Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Hey All!!!
My book has been featured at I Heart YA Books!

This is one of my favorite sites for picking out great YA and NA books. You can find the post here.

Happy reading and writing!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Hey All!!!
Cursed is available in ebook and paperback forms!

You can find it on Amazon:


You can also find it on Createspace:


Don't forget to put reviews up on Amazon and Goodreads!!!

Happy reading and writing!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Hey All!!!
In all the excitement, I realized that I completely forgot to post the fact that my book, Cursed, is coming out TOMORROW (12/13/13)!

You can pick it up on your Kindle electronically right now!

Happy reading and writing!


Hey All!!!
As many of you may know, I recently discovered the wonder that is KDramas. In my wanderings around the Internet, I found this great post by Katie M. Stout about the 5 questions she wishes people would stop asking her about KPop and KDramas, and it kinda rung true for me.

Well, except for the Lee Min Ho question...I LOVE Lee Min Ho!!!

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, December 9, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, my book will be officially out on Friday, 12/13/13.

And while I was immensely nervous at first, as I looked at the numbers of the date that my first published work will be let out into the world, I kind of felt hopeful.

I know it's silly, but the fact that there's two thirteen's in the date makes me feel calm. Yes, I know, but it's Friday the 13th! Doesn't matter to me. All I know is that I'm grateful that someone saw the talent in my work.

And I hope you see it, too =).

So, now starts the emails requesting reviews and such, and prepping for my blog tour. I'm hoping to get the word out there that there is a new YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, with a kick-assed heroine, who just happens to be of color! You never know, maybe I can make a splash in this boxed in industry.

Happy reading and writing!

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Hey All!!!
Here it is. My cover for Cursed, a YA Urban Fantasy to be published with Evernight Teen!

Isn't she gorgeous!!!

More details soon to come.

Happy reading and writing!

Friday, November 29, 2013


Hey All!!!
I just received the most wonderful news. My book cover for Cursed has been completed and sent to me...and it's gorgeous! I'm so excited I may just burst.

I'll be posting the cover soon. I hope you all love it as much as I do!

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, as you know I've been devouring KDramas (aka Korean Dramas) lately, and after having finished my first two series I had a bit of a revelation about my own writing process and the dos and don'ts of storytelling.

The first two dramas I watched were the ever popular Boys Over Flowers (2009) and the sweet and wonderful Playful Kiss (2010). While I loved them both for different reasons, I had a difficult time finishing up Boys Over Flowers for one simple reason - they put my girl Jan-di through way too much crap! I mean really, writers? Did you have to keep throwing issue, after issue, after issue her way? I guess it's a nod towards their writing of a wonderfully loveable character that I got so upset, but that's beside the point. The point is, by the last four to six episodes I had to keep taking breaks from the show because I was all frazzled by what they'd be putting my girl through next (thank goodness for bloggers out there like Dramabeans who blogged detailed episode synopses or I'd have gone stir-crazy).

And it was through watching that series that I learned a valuable lesson. While it's a storytellers job to give his or her audience some drama and conflict, if you give too much you risk losing your audience all together...and that's no good.

While Playful Kiss did throw many obstacles at main character Ha-Ni, the resolution came at a good time where I was just at the breaking point of throwing my hands up.

As writers we all have to walk that oh-so-thin line between giving the conflict needed to make a story great, and overdoing it. I don't ever want to overdo it. So, I'll make sure to be mindful of just how much crap I put my main characters through. And hopefully will find a nice balance that'll keep everyone who'll read my fanciful stories happy.

Happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Hey All!!!
I was poking around on the Internet and came upon this nice article published in the Huffington Post detailing the true stories behind many of our beloved fairy tales. Now I've always been a huge fan of the Disney versions of these stories, which are filled with love and happily ever after endings, but found this to be very sobering.

I did know the real stories behind Cinderella and The Little Mermaid, but Sleeping Beauty is what really shocked me. Enjoy!

Happy Reading and Writing!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Hey All!!!
I was recently doing some reading online and happened upon this Korean teen drama series called Boys Over Flowers (Forever Young Adult has a good review on the series here). It seemed right up my alley: a little nutty, a lot of fun, and full of teenaged-dramatic-goodness.

While I was reading the plot online a light bulb went off in my brain. I realized that this story has all the ingredients for a fun YA novel:

1) Smart, nice, cute and mouthy main character goes to private school on scholarship? Check!

2) Meets a cute group of boys that are all major douches? Check!

3) Boys all fall madly in love for our wonderfully lovable heroine and all chaos ensues? Double Check!

For my purposes, I'll probably want to add in a dash of the supernatural with my own bit of flair...but I think it may be something special.

I never know when a good idea will hit me, or where I'll get my next inspiring thought, so I always keep an open mind for whatever may come. I'll be pocketing this idea, along with slew of others I have locked away in my handy-dandy notebook, for later use. Until then, I have about 24 hours worth of Korean teen drama to catch up on!

On a different note, I recently heard from my editor with Evernight Teen and have been working on my first round of edits for about a week now. I'm about halfway through and am so excited I may bust!

Happy reading and writing!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Hey All!!!
Check out this post from one of my favorite blogs, Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance!

