Thursday, December 11, 2014


Hey All!!!
So, it's been a while since I've written and a lot has changed in my life. I got hitched and am now navigating the craziness that is marriage. And I had a period where I didn't want to write for a long time. 

I'm not sure what happened... Maybe after the craziness of publishing my first book and seeing how difficult it was to promote it, and not being very good at that promotion, I was drained. Maybe I just didn't have the emotional head-space to be in someone else's head at that time. Whatever the reason, I was seriously reconsidering what writing meant to me and how I saw it playing out in my life.

After some soul searching and lots of rest, I came back to the blank page. And while it's been difficult, it's been kind of fun.

So, I'm back at it, y'all!!! I'm hoping to provide y'all with more information on the world around me and how I'm seeing things. Until then...

Happy reading and writing!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Hey All!!!
So, I'm being featured in an interview with DiversifYA! I'm so excited to share my experiences with this great group who's sole purpose is to create a more diverse and open market within the YA industry.

You can see my interview with them here.

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, April 28, 2014


Hey All!!!
As many of you know, I'm in the mist of the storm of wedding planning...and it has been a major source of both joy and frustration in my life to say the least. Between having to research 10 vendors for every thing that we need, and having to make tons of decisions about décor and themes and such, I'm exhausted. Not to mention the ever present political things that come up during this process...things like being asked, "Can you invite so-and-so that you've never met a day in your life because they're my friend?" by loved ones when they know darn well that you're trying to keep to a budget. But now that I'm coming to the end of the "major items I have to get off my list", I am able to stand still and look at what this process has taught me...many of these lessons are great when placed towards my writing.

1) Make a List and Check it Twice! - When I first started wedding planning, I went with where my interests lay. If I wanted to look at DJ's, then I looked at DJ's. If I wanted to search dresses, then I did that. That led to lots of fun searching, but no real progress. So, the fiancé sat me down and talked to me about making sure I had a list of to do's and keeping to it. After that I started really using the lists given on The Knot and Wedding Wire and have been really organized ever since.

The same determination and strategy-based focus is a must when it comes to writing...especially for the tasks that you don't particularly care for. In my case, I'm not good at social media and being overly aggressive online. I'm more of a homebody who likes to watch movies and do some heavy reading, and that doesn't bode well for the promotions side of this business that I need to do. So, I'm looking to put myself on a major schedule so I can do what I need to, which is to promote my work!

2) Don't Sweat the Small Stuff! - There are few processes as stressful as planning a wedding. You make decisions daily that will either make someone unhappy (such as not giving every single person there a plus one) or you're worried about the linens not being right, or there not being enough food, or of something going wrong! But the thing is, something will inevitably go wrong. Yes, I've been thinking about this one day for as long as I can remember, but the most important part of it is that I'm finally marrying the man of my dreams. If someone wants to talk badly about the fact that they didn't like our décor then they can kiss my behind (and I really do mean that). I don't want to spend my time worrying about anything that doesn't involve the relationship and foundation of the marriage I'm going in to.

When you're putting your book (or baby, as I like to call it) into the world, it's very easy to get caught up in the negative talk in your head. Things like, "What if no one reads it?" or, "What if everyone hates it?" can easily get you off the track of putting your work out there. When it comes down to it, we write to put our stories out into the world. So, don't worry about folks not liking it and not understanding your genius. The only person who has to fully understand you is you!

Well, you and maybe your significant other =).

Happy reading and writing!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hey All!!!
My publisher, Evernight Teen, is having a 50% off sale today for Earth Day!

The theme is, "Save a tree. Read an eBook!"

Feel free to go to the Evernight Teen website to get some great deals on some great reads.

You can also get great deals on Evernight Teen books at AllRomance ebooks.

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Hey All!!!
It's been a while since I've posted. Life and wedding planning has sucked up all of the hours of my days and I'm finally working to get more balance in my life (well... the fiancé sat me down and said, "Trakena, you need more balance in your life." which prompted me to sit down and think over how my hours have been spent, which prompted me to make some adjustments).

For the first time in my life, I'm feeling like my hours are so limited due to everything that needs to get done...and I'm starting to realize that this is going to be a consistent state that I will be in. Because, there will always be something that I need to add on to my life. First it will be my husband, then kids, learning Korean, or whatever else I get a flight of fancy to do. And that's on top of the writing and reading I need to be doing. Not to mention the duties my 9 to 5 carries.

So, how am I going to balance it all?

Well, I sat down, pulled out a notebook and starting to make myself a schedule. I have writing days when I'll focus on getting some words on a page. I have my Korean class, which I'm so excited to start this summer! I have working out. And any other time I'll need to manage.

Gone are the days when I could spend hours and hours reading and writing without a care in the world. It makes me kind of sad to realize how things have changed now.

How have you all gone about making those big changes to your schedule and timing throughout your lives?

Happy reading and writing!

Monday, February 3, 2014


Hey All,
A winner has been chosen for my stop on the Evernight Teen 1 Year Anniversary Blog Hop!

Congratulations to books4me67!!!

A $10 Amazon gift card has been sent on over to you.

And a big thanks to everyone who participated. I hope you all got to experience some great, bold, and edgy reads from Evernight Teen, and hopefully Cursed is now on your "to read" list!

