Release Day Giveaway and Promo Offer!

•March 17, 2017 • 2 Comments

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I am so excited to finally share with the world the sequel to Shadow Eyes, Luminous Spirits!

To make things interesting I’ve put together a little something, something for you. A giveaway AND a discount! Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a print copy of either book in the series! 1 winner will get that, and 3 more will get an eBook of their choice.

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Also, from 3/17-3/24, the first book, Shadow Eyes, is on sale for ONLY 99 CENTS!

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Get your copy here!

For those who haven’t read Shadow Eyes, let’s look at the synopsis.

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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.

Now let’s check out the synopsis for Luminous Spirits

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Old habits die hard. Old enemies, even harder.

Iris must now perfect her newfound abilities in order to help her shadow-oppressed family and friends, but more importantly, she must prepare for an impending fight with her most hated adversary. After the arrival of a new mean girl who seems to have history with Iris’s boyfriend, Iris quickly figures out that she is anything but the typical mean girl. She not only creates havoc and conflict among Iris and her friends, but her presence also means that Iris’s inevitable confrontation with her enemy may, in fact, be closer than she thought.

If Iris can figure out why the new girl is there and what her enemy is planning, she’ll at least be one step ahead of their game. But will she be ready when the time comes to face her biggest challenge yet? Or will they succeed in tearing Iris apart before she even has the chance?

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My Unique Readers

•March 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Marketing the Shadow Eyes series is an interesting and challenging venture. The series fits under many “umbrellas,” which helps in some ways when trying to find readers.

The easy part is that it’s a young adult novel, which is such a rapidly growing genre, appealing to ages way beyond the teenage years. I’ve had women pushing 70 that read and loved Shadow Eyes, and I know of several “grandmas” that regularly read young adult fiction. The genre is a lovely balance of entertainment rivaling any popular movie or TV show and deep meaning with themes that relate to anyone, not just teens.

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The Shadow Eyes series is also classified as Urban Fantasy, so readers who generally like supernatural/paranormal/fantasy elements that are set in a realistic world they can relate to will probably to enjoy it. Think The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones), Supernatural, Twilight, Teen Wolf, and Buffy (for those who go way back…). This genre is one of my favorites (dystopian is the other!) because it allows us to delve into fantastical characters, ideas, and events that would be impossible in our lives, but it’s not so out there like typical fantasy that we can’t easily imagine ourselves as the protagonist. Because, let’s face it, putting yourself in the protagonist’s shoes and living vicariously through her/him is one of the best parts of reading!

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The thing that SETS THIS SERIES APART from others, however, is the SPIRITUAL YET EDGY aspect. The Shadow Eyes series is not what you’d call Christian fiction (it’s a little too racy for that, honestly, and it doesn’t say anything overtly religious), but it does have spiritual undertones by the nature of the plot of shadows and light figures (demons and angels) and by the way I chose to portray this world and how the characters interact in it. I believe my stories are just as intriguing and edgy as most popular young adult books, but they have an added spiritual and moral undertone. My goal was not to preach to kids but to give young people (and old) a genre they could read that uplifted and influenced them in a positive way instead of encouraging or condoning typically-accepted bad behaviors. The classic theme of good versus evil shines through this series, and that’s something anyone can relate to. I’m excited to continue writing in this unique crossover genre – Edgy YA Spiritual Urban Fantasy – in future series as well.

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Image Copyrighted – Eti Swinford, Dreamstime

So read it for your own enjoyment and/or give it to a friend, daughter, granddaughter, or niece (guys enjoy it too but it is a little more geared towards girls/women).

CONTENT WARNING: Just know that there is some content, in the first book more so, that is PG-13. You may want to be cautious recommending it to anyone under 14/15, though, depending on what they’ve already read.

Check out the Shadow Eyes series page for the synopses of both books, or click on the links on the side.

Old Habits Die Hard; Old Enemies, Even Harder

•March 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

We are go for launch!

You can now pre-order Luminous Spirits, the long-awaited (and I’m talking 5 years for some people) sequel of my young adult, urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes! It’s up as a kindle ebook on Amazon here. The paperback will be ready to order soon on Amazon as well. Also, both are available for free in kindle unlimited!

For those who haven’t read Shadow Eyes yet, here’s a little insider’s tip…Shadow Eyes will be free on release day, which is now pushed back to Friday, March 17th! Also, some time after that I’ll be promoting it for 99 cents.

For now, here’s the cover again and the synopsis!

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Old habits die hard. Old enemies, even harder.

Iris must now perfect her newfound abilities in order to help her shadow-oppressed family and friends, but more importantly, she must prepare for an impending fight with her most hated adversary. After the arrival of a new mean girl who seems to have history with Iris’s boyfriend, Iris quickly figures out that she is anything but the typical mean girl. She not only creates havoc and conflict among Iris and her friends, but her presence also means that Iris’s inevitable confrontation with her enemy may, in fact, be closer than she thought.

If Iris can figure out why the new girl is there and what her enemy is planning, she’ll at least be one step ahead of their game. But will she be ready when the time comes to face her biggest challenge yet? Or will they succeed in tearing Iris apart before she even has the chance?

 

Also, if you haven’t checked out the trailer, here it is! My former student, Jake Dickerson, composed the music for me, and it is so fitting for the book. I love it!

I choose you

•March 2, 2017 • 2 Comments

I sit on my computer, working, being productive.