In the post, blogger extraordinare Jennifer Bielman gives a list of free reads that can be found on Kindle and Nook as of 3:00 am EST. I don't know how long it will last, but get the books while they're hot! And free!!!

The list of what I grabbed up is below:

-Love At First Bite
-Her Mad Hatter
-Accidentally Flirting with the CEO
-The Beautiful Thing

All these books are sure to make the BF cringe, but he'll be okay.

In other news, I have to put aside all reading for now because I just received my first round of edits from my publisher! Hopefully I'll be posting more information on release dates and maybe even the first chapter pretty soon.

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Hey All!!!
Lately I've been going through a serious reading mode. You know the one, the kind where you devour two to three books a week with no thoughts to the other things you need to be doing, like, *cough, cough*, writing.

I realized that this wasn't healthy writer behavior, so I tried to force myself into a writing schedule, to get myself back on track. That ended with me looking up last night at 9:30 pm, with no writing done, but almost a book and a half cleaned off my plate. At that moment I went back and forth in my brain, determining if it was worth it to sit down for all of half an hour before bed to get some words on the page. I had had a chapter in my head for two days. I knew where I wanted to  go with the story. I just had to sit my tail down and write it out.

I'd almost decided that there wasn't enough time to finish an entire chapter, so it wasn't worth it to start the process, when a thought echoed around in my brain...

"There's nothing to it, but to do it!"

I'd heard that saying while watching Tia and Tamera's reality show - I believe Tia's husband said it one day when they were deciding on whether or not to continue with a project or something - and it just stuck with me.

So, I sat down last night, and wrote out the first section of that chapter...and I feel great about it! Sometimes life doesn't give you perfection when it come to your schedule or even your desire to get the words down. But that doesn't mean that you just wait around for the right timing. Sometimes you have to sit your tail down, even if it's for half an hour, and get some work done. Even a little bit at a time is better than nothing at all.

Happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, I'm slowly making my way through my NA novel that is untitled while reading the Night Huntress Series on the side. In doing both of these things, I realized that I have a serious love affair with kick-assed heroines. Like, seriously serious. Like, put the BF on notice that he has major competition for my affections, serious.

I don't know what it is about a strong female who is more than capable of fighting her own battles and bringing men to their knees, while still being feminine and beautiful, that really appeals to me, but it does. Maybe it's the fact that I've always been shorter, and curvier, and in some ways quieter than my peers. Maybe it's the fact that I've always wanted to be the sort of girl that's able to stop traffic and who feels powerful. Who knows what it is, but it's a love that I see in all of my books now - from the ones I write to the ones I read.

I think that's why I absolutely LOVE Cat from the Night Huntress Series. She's not perfect, and makes more mistakes than you can count, but she's powerful and fierce and wonderfully loyal. And she can kick your butt without a moments hesitation. Cat's the kind of character I want to write. And secretly, a bit of the character I want to be. I'll just have to keep putting pen to paper until I get it right. That, and ramp up my martial arts training as well.

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Hey All!!!
My publisher, Evernight Teen, is holding a Teen Read Week Scavenger Hunt on their website. You can find a link to the hunt here.

Myself and all of my fellow Evernight Teen authors are playing a game of hide and seek with our blogs in the form of a scavenger hunt. And we're giving away a brand-spanking-new Kindle Paperwhite eReader! The winner will be randomly chosen from all the correct entries.

Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association. It began in 1998 and its purpose is to promote and encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Hey All!!!
I recently read this fantastic review of Stephen King's The Shining on Cuddlebuggery and I couldn't not share it with you all.

Enjoy, and happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, you may have noticed the wonderfully fancy button that I've recently added to my blog. And I can confirm that I will be officially published with Evernight Teen! I'm not sure as to the date yet, but I'm excited for you all to be able to read Cursed in the very near future.

I'll be putting together a post with all the details in the next few days.

Until then...happy reading and writing!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Hey All!!!
Like many others, I recently watched the MTV VMA's. I gawked at the mess that is Miley Cyrus, was in awe of the wonder that is Justin Timberlake, and squealed like the girl that I'm not when *NSYNC came on stage for all of 30 seconds (and YES I would pay anything to go to a reunion concert). So, I was happily caught up the next morning when all of the post award show buzz on the Kidd Kraddick Show was going on. Or so I thought.

Smack in the middle of the round up, they started gushing over Bruno Mars performance and I felt a little lost. It wasn't that I didn't see it. I caught a bit of it after my evening shower. By that point the show had gone on a bit long for me and I'd already caught the section I'd really wanted to see (Justin/*NSYNC) so I was winding down for the night. I didn't really pay attention to the song Bruno Mars was singing, but remembered thinking it had a catchy tune. But when Kelly Raspberry went on about how it was an orgasmic experience, well, I HAD to figure out what all of the hype was about.

I immediately downloaded it right then and there in the car...and was completely blown away!

Gorilla by Bruno Mars is gritty, raw, sensual, and completely awesome! And it put my brain in such a perfect mood to write romance and sexy-time that I had a writing breakthrough that night.

That's the great thing about music and creating. The right song can completely shift your mood, bringing about feelings and emotions that you can use for your writing. And depending on your life experiences, the music and words can even draw upon the familiar emotions you felt long ago.

