…though I had my moments of insanity…quite a few of them actually.

I didn’t kill any of the children…though there were several times I’d wished there wasn’t a “no spanking” rule with DHS.🙂

All of the kids survived intact…though there were a few minor scrapes and bruises…not caused by me, I promise. Lol.

And I didn’t become an alcoholic…though I did let myself enjoy a few adult beverages after a long, frustrating day.

I’d say that’s a win!

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