Friday, January 31, 2014

Cover Reveal!

I'm getting this post up under the wire, but I'm so excited to be a part of Jen Naumann's cover reveal! Jen and I blog together over on The Writer Diaries and she is a crazy talented writer!

But before I do the unveiling, here's a little teaser for Paranormal Keepers :

Everyone thinks Harper Young killed her boyfriend. No one will say it to her face, but the signs are everywhere.

It’s almost been a year since Gavin was torn from Harper’s arms and brutally murdered. The police wrote it off as a freak accident, deciding Harper’s strange testimony was given under duress. But she knows something unnatural was involved and refuses to stop looking until she finds his killer, even if it means her reputation as a senior is ruined. Even if it means there really are monsters living among us.

With the discovery of the mothmen, witches, vampires and all the creatures she always suspected were out there, Harper finds herself amidst a complex bundle of unseen heroes who call themselves "Keepers", sworn to keep the secret of the paranormal creatures that walk this earth. As she tries to understand what’s so special about her that she’s able to break an old Keeper law, Harper has a baffling vision of kissing a mysterious guy before a blade is brought down on him. Before she can get a handle on her future, she becomes central to a battle between the questionable “heroes” and the evil she’s been training to fight, leaving her to wonder if there’s any way to change the fate that has been foretold before it’s too late.

Amazing! Paranormal Keepers comes out March 4, 2014 from Phantom Owl Press!
Now, what you've been waiting for....

And waiting for...

Bam! Here you go!

HOLY SMOKES!!! Look at those eyes! 

Don't forget, March 4, 2014 is the release date!

Thanks, Jen for letting me be a part of this big day!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I’m taking a break from my normal writing posts to comment about gratitude.  No, it’s not Thanksgiving and you haven’t missed the entire year.

The truth is, I have realized just how easy it is for people to lose sight of what is important in the world. I think it was the arrest of Justin Beiber that made me stop to take inventory. Can you say #firstworldproblem? Out of exhaustion from the 24 hour a day news cycle, I decided to unplugged and reflect on the concept of gratitude.

It was harder than I thought it would be. You have no ideas how many “problems” I had to muddle through before I could get down to the nitty gritty. But even those problems, when looked at from a different POV, have hidden moments of gratitude.
For example, last month, my husband hit a deer and then a few weeks later, a guard rail. Between the two accidents, we had almost $10K in damaged to our car. And, because the accidents happened during two separate incidents, we have to pay 2 deductibles. That’s a chunk of change not in our monthly budget. But through some re-arranging and prioritizing and more eating in, less eating out, we have the money for the repair and the remainder of the car rental not covered by our insurance. Let’s not overlook the fact that we have insurance in the first place. We have a warm home that protects us from the -40 degree wind chill that is sweeping through the Midwest as I type. We have the food to keep us healthy and should we become ill, insurance and a health savings account to cover trips to the doctor.

Don’t get me wrong: we are by no means rich, but we have the means needed to live a secure life.

So why is it that I have a hard time being content? I’m staring down the barrel at the big 4-0 and there aren’t a lot of things I would change. I have a husband who adores me (and puts up with me), two children who are empathetic and smart (and probably a little bit spoiled), I’m less than a year from seeing my life dream of being a published author come into being and I finally feel like I am coming into my own when it comes to writing. Add to that a handful of extremely close friends (you know, the ones who know too much about you to ever be your enemy) and an even larger circle of people I enjoy being around. Our needs are covered and most of our wants, so what else is there?

I think my goal in the next year is to focus on the things that matter most and let go of the things that are #firstworldproblems. So go forth, my friends and BE FEARLESS when you face what really matters in your life! I think you might find yourself a lot less stressed if you do!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Being Fearless

Indiana is bracing for record breaking cold and blizzard like conditions. And something about the enormity of the weather has got me thinking about 2014 mantra I've adopted.

For years, I've signed off almost every blog post with BE PASSIONATE. This year, I decided I needed to change it up so I decided on BE BRAVE. It seemed appropriate. I am embarking on a new stage in my life and there will be times I will need to step out of my comfort zone and do things a wanna-be hermit would never do.

So BRAVE made sense. And then I saw this:

And I realized BRAVE isn't enough. I need to be FEARLESS. While I think some of these people might be a little crazy, each and every one of them started with a single flip. And each of them probably slammed into a cliff or broke a bone or endured some other painful experience. But they got up and did it again. And again. And again. Until it wasn't about being brave. It was about not letting fear determine how close to the sun you will soar or the depth you will dive to do the thing that drives you, that excites you. 

We live in a world of fear. Of things we don't know, don't understand. And as a species, we have belittled, conquered and even killed out of fear. And yes, maybe those are the extreme, but I'm a writer and that's how we roll. Perhaps fear has stopped us from reaching out to people because they might not want to be our friends. Maybe fear has kept us from following a job or a boy or doing something else that requires us to open up and be vulnerable. To do something that's a risk. Maybe fear has even made us afraid to be who we really are. 

But fear is all in our head, and yes, for those of you who know me well, I am the pot in this kettle/pot scenario, but if I can conquer my fears, there is nothing to hold me back from taking the life and the time I have been blessed with to new heights. So, my friends, I wish you to BE FEARLESS in whatever it is that moves you. Whether it's base jumping, sending your cherished manuscript out into the world to face the probability of rejection, or letting go of your past so it stops messing up your future, conquer whatever it is that holds you back! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Welcome, Everyone, to 2014!

As the ball dropped in Times Square, kidlet #1, who, in all fairness, is my more visibly emotional child, broke down in tears. When pressed as to what was the matter, he’s simple reply was, “I’m going to miss 2013.”

Reaction GIF: crying, The Emperor's New Groove
I had to stop myself from saying, “Well I won’t” because a. I’m working on being a supportive mom, b. he was tired, and c. I wasn't exactly sure why I wouldn't miss it.

Last year has a special place in my life timeline, especially in the world of writing, but also in my personal life. As I have said about 100 times, I found MY agent, who is awesome. I even got a couple book offers as the year closed out. I started another book that has me excited to get back to it and I think I've finally found my “voice” for writing.

The kidlets have both reached the age of conversation with me, but also with each other. They’re so close together in age that I swear they speak a language I don’t understand. My husband says they speak boy. Mystery solved. In addition to having chats, I am seeing their wonderful and very different personalities starting to come into their own and yes, I have my hands full.

Life wasn't always great this year. There was enough family drama to kill a camel, but still, that didn't answer the question of why I was glad the New Year had finally arrived. And then it hit me.

 Reaction GIF: happy, excited, Carlton Banks, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
I wasn't happy 2013 was over. I was excited that 2014 was here. This is a big year for me. I turn 40. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have earned every wrinkle laugh line and have some pretty great adventures in my scrapbook. Did I mention that a childhood dream of becoming a published author will be coming true this fall. What? I have? Get used to it. I have lots of self-promotion plans in the works.

But even more than these two moments, I think, for the first time, I am excited about the unknown. This is indeed very odd for me as I am a girl who needs a plan. I don’t really care if the plan gets pulled off perfectly, but for the love of everything that is holy, I need a plan.

That being said, I am looking forward to the unknown. Of celebrating the successes of my friends and knowing that, while not everything works out the way we want it to, there is always a plan. So good-bye 2013. It has been a year worth remembering, but not one worth crying over. It is the past and I am a better person because of it, but it does not define me or any of us.

And before I go, I realize that there have been one or two Downton Abbey-esque phrases turned here or there, and for that, you are welcome, but remember, no matter what life throws at you, BE BRAVE. (Yes, BE PASSIONATE has been retired for 2014.)