Lately as I've been writing, I've been able to evoke all of those hot and lusty feelings of the initial attraction one can have for a potential love interest - and I believe it's made my first few chapters of my new NA story even better!

How does music effect your reading and writing experience? Are you someone who likes complete silence when you throw yourself into a tale or writing? Or do you like to have a little mood music to guide your way?

Happy reading and writing!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, I've got a confession to make. I've developed a serious taste for romance novels. Paranormal Romance to be precise.

And when I say taste, what I really mean is a totally-bad-for-you, call-the-doctor-because-I'm-going-to-need-help-really-soon addiction for the stuff.

I don't know what happened. I was doing my YA and NA reading thing, when I suddenly got a taste for a bit more sexy-time. I picked up one - and I do mean one - novel with vampires and hot, hot, hotness between the pages...and became hooked.

I can't put them down. And I mean that. I've tried. Well, maybe I haven't tried hard enough.

So, I'll be adding some of those books into the reviews I'm working on for this week. The series I'm hooked on, if you're interested, is the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. Not sure how J.R. Ward does it, but she completely grabs you with this intricate world she's built. The voice, the characters, the stories are all fantastic. And if you like sexy-time, you'll get plenty of that. A vividly hot plethora of sexy-time. The differing points of view don't even bother me. Well, except for the bad guys...I could be completely okay without having them in my head.

In other news, I'm in heavy editing mode as well. After 2.5 weeks of illness, I finally feel well enough to do some actual writing work! Hopefully the editor likes what I'm doing with the novel. I guess all there is to do is wait and see.

Happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Hey All!!!
Against my original mind, I decided to pick up Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire last week. When I first heard of this book I was pretty turned off by what was described to me as one seriously dysfunctional relationship. For me, when it comes to fiction for young people, I get a bit protective about what we thrust in front of them. With two very young nieces that I adore at home I want to make sure that anything we put in front of them promotes healthy and stable situations and relationships. What scared me about the reviews I saw was the fact that many felt the book glorified an abusive relationship.

So, I read through the first 2/3 of the book and skimmed through the rest...and am still not sure how I feel about it. Is the relationship between the two main characters a mess? Without a doubt! Did I enjoy the parts that I read? Absolutely! Will I let my nieces pick it up when they're of age? Hell no! (If I can stop them. If I can't, we'll at least have a very long talk about how this is NOT the type of relationship they should be having).

In thinking about this book for the past few days, I started focusing on how we glorify the "bad boy" in fiction and entertainment today. I wrote a short blog post on this before, but it still hits home for me.

Why are we so drawn as girls and women to the guys that are no good for us? Is it that thrill of the hunt - of possibly being the one exception to the rule for that bad boy? The hope of being the one person who will tame him. If that's the case, I'll quote the movie He's Just Not That Into You and state that there are no exceptions!

Or is it the thrill and excitement that comes with that situation?

I get it. For real, I do! I spent quite a bit of time with my own versions of the thrilling and exciting bad boy. You know the ones. They never commit. It feels great when it's good, but when it's bad...oh it's bad! It's like being on an emotional roller coaster where you're just hoping things level out eventually, when deep down, you know they never will.

Give me the stable and steady love of the good guy any day!

Now, I don't think we'll ever give up on that elusive bad boy in fiction...he's just too fun to play around with in our heads! But hopefully, one day, we'll see more of an emergence of the good guy actually finishing first in fiction. Besides, who said that the good guy can't be sexy and fun and thrilling? Ummmm, can we say Peeta in the Hunger Games!!!

For a nice list on the good guys of YA check out this post from Emily's Reading Room. It's an oldie, but a goodie. Two of my tops make her list!

Happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Hey All!!!
I was searching the blog-o-spere and found this post by Janet Kobobel Grant, an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency. It's very easy, as a writer, to think that agents have all the answers - that they are the guardians of the gilded doors to the literary industry, so to speak. But they are people too, and can only do so much for you.

I've always said that being a shrewd business person or leader doesn't require a person to be the smartest in the room, as long as he or she is smart enough to surround his or herself WITH the smartest people they can. If traditional publishing is the route you're taking, you have to learn to work with and trust in the agent you have.

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, August 12, 2013


Hey All!!!
Recently I've been delving into learning the marketing and branding side of the business of writing. Turns out that you have to do more than just write an amazing tale with relatable characters to make it in this business...much more. In addition to writing and editing, you have to have your brand fully developed, a platform established, and a hefty presence on social media and the like. It's serious business to say the least.

Instead of getting properly overwhelmed, which is my normal M.O., I decided to take this whole marketing and branding piece of writing one sliver of work at a time and dissect it like we used to do in A&P in high school. First up, my author branding!

An author's brand is his or her core philosophy when it comes to writing. What is the message that you'd like to share with the world? And why? What drives your passion for putting in the blood, sweat, tears, and pulled out hair that this process takes? There are a lot of resources out there that can help you to develop a brand. The website I looked into can be found here. You just have to apply the plethora of information out there to you.

As far as my brand, here goes nothing:

I am a writer of color who writes diverse paranormal fiction. What makes my writing different from the slew of books already out there is the fact that mine features a diverse cast of characters. We live in a world where you find a proverbial rainbow of folks in every high school, college, and office - and I'm not just talking race here. We have different cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations, different socioeconomic groups. So why do we not see this same type of diversity in the books on our shelves? Especially the books out there for young folks.

