Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oct 29th, 2014

So yesterday was interesting! I read a report from our local news source, Skagit Breaking, about a bear sighting in town. No one had been able to get a picture of it to share a couple of hours later, so since I was already headed in that direction to pick my daughter up from driver's ed....I grabbed my camera. The area was cordoned off by police, but from a distance, with my telephoto lens, I was able to quickly determine that he was a BIG bear...and he had chosen one of the biggest trees in the center of town, in a residential neighborhood, right next to an elementary school!

As I was leaving, I passed by an alley some distance away, and I could see a group gathered by a fish and wildlife truck. I made my way over to them...they were situated under the other trees near the one where the bear was, so he likely couldn't see us from his angle.  It was obvious that the agent and other officers were doing their best to come up with a feasible way to deal safely with the bear. I was saddened to learn later last night, that he died in a fall after being tranquilized. There has been a lot of criticism over how it was handled, but it is always easy to second guess. I haven't spoken directly with anyone that was involved, but according to reports, they tried for some time to get the bear down lower in the tree (he was around 75 feet up there!) and then used a low-dose tranquilizer, in hopes that he would come further down afterwards, on his own. Instead, he fell from the tree, and because of  the angle, he missed the net they had out under him. Sad. :(

My first picture has gotten a whole lot of recognition from local news, and I just want to say that I was very careful when I took it. I did NOT use a flash, remained low where the bear couldn't see me and be scared, and I was right next to a game and Wildlife agent. (I was there for maybe five minutes)

As to what happened: Please remember that it was a HUGE bear. Yes, he was cute, but if he HAD come down the tree, into the neighboring yards, people wouldn't have thought he was so cute. Keep in mind that it was literally right next to an elementary school. Did it pose an actual threat? I don't really know, I've never dealt with bears and I have no idea how they behave...but it seems somewhat like a lose-lose situation for the wildlife agents. I just wish it had had a happy ending.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct 27th, 2014

I took the plunge today and started working on a new website to sell my artwork from. I've had numerous requests from people on how to purchase my prints, and now I have another option! Not only can you get high quality prints, but also canvas, metal, acrylic, cards and phone cases!

Check it all out here: Fine art

Or, you can access it direct from this website, by going through the widget at the bottom of this page!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oct 22nd, 2014

So, I've been slacking!

I've been caught up this past week in homecoming for my daughter, and finishing my first audiobook!

The Mystery of Hollow Inn is now available on, Amazon and Itunes in audio format.

I'm actually thrilled with how it turned out, and I've already started recording Bloodline!

Oh...and homecoming was a success, too! I am blessed with a gorgeous daughter on the inside and out!

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13th, 2014

Last night, I accomplished a 'first'! I completed my submission for the audiobook version of my book, The Mystery of Hollow Inn.

This story has special meaning to me. I began writing it when I was sixteen. I can still remember sitting in detention (for being late to class. I was a pretty good kid. :) )  writing my book. I was thrilled to be detained in the small room, isolated so that I could write uninterrupted. I guess I was always a bit weird.

I didn't finish it until I was twenty, and then I tried to get it published. This was back when you had to mail out your manuscript to the publishers...after painfully printing it off the dot matrix printer. I gave up very quickly.

This manuscript sat in a box for over twenty years, until I took it out last year, in between writing Bloodline and Heritage. I was taking a 'break' from the trilogy, but got bored. So I decided to revisit Hollow Inn. I ended up re-writing the whole thing, changing the POV and adding a couple of chapters.

I just love this book and the nostalgia it evokes. As soon as I finished Descent, I went back to it again and concentrated on giving it a new cover and doing the audio. The cover that Mel at Melchelle Designs made is just so absolutely PERFECT, that I can't get over it. I employed a couple of family friends to model for me (putting my photography skills to use), so that I could capture exactly what I was hoping for. Mel has a way of taking the image and blending it and matching it up with the perfect concoction, to produce a near perfect match with the image I have in my head.

Here is the new cover for The Mystery of Hollow Inn, #1 in the Samantha Wolf Mysteries

I is a middle grade book, (ages 9-12, but a fun read for anyone!) Amazon link

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10th, 2014

The fog is thick outside this morning, but it sure makes for a gorgeous sunrise! I wish I had my camera with me, while taking my daughter to school.

The season has most definitely turned, although the temps are still mild. I've enjoyed the weather this summer/fall, although we'll see what that means for our winter. I think it's either going to continue to be unseasonably warm and dry, or else we'll get hit hard with a severe and rapid change.

I am nearing completion on my first audiobook! The Mystery of Hollow Inn should be uploaded by this weekend. Since this is my first attempt, I have no idea how long the review process takes and I'll be crossing my fingers that none of the files get rejected. I'm doing my best at the mastering level, to make sure everything meets the specs...but we'll see.

I am also VERY excited to be revealing the new and incredible cover, soon. Mel at Melchelle Designs has done it again! Along with some willing models for me to photograph, we've come up with what I see as a perfect image.

I'll leave you with a picture I took a few years ago of the fog and sunrise combination in our backyard:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Oct 5th, 2014

My husband I had a great little weekend getaway! There is a gorgeous spot in the Methow Valley, called Freestone Inn, or Wilson Ranch. It is a retreat rich with history and meticulous grounds. We first visited there for our honeymoon and have returned several times, as it's only a couple of hours from our home, along the North Cascade Hwy.

The area is loaded with popular hiking trails, and only a ten minute or so drive from Winthrop.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Oct 2, 2104

Man, these last few days have been busy, but in a good way!

I'm still working on juggling my different activities, but I'm having fun with it. I have discovered that sound mixing is an art all of its own! (If you know anything about it, send me a note!! :) )

Descent came out on the 30th, and I'm thrilled! This past week, I've had a sudden, increased interest in the first book of the trilogy, Bloodline, and the timing couldn't have been better. I've had both Bloodline and Heritage reviewed on the blog, Gimmiethatbook, as well as an interview. It's a good site, you should check it out. (Link is on the sidebar)

I have another interview coming up next week on another great blog (I will post it when active), as well as one scheduled for November. I have an active giveaway promo for the month of October on Goodreads, Bloodline was chosen for a buddy read on the 4th, and I'm doing a G4R (give for review) on the 8th. (also for Bloodline) I'm banking on people liking Bloodline enough, that they will then move on to Heritage and Descent, so that is where I'm focusing. I don't know if that's a mistake or not, but honestly...I'm having a hard time keeping up with just this stuff.

My advice: If you want to write a book and publish it yourself, GO FOR IT! But be prepared: if you want to actually SELL your book to anyone other than family and close friends, it's going to take a heck of a lot of your time, patience and perseverance.