Happy reading and writing!

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Hey All!!!
So, I'll be posting the winner of the Evernight Teen 1st Birthday Blog Hop tomorrow! I'll also email the winner.

Tune in to find out if you've won!

Happy reading and writing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Hey All!!!
So my publisher, Evernight Teen, is turning the big 1 today, and is having a great contest to celebrate!!! You can enter to win on the Evernight Teen Blog here.

The grand prize is a $100 gift card from iTunes, which is always a good find.

I'll also be giving a $10 Amazon gift card to a winner on my blog! Just leave the answer to the below question in the comments section of this post.

1) What does Jazz ask Khan to do if she ends up turning Suecai?

You'll find the answer below, so make sure to keep reading!

Just a little info on the fabulous book I published with Evernight Teen. Cursed is about one young girl’s journey to fight the darkness within herself. The main conflict is Jazz’s fight to maintain a sense of humanity in spite of the growing hunger that starts to take over her. This journey also forces her to open her eyes to new possibilities – to the love she’s always had for her closest friend, Khan.

You'll find a blurb from my book that's hot, hot, hot below:

When he walked out the bathroom, the nerves I’d thought I’d turned to steel started to quiver. What if he refused me? Khan was just as stubborn as I was. How could I possibly ask this of him? How could I get him to understand?

I took a deep breath and looked at him. “Khan, we need to talk.”

“Uh oh, that’s never what a guy wants to hear from his girl.”

My stomach fluttered, but I refused to give into the distraction. “I have a plan…in case we don’t find and kill the Gunshi. But I need your help to pull it off.”

He didn’t look taken aback, just more determined than anything. “Jazz, it’s too soon for you to give up now. We’ve got some really good leads, we can do this!”

I shook my head. “I’m not giving up, Khan. I never give up…you know that.” I smiled at him and was rewarded with one in return. “But…being a leader means having to think outside of myself…you and my dad taught me that. We have to prepare for all possibilities – even this.”

His dark eyes flashed and, for a second, I thought I was in for a long and hard fight. Then understanding washed over his features and he nodded. “As long as you promise this doesn’t mean you’ve given up.”

“Not even close – and giving in doesn’t even sound like me.”

He snorted. “That’s for sure.”

I rolled my eyes. “Okay, I think we can do this, but if not…I have a forgetting tonic to erase my memories. That way, in the very least, the vermin can’t use my knowledge against everyone I love.”

Khan jerked. “Where in the hell did you…?” Then he groaned. “Claudine.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “She always has been good at knowing what I need.”

His face was hard. “Okay, so I’ll make sure to wipe away your memories. I’ll erase everything that makes you, you – everything I’ve grown to know and care about. We done?”

I paused. “Not quite.”

He flinched. “I figured something more was coming when you said, ‘In the least’.”

I almost didn’t have the guts to continue. “Think about it, Khan. You can’t just leave me there, a newbie Suecai with the urge to feed. What if I came across my mom one day? Or your dad?

“You might not be able to do it immediately – there’s no telling how strong I’ll be at first or how protected – but eventually you’ll have to take me out! I shuddered at the thought. “What else can we do?”

The rage flew through his features even more quickly than when I’d told him I couldn’t be his Valentine in the sixth grade.

“Anything, Jazz,” Khan whispered. “We fight. We search. We keep pounding the pavement until we find that bastard. We do anything and everything.”

Words escaped me. A boulder set squarely on my chest and wouldn’t budge. I should’ve known this wouldn’t be easy – hadn’t I spent my entire life traipsing around Chicago with Khan? I shouldn’t have expected anything else.

Khan seemed to take my silence as an opportunity to change my mind. “You could learn control, Jazz, become a full-fledged Dorgai.” There it was, that secret hope I held deep in my heart that I was too scary to speak out loud.

“Khan, that’s impossible. There’s no way I can learn control if I’m forced into feeding too fast. The only way we halfers manage it is by taking an entire year to ease into the process. All of Dad’s advisors are agreed that I’ll become an uncontrollable Suecai.”

“I can’t believe that, Jazz. It can’t happen. Not to you.”

I couldn’t focus. My need to be rational kept battling the little girl within me reaching for a solution, any solution.

I didn’t notice Khan moving until it was too late.

Before I could say something to break the bubble, Khan stood over me, his face inches from mine. His eyes were warm and I could feel the heat of his breath, minty from his recent trip to the bathroom. My heart stopped. And then he was kissing me, slow and deep at first, and then with a heat and passion I’d only guessed he possessed.
You can buy my book on Amazon and Evernight Teen. And don't forget to like it on Goodreads!!!

Happy reading and writing!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Hey All!!!
So my life has taken a turn...for the awesome!

My book, Cursed, was published with Evernight Teen on 12/13/13, and it's been really great seeing peoples response to it. I've been working to get more reviews and publicity, so hopefully you'll see more about it in the weeks to come.

Also, the BF, who I've been having fun with for 2.5 years now, asked me to marry him!!! The proposal was absolute perfection...what any romance obsessed writer would want.

But now it's back to reality and writing.

Happy reading and writing!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Hey All!!!
I'm thrilled to have my first review up for Cursed!

The link to the review is here.

Happy reading and writing!