There are so many different kinds of people out there who love paranormal fiction. I want to give all lovers of paranormal fiction a voice, as well as to build worlds in my books that reflect the world around us, in all its glorious diversity!

So that's my brand. Maybe I'll post a chapter or two of my writing here...hopefully you all like it.

Happy reading and writing!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, I've found myself at the crossroads that many authors face to when it comes to perfecting their craft: The art of writing vs. the art of marketing.

Many writers find the art of writing an easy skill to focus on. It's something we want to do, need to do. No one has to tell me the importance of determining my writing style, or of making sure I continue to stay in the habit of writing daily. And no one has to point out how much better my writing becomes when I steer clear of being wordy and focus on the properly plot points.

But when it comes to the art of marketing I tend to immediately feel overwhelmed and squeamish. What is the line between promoting a book and being a good ol' fashioned bug-a-boo? Let's be frank, no one strives to be that guy or gal who is on your Twitter feed every hour, on the hour, asking you to buy his or her wonderful book. Like I tell my new hires in orientation, you don't want to be the person who starts a job, guns blazing, talking about what needs to be done to fix a company (unless you were specifically hired to do that). So, how does one navigate the map of marketing without crossing this crazy line?

That's what I'm researching now, and I hope to find a resolution soon.

Happy reading and writing!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, I'm working on a new YA novel. When I was first outlining this story, I saw the love interest as an all around nice guy - the athlete who likes to take tons of photos in his spare time. The guy who tells everyone that he takes those photos as a hobby to "beef up his resume", but who deep down loves everything there is about photography.

But when I started writing the first major scene between him and my main character, I was surprised to find he's a bit more snarky and arrogant than I originally thought. It's not that that's who he is deep down, it's just that people have expected certain things from him for so long and he's started to believe the lies.

The realization of the layers to my character shocked the heck out of me...but it also filled me with excitement and amazement!

That's the joy of writing. Not only does it enable me to get all of these voices and stories and what ifs out of my head, but it also enables me to discover so many different lives and personalities. It gives me hope in people and keeps me in awe of our wonderful complexities. And that's something I'll always value.

Happy Reading and Writing!!!


Hey All!!!
I recently finished Focus, the second book in the Crescent Chronicles, by Alyssa Rose Ivy. Below is a blurb for the book:

Freshman year of college is hard even when you're not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she's in far too deep to turn back.
I give this book 3.5 Stars.
I still love, love, LOVE this series. And this second installment didn't disappoint as far as giving me all of the let-my-brain-check-out hot romance that I enjoy.
In Focus, Allie has started her freshman year in college, with trusted friend Hailey as her roomie. She goes to class - though she does have a constant body guard sitting next to her in the form of Levi's besties and goons - and tries to party and have a good time. She also spends most of the book giving Levi hell for tricking her into a binding marriage of sorts.
But when Allie's life is once again put in danger by the other noble families - and with a internal threat exposed - she and Levi have to come together.
This book has it all - fun frat parties, the drama of starting college classes, fun nights out with the girls, and a hot guy who's being put through the ringer to earn love and trust.
My big issue with the book is that, like the first one, it's painfully short. The author could stand to expand on a lot of the situations and issues that present itself throughout the story. There's so many chapters where I felt the action was cut short, and I was left wanting so much more.
I will say that Allie holding her ground with Levi in this book was very much appreciated, and I still loved all of the main characters!
As said before with the first installment, I'd enjoy reading this book many times over!
Happy Reading and Writing!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, I didn't win the writing/voting contest...but I still have a few pokers in the fire! I'm not sure how everything will work out, but I'm hopeful that you all will see Cursed published in some form with some publishing house in the very near future.

In other news, I'm currently working on a new Young Adult novel, while working on a New Adult one at the same time. I've finally started to get my writing groove back, and now that I have it, I hope to never lose it again (but those of you who are writers know that isn't guaranteed).

So, all in all, it's been a pretty good few weeks.

Expect some book reviews to come your way shortly!

Happy Reading and Writing!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Hey All!!!

I recently read Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy. Below is the blurb from the book:

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.


I give this book 3.5 Stars

There is something about this series that I absolutely LOVE!!! And I can't fully put my finger on it.

Flight starts with Allie moving to New Orleans to work in her dad's hotel for the summer, before heading off to Princeton in the Fall. She's excited to get away and live in the city with her bestie, and to make a new start away from her ex. Her life changes when she meets the seriously sexy and obnoxious Levi. They spend many days and nights together with his crew, and he even tells her his family secret.

But when he makes a decision that will change her entire life, without her permission or full knowledge, it not only shifts her entire world, but may leave their relationship broken forever.

The storyline for this book is fairly simple and flows well. Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy. Girl finds boy is a wizard, vampire, shifter, you name it. Girls link with boy causes her to be placed in horrid danger. Girl and boy work it out to determine how life will go on.

I really enjoyed the characters here, especially Levi and Allie's new bestie, Hailey. And from time to time, I enjoy books where I can just check out and get an easy read. For me, Flight is kind of like watching the reality T.V. that you know isn't all that great for you, but you still love it for what it is.