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You want to play. Your 18-month-old brain doesn’t understand. You try to touch the computer. You reach for it.

I keep pushing you away.

You climb on me and try to play, but my attention is on the screen.

That’s when you turn to look at this thing. This thing that is separating you from your Momma. A slight sigh escapes your tiny body as you sit in my lap and examine this thing that has my focus.

And in your eyes I see it. I see the wheels turning. I see the unspoken questions lurking around in your developing brain. The brain that’s forming your picture of your world piece by piece, every day, with every interaction and experience. “Where do I fit in my Momma’s world? How do I compare to this thing that Momma loves so much? Is it more important than me?”

My heart sinks. My throat tightens. I set down my computer.

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Looking you straight in the eyes with a huge smile on my face, I tickle you and kiss on you, and you laugh in joy at being the center of your Momma’s attention.

“No, sweet baby. A thousand times, No. You are more important than anything that distracts me. You are my center. You are my focus. You are good and beautiful and worthy and important. You are Momma’s girl. I choose you.”

Luminous Spirits Cover Reveal and Trailer!

•February 28, 2017 • 2 Comments

IT’S OFFICIAL! My cover is finally complete and beautiful! Although it clearly keeps the same theme of Iris’s violet eyes as the Shadow Eyes cover, this one is, in my opinion, much more beautiful. The first one is more mysterious, dark, and kind of creepy, but this one is soft, light, and mystical. I love it! And, similarly to the first cover, I can’t really explain much about it without giving away things from Shadow Eyes. Lol.Sorry!

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Also, my book trailer is finished! I’ve had it ready for a while but was just waiting on the cover. I’m so happy with it! The song is by Jake Dickerson, a former student who is a musical genius. The song is perfect for the book and the mood I was going for! Check it out here!

Sequel Title Reveal!

•February 21, 2017 • 2 Comments

For whatever reason…call it tactics…I have been keeping the title of the sequel to Shadow Eyes a secret.

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Well, those days of secrecy are over! Today, I announce to the world (or just the few people who read this blog…) the title that I’ve had in mind for this sequel almost since I started writing it. Which was a very long time ago!

Since the release date is set for March 10th, I figured I’d better get the show on the road and divulge the title already. So without further delay…

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BAM!

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The cover reveal will be coming soon, but as you can see, there will be some definite similarities. I fell in love with this font that I used for Shadow Eyes the moment I found it, and I love it in this title too!

For those who’ve read Shadow Eyes, hopefully you’ll understand the meaning behind the title. You know…based on what happens to Iris at the very end of the book…Ahem. (Have I mentioned it’s really hard to talk about the sequel without giving spoilers of the first book?)

I wanted the titles in this series to all be similar in structure and sound but also represent the main idea or plot of the story, as well as some deeper meanings. Every title does and will do that. (Yes, I already know the title for the 3rd book and have the outline ready, too.)

 

Stay tuned for the Tagline and Synopsis Reveal for Luminous Spirits coming soon!

Writer, Teacher, Mom – The Balancing Act

•February 7, 2017 • 2 Comments

First, let me preface this with saying that those titles are not in order of importance. In fact, they’re backwards. I’m sure most moms would agree – being a mom (and wife) comes first,  our careers come second, and our hobbies and passions come after that.

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Priorities, people.

But is having priorities enough to get everything done. Do priorities actually do my job for me? Do they write for me? Do they get the kids fed and taken care of? No. I do all that. Sometimes. And not always very well…

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Priorities may help me know which tasks to do first and which ones take precedence when others have to take the back seat. But that’s it.

So what’s a mom to do? How do you balance being a mom, working, and writing (or any other hobby/passion)? How do you manage it all and get everything done?

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(By the way, I don’t know why the mom is smiling in this picture…)

You want to know my secret? Shh. Come close and I’ll tell you. Are you ready? Here it is…

 You don’t.

And there it is. Thanks for coming, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll be here all week. Wait…actually I won’t. I have work to do…

But, seriously, “You Don’t!” That’s the big secret that I have painfully learned over the five years it has taken me to finally get the sequel to Shadow Eyes released.

Life happens! And that’s okay! Five kids happened to me, off and on, for four years. Now we only have two, which is much more manageable and leaves a little more time for my writing. But I’m not upset for the writing time I lost or for my teaching that may have suffered a little because I was busy loving on some precious kids who needed to be loved.

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Don’t beat yourself up over not being able to do everything you feel you need to do. Some things do fall to the back burner. And when you finally get around to checking on them, they very well may have gotten cold, hard, and nasty. But guess what. You can reheat those suckers and they will still be decent. Maybe not amazing. But decent. And if our kids have been taken care of first and we’ve been fairly successful at our jobs, then decent will be alright for everything else. 

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Knowing I have been a good mom, wife, teacher is the most important thing. With that knowledge, I can then work on my passion (writing) in the small amount of time I have left with more fervor and heart than I would’ve been able to had I not been a mom, wife, and teacher first.

But, if you mess up on the other side and forget to put those things first, don’t beat yourself up over that either. There have been deadlines I had to meet and then other times where I got carried away in my passion and ended up failing in those other important areas. But that happens. Kids are resilient. Husbands will still love you. Jobs won’t generally go away just because you don’t give 100% ALL the time. It’s a give and take. Not a strict, rigid order, but flexible priorities.

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That’s how we do it, ladies. So take a deep breath. Drink some coffee. And go punch your schedule in the face.