The things that I didn't care for included the fact that Allie can be flighty (pun intended - Ha!) at times. She goes into the city claiming that she's sworn off men and turns around the next few pages and jumps all over Levi. Let me tell you, the times I'm off men, they get the hint...quickly.

Also, I felt the way her bestie, Jess, was dropped from the story and Hailey was conveniently there to take up the role didn't sit well for me. I'd have preferred it if she went there alone and talked with her bestie on the phone or something. It was just too forced for me.

Lastly, the story is painfully short. I feel there was not enough storytelling overall and I was left wanting more.

Even with the above, I'd still read this over and over again...like I said, it's my reality T.V.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Hey All!!!
Voting for the Yummy but Brainy Writing Contest for CBAY Books has opened. You can vote for Cursed to be published here.

I hope you all will see Cursed published very soon!!!

Happy reading and writing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Hey All!!!
I just finished reading Storm by Brigid Kemmerer. The introductory blurb is below:

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

I definitely enjoyed this book. Ms. Kemmerer brings to life the idea of Elementals being a common occurrence. But what's great is that even in this growing community that's right under our noses, there are a few that are special - more so than those who have a cursory ability to control certain elements. And that's what makes this story special.

I won't give away too many details. I enjoyed the interaction between our main character, Becca, and the main love interest, Chris. They have a snarky and fun exchange with one another that I always appreciated in books like this. I also enjoyed how the author plays with the misunderstandings between the two. There's a lot of great conflict in the story, outside of what is going on with the boys being "Marked for death".

I also enjoyed the love triangle and how Becca handled it. The confusion and feelings of being tugged between the two guys felt genuine to me...and relatable. Ms. Kemmerer developed well thought out characters with detailed story lines.

Now, for my one big issue with the story. There's a sensitive situation that happens to Becca and  that's key to her storyline, and I didn't feel that it was handled well. It turns out that Becca got herself into a dicey situation with her boyfriend during the past few months and ever since then he's been spreading some pretty nasty rumors around about her. As a reader, you get the impression that one thing occurred - even the other characters in the book are given that same impression - only to find that what you thought happened never did. I'm not saying that what did happen wasn't bad - it was - but it pales in comparison. And as a reader, I really felt duped. I'm not saying that Becca's reaction felt false, or anything along those lines, just that the way she revealed the details - in a way that didn't give the full story - did feel false...like telling a white lie, or something. That's the best way I can describe how I felt about it without straight giving away the details.

Overall, I'd give Storm a solid 3.5 stars!!!

Happy Reading and Writing!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Hey All!!!
The finalists' books for the Yummy But Brainy Writing Contest are now available here!!!

You can read the first sixty pages of my novel, Cursed, and on June 1st voting opens.

I hope you all like it!

Happy reading and writing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Hey All!!!
As you all know, I've been plucking away at this writing business for a while now. And you may have noticed that I've recently made a few comments hinting at the fact that I'm oh so close to being a part of the published community due to a writing contest with a independent publishing house in Austin, Texas.

Well, I can officially announce that I'm a finalist with for the Yummy but Brainy Writing Contest with Children's Brains Are Yummy Books!

About a year ago I submitted my query letter to CBAY Books in an effort to see if they'd be interested in publishing my work. I'd done my research on them, and while they aren't one of the big five (or six, depending on how you see publishing), they have a steady presence and have had some really good books come out (I'm a fan of P.J. Hoover =)! ). A few weeks later I was notified that I was selected as a semi-finalist and was asked to send my full manuscript over. And a few weeks after that I was selected as a finalist for the contest.

Now, I've spent the last few months polishing up my manuscript with one of their amazing editors on staff. I can say with confidence that the experience taught me SO much, and I'm a better writer because of it. So, where do we go from here?

The first sixty pages of my book, along with a wonderful cover, will be available for download on CBAY's website here starting sometime this week. Starting on June 1st, there will be a page where you can go and vote for your favorite book to be published! You can also recommend another book be selected as well, if you're having a hard time choosing just one.

Below is a blurb of the awesomeness that is my story:

Jazz hunts Suecai—an evil kind of incubi and succubae that have turned their backs on the ways of her people—that devour the essence of humans. During a standard raid Jazz is caught by a Suecai leader and cursed. With only weeks left, Jazz and her best friend Khan are now hunting the Suecai alone—not to protect humans but to save her own life. But will the growing attraction she feels for Khan get in the way?

Here's hoping that you all get a chance to read Cursed in the very near future! More updates to come soon.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, last week was a real mess. I was all geared up to put the finishing touches on the first sixty pages of my manuscript for the Children's Brains Are Yummy publishing contest when disaster struck in the form of an nasty allergic reaction. If you've never had an allergic reaction before, let me tell you...don't. It was one of the most uncomfortable and icky experiences I've ever gone through and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (well, I think I wouldn't).

Basically, the days I set aside to finish up all of my hard work and coast towards that finish line were a complete wash. So, what did I did? Well, I had to go with the flow and work with it. I spent my weekend doing the work I'd hoped to complete during the week and will be looking over the final product tonight.

When it comes to writing and life you can't waste time crying over the small stuff. Sure, it's easy to get overwhelmed and to spend time sulking, just don't let too much time go by doing that. Typically, I'll give myself a few hours tops to do my, "Woe is me" thing before picking myself up, rolling up my sleeves, and getting back to it.

You have to go with the flow of life and never quite...and that's the good and honest truth!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Hey All!!!
I was trying to get up the motivation to do some editing tonight, when I saw that Sense and Sensibility was on one of the movie channels. Naturally, all thoughts of editing quickly flew out the window and I was immediately drawn in. As I took in the classic love and woe storyline I had an epiphany.

One of Sense and Sensibility's story lines is the classic tale of a good girl who longs for the exciting bad boy, foregoing the good guy who's already shown her some attention, and who essentially ends up with a broken heart. In our classic tale, Marianne is the free spirited, middle sister who doesn't follow those silly rules of decorum that are expected of women in those times. Instead, she's open about how she feels and doesn't hold back. But when she falls head over heels for the sexy and exciting Willoughby, she's left with her heart broken when his past deeds come out to bite them both in the behind.

Now, mind you, the ever dependable and much more calm Colonel Brandon has long shown his affection for Marianne. Unfortunately for him, he has none of Willoughby's swagger and doesn't stand a chance...until Marianne learns the value of loving the good guy.

The realness of this storyline is one that we can all relate to. In most cases, the girls who end up with the bad and exciting boy end up with more trouble than it's worth. We all want the bad boys though...we can't help it.

In a day and age when many of the male love interests in books are this reformed bad boy character, I have to admit it's nice to see a story where the good guy finishes last. Just a thought!

Monday, April 15, 2013


Hey All!!!
I haven't been all that vocal about this, but I'm a huge fan of The Hunger Games trilogy. And I mean HUGE!!! The preview from Catching Fire was released and here it is:

To say that I'm excited to see this movie is a complete and utter understatement.

Enjoy it!!!


Hey All!!!
I was perusing the blogosphere and found this post by Once Upon a Twilight asking what each of us is reading right now. I really enjoy this site for the candid and insightful YA book reviews it gives and the overall sense of community there.

To answer that question for myself, I'm currently reading two books at once. I don't normally do that, but I'm so engrossed with both of these series that I couldn't get myself to put one down so I could focus on the other. Also, I think that just sort of happens when you become properly obsessed with reading and books in general.

The first book I'm reading is Opal by Jennifer Armentrout. This is the third book in the Lux series which involves aliens, the Department of Defense, and one wicked love story. It's been such a great ride watching the main character, Katy, fall into fighting and love with the always hot and sometimes annoying Daemon. I'm eager to figure out where this story is going.

I'm also reading Fading Ember by Jamie Reed. This is the third and final book in the Cambion Chronicles and follows the love and drama that happens when a human girl with bite falls for a guy who just happens to have an incubus inside of him. I really love the interactions between Sam and Caleb, and I especially enjoy the fact that our main girl character is bi-racial!

More detailed book reviews for both will be coming in the near future.

So, what are you all reading? Any books that I should put on my "coming soon" list?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, I'm working on edits for the first sixty or so pages of my manuscript and the editor I'm working with gave me a unique challenge. He wanted me to find new, innovative ways to show that my main character, Jazz, is falling in love with her team member Khan.

See, I read a good deal of YA and what I'm used to seeing is a mixture of the below:

  • Heart fluttering
  • Heart pounding
  • Breath catching
  • Tingles running up some body part
And on, and on, and on.

When the editor came at me with this challenge I was a bit at a loss for what to do. I'm so used to seeing the heart fluttering and just understanding what it means. How was I going to break the habit of using these tried and true wordings to convey what I wanted to say?

So, what did I do? I sat down with the BF, my friends, my family and myself, and asked one key question: How did it feel when you were falling in love?

It's simple, but to the point. And so far I've gotten a variety of answers. Everything from, " I knew because I realized that you were a constant thought on my mind," to, "I felt an open pit in the middle of my chest and was always longing for my significant other." And I'm still gathering intel.

And if that wasn't enough - as if the Big-Man-Upstairs heard my question - YA Highway posted this today!

Love is a difficult beast to wrestle in writing, but if done properly I believe it's a universal concept that we all can relate to with a warm and happy familiarity. Why do you think Romance has always been, and will always be, hot!

Happy Writing!

Monday, April 8, 2013


Hey All!!!
YA Highway is a great resource for writers of any genre, but especially helpful to those of us who write MG or YA. They just put up a really great post on in-person critique groups and how they function which I thought you all might find interesting. The post can be found here.

I've been with my own critique group for many years now and meeting in-person does provide a different dynamic than the groups you may participate in online. I believe each has it's pros and cons and as a writer you have to determine which option is best for you. That doesn't mean that you have to choose between the two either. Some of my writer friends participate in multiple in-person and online groups at the same time. So, do what works for you!

Happy Writing!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Hey All!!!
One of my critique group buddies and fellow writer of all things awesome, Barbara Wright, published an amazing book called The Pyramid Waltz. It's available through Bold Stokes Books here! Now, I may be a little biased, but I do know good books, and Barbara has penned a story that's chocked full of action, with magic and a hot romance thrown in for measure.

Don't believe me, here's a great review that might change your mind!

Below is an synopsis:

To most, Princess Katya Nar Umbriel is a rogue and a layabout; she parties, she hunts and she breaks women’s hearts. But when the festival lights go down and the palace slumbers, Katya chases traitors to the crown and protects the kingdom’s greatest secret: the royal Umbriels are part Fiend. When Katya thwarts an attempt to expose the king’s monstrous side, she uncovers a plot to let the Fiends out to play.

Starbride has no interest in being a courtier. Ignoring her mother’s order to snare an influential spouse, she comes to court only to study law. But a flirtatious rake of a princess proves hard to resist, and Starbride is pulled into a world of secrets that leaves little room for honesty or love, a world neither woman may survive.

And she's also coming out with the sequel in May of 2013! I'm happy to see those in my writing circle doing amazing things!

Happy Writing!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013


Hey All!!!
Imagine this:

You're at your writing critique group meeting, shooting the breeze, talking plot points, and just chatting about overall life. In your spare time you've been trying to work out a new story idea that would fit in with the current reading trends you're seeing. You know the one: girl meets boy, girl likes boy but knows there's something seriously wrong with boy, girl finds boy is X, girl finds herself very attracted to boy because of X or Y redeeming qualities, girl and boy fall in love and fight X situation together.

Suddenly, one of your critique group members makes a comment that leads you to think on one of your favorite sci-fi shows and voila, you've got a spankin' new tale on your hands.

Something similar happened to me tonight. An idea just hit me out of the blue when chatting it up with friends. And it's GOOD!!! Well, I think it is anyway.

There's nothing more exciting than when you get that sudden burst of a shiny new idea. It's the beginning...a new start. And the possibilities of where that tale can take you are endless. I love this part of writing. The glimmer of an idea. Fleshing out the main characters and who they are. Thinking about what they want and what gets in their way. And finally penning that first draft.

I don't know about you guys, but when I get in these moods, I become darn near obsessed. I eat, drink, and breathe the details until they solidify.

Now all I need is a new notebook to jot all of this down in!

How do you all handle the idea phase of your writing process? Is it something you revel in, or something you don't look forward to?

Happy Writing!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013


Hey All!!!
For the past few weeks I've been crazily focused on the edits for my book. This is nothing new. Dealing with hours of editing kind of comes with the territory of writing. But what's different about THESE edits is that they're on a hard deadline...one that's quickly approaching.

See, I'm a finalist for a writing contest with Children's Brains Are Yummy Books, an independent publisher of middle-grade and young adult novels based out of Austin, Texas! One of the major perks of being a finalist for this contest is that you get a line critique done by one of their editors. Then you have a few months - it was three and a half for me - to make the necessary changes before a portion of the book is posted online for wonderful folks like you all to vote on.

So what's it like editing with a deadline:

1) You're super excited at first because an editor has read your entire book and actually took the time to give you insight into what's good and not so good about it.

2) You dive into the editorial letter and notes, and see how the changes make your story really take on a polished and professional feel. In the process, you realize that not only is your story getting better, but your abilities as a writer are improving as well.

3) After weeks of going through your chapters, your editing engine slows down as you realize that going through 250 pages of line edits can be more than a bit grueling.

4) In an effort to maintain your sanity, you take some time to do other things you love to decompress, like reading a steamy romance for fun, because your eyes begin to bleed from even the thought of looking at your story.

5) You stay focused and push through - even though there are times when you don't want to - because you can see that you're story is getting better and better.

6) You have more than a few moments of yelling, "My writing sucks!"

7) After much pain and with an exhausted brain, you end up with a wonderfully polished story that you hope your editor will love as well.

8) You get more edits and start all over again!

Now, I'm assuming this is the case for number 8...since I haven't gotten to this part yet. I'm sending my first round of edited material over at the end of this week.

All in all, editing with an industry professional is an exhilarating and humbling experience that I hope to get to repeat for many years to come!

Happy Writing!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Hey All!!!
Lately the BF's new gig has him hopping around the US of A. And when he's gone, I get to spend some QT with his cutie pie of a dog named Jazz =) (like my main character - and no, I'm not biased at all!). But bouncing around from place to place has forced me to think outside the box when it comes to my writing spaces and how I can make sure to keep to my writing schedule.

Typically I like to sit down with my good ol' laptop and pound out my edits for the day. I close myself off in my room with no T.V. and little distractions, and lose myself in the work. I've found, however, that lugging that laptop all over the place can be a bit...difficult. Especially since I like to frequent the gym after work and am not too keen on leaving my hardware in the establishment locker rooms - I just don't want to chance it. I was about to pull my hair out trying to figure out how I was going to get any writing done when I'm away from home, when a friend of mine turned me on to the awesomeness that is the google drive and google docs.

Using these products I'll be able to work from anywhere - without having to manuveur the dropping off of the laptop dance that I'm all too fond of (NOT!).

What do your writing spaces look like? Have any of you had to battle with thinking outside the box when it comes to where and when you get your writing in?

Happy Writing!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Hey All!!!
So, I've transitioned over into my new HR role and was thinking on how difficult change and taking chances can be - both when it comes to your everyday life and your writing life.

Change is scary. Hell, fear of change or of taking chances is often the reason a person decides to pull out on a work project, promotion, on selling a writing project, or anything else that could have a positive impact. This is especially difficult when that change carries a certain amount of risk with it. But what most individuals don't remember when in the midst of change is that even though it's difficult to go through the fire - to willingly submit yourself to the harsh realities of the world - the end result is so worth it.

I didn't go searching for this new role, it just fell into my lap. But it did take a leap of faith and persistence on my part to get it. I had four different interviews. And I was sure, more than sure, that I had completely bombed each of those meetings. There were more than a few times when I wanted to give up and stay where I was comfortable, to stop pursuing something that I knew would make me happy for fear of failure and of how it would change my life. Now that I'm here and can look back on my journey, I can't help but to feel extremely lucky that I didn't give up.

I'd like to believe that my writing journey will be the same. It's scary to work towards publication, to really strive for it in spite of the likelihood of failure. But I know that the rewards I'll get for all of my hard work will be more than worth it. I just have to get through and keep at it - and to not be afraid of the changes and transitions along the way.

Happy Writing!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Hey All!!!
In the past week I've had two different responses to my story from editors for independent presses. These got me thinking on just how subjective this whole writing business is.

On the one hand, an editor decided to pass on my work. The email was full of praise for my writing ability and skill, but the editor didn't fully connect with my main character. She felt that Jazz was a bit too reckless for her liking and not well-rounded enough. All in all the email was a good one. I mean, if you're going to get rejected you want to hear that you're doing good job at your craft while experiencing it. But in the end it still was a no.

Not even twenty-four hours later I got notes from a different editor.  In this case, I'm a finalist in a contest for Children's Brains Are Yummy books and a part of that process involves having one of their editors do line edits on your entire manuscript before posting a portion of it to be voted on by the public. At the beginning of my editorial letter, one of the first things he said was how he enjoyed the fact that Jazz was such a well-rounded character and how he could relate to her conflict.

Two editors.

Both specialize in Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction.

Both read the same book.

Two differing reactions to my main character and the conflict she faces throughout my story.

When it comes down to it, a large part of making it in this business is being lucky enough to find the editor or agent who can understand the particular song you're singing. Sure, having the talent and a killer storyline is also key, but that lucky meeting with someone who can see your story for the awesomeness that it is...well, that's like finding a long buried treasure.

So when you get those rejections don't fret. It may having nothing to do with your actual writing ability - and everything to do with the fact that you sent the editor/agent a story that was Diet Coke, when s/he prefers Pepsi.

Happy Writing!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Hey All!!!

So, I've been thinking about the balancing game that every writer who works a 9 to 5 has to play - the one where you divvy out time to work your full-time job, while making time to write, eat, workout, and live life all in one crammed day.

For some it's an up and down roller coaster ride, filled with irritation. There are few out there who can afford to write full-time, and having to wake up every morning and go to a J-O-B can be really difficult when all you want to do is spend your time with your nose in a good book, or creating a fantastic story of your own.

But for others, yours truly included, it's a rewarding venture that keeps life interesting. I have a good career in HR, which provides me with more than my share of interesting war stories to keep my creative juices flowing. I also have a passion for writing, which makes me happy overall. I can do both. I just have to plan like a crazy person to make sure that everything gets done that has to get done.

So how do I do it? Well, it's not without some sacrifices. I go to work and do my thing for 8 hours. Then I make sure to write, edit, or submit for at least half an hour during my lunch break. I have an hour set aside for working out when I get off. And then I make sure to schedule at least an hour of writing in the evenings when I get home. Not to mention that I try to spend a big chunk of my weekend being productive with my craft as well. There are a lot of fun things that I don't get to do every day, but the fulfillment I get when I finish a new tale more than makes up for it.

When it comes down to it, working while writing is a difficult juggle to perform, but if you plan correctly and are diligent about it, it's more than doable.

Happy Writing!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Hey All!!!

I'd been writing the first draft of my new book (currently untitled, but I have a few ideas that are bouncing around in my brain), while submitting and now editing my third book (Cursed). And I'd found that I was having a difficult time connecting with my main character. It wasn't like it had been with Jazz in Cursed. Jazz was hard core and such a loud voice in my head that writing in her point of view was easy for me. Alana, on the other hand, is more of a quiet being - softer. And after the clarity of Jazz I found it difficult to adjust to the quiet subtleties of Alana.

So, what did I do...I brought my problems to my critique group.

Some of the things that my group does for me (and that I do for them) are:

-They keep me focused/motivated on writing.
-They help me to keep on track with plot, structure, and pacing.
-They point out things in the story that don't make sense.

One of the great benefits of having a group of fellow writers who surround and support you on a consistent basis is that you can go to them when those writing blocks take hold. Maybe it's just me, but talking out my blocks is what helps me get to the other side.

To make a long story short, I was able to get past my distance with Alana and get a better understanding of who she is as a person. And getting past that blockade also helped me to understand her world and the background of her people better as well. So, it was a win-win.

Every writer comes to a point in their career where they need to engage with others who are on this crazy writing roller coaster. Not only has my group helped me to spot points in my stories where my plot wasn't where it needed to be or grammar mishaps, but they also support and motivate me in times when I need that extra push. All in all, my critique group makes me a better writer.

Do you have a critique group? What made you decide to get one or not? What makes your group great?

Happy Writing!!!