Friday, January 30, 2015

Whispering Pines is OUT!

The Secret of Camp Whispering Pines surprise me while writing evoked unexpected emotions of my childhood, and for that reason...this is a special book for me. Quite a bit of the storyline was garnered from my own childhood (as far as the atmosphere at camp and friendships). It's where my lifelong friendship with my best friend was cemented (Lisa Hansen), and SO many memories created.

If YOU have been to summer camp, than you know what I'm talking about! The smells, sights, excitement and roller coaster of emotions. I went from homesick to dreading to go home. I think that a good summer camp is something every child needs to experience. Not just a couple of days either, but one or two weeks. With swimming, hiking, horseback riding, singing, etc.

I tried to capture that in Whispering Pines, and I really think that I succeeded, without realizing it. So join Sam and Ally on yet another wild, fun and exciting story as they unravel secrets, make some cool friends and learn a bit about themselves.

Amazon link for The Secret of Camp Whispering Pines

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yes, I'm a Photographer, Too!

Now that I am in between books (but not for long) I have decided to focus a bit more on my photography for a couple of weeks. Actually, it is pretty much demanding that I do it, whether I want to or not!

I have devoted SO much of my time and mental energy into writing for the past two years, but my photography is really what's funding everything. And I'm not even trying that much. I keep finding myself, when out peddling my books, getting an art show instead.

This is what happened last week, when I went to one of our newest local merchants at the Woolley Market. They are located in Sedro Woolley, Wa and are SUCH a cool store. They focus on local, organic goods and the atmosphere is amazing. They are working on a co-op section, which I have been keeping an eye on as a possible point-of-sale for my books and cards. Well...I went in to speak with them about it, and when they saw my photography book, it opened up a conversation about showing my artwork in their new gallery area! They didn't have anyone lined up for February and asked if I was interested. My work has been up at United General for going on four months now so it is time to move on (as much as I have enjoyed having it there!).

This is a great opportunity for me to try and improve my merchandise and marketing. It also gives me a chance to spend more time planning for future marketing. Woolley Market has a country theme, with lots of rich woods, which is perfect for my landscape photography. I am going with that theme for my marketing, and I'm having fun with it! I am currently making a really cool, wooden sign, which I will share as soon as it's completed.

Today, I finishing my final edits for Whispering Pines and will have the ebook out by tomorrow! I am also going for a walk in this glorious sunshine (and maybe get some pics) and then working on preparing my photographs for my new venue at Woolley Market. What are your plans? Do you have a to-do list to make sure you are moving forward in whatever your dreams may be?

I'll leave you with my bestselling photograph, one I have shared before! This was taken at Flathead Lake in Montana. Gorgeous country!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Ups and Downs of Life

Have you ever noticed how the highs and lows of life seem to ebb and flow like the tide? You can either get pulled out to sea with those waves of emotions, or chose to grab a wake board and make the best of it.

I lost a friend to cancer yesterday. She was around my age and was gone about a month after her diagnosis. I didn't know her well...had never actually met her in person. However, we got to know each other after talking on a message board for several years and then eventually through facebook. That is one of the few positives of facebook, I do believe. The ability to follow someones life and be a small part of it from a distance. This is why I try and keep my facebook positive, because for some, that is all they see of me.

I also found out on the same day that a dear woman I know was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's in the early stages...thank God...but it will be a huge fight for her, because she also has Parkinson's.

In addition to these two hurts, it seems that the social media feeds have been overloaded with other traumas and deaths this past week or so. Sometimes, it is difficult NOT to be affected by it.

I think that a big part of dealing with this in a healthy way, is to take a step back and put it all in focus/perspective. Think back to not that long ago, before this age of instant information, and ask  yourself this: How much of this would I even know about, if it weren't for social media? What this does for me, is highlights what does and does not matter in the scope of my personal life and emotions. Yes, I wept for the passing of my friend and grieve for the fight I know that's ahead of my other one...but everything else are really other people's pains that I can't do anything about. For me to wallow in their pain and anguish does absolutely nothing but make me feel worse. point in all of his, is to keep some clear boundaries. As in everything in life, there are healthy limits and although they are difficult to see in social media, we need to have them. This is especially true for our children. Try and make sure that your 'feeds' are full of positive and life-affirming sites. I'm not saying to turn a blind eye to reality, but try and keep your reality as small as you are. ;)

Now...onto the positive, and most important things!

My kids are healthy, we had sunshine for a few days this past week and I graduated from Physical Therapy!!! (YAY)  It will be a year on February 1st since I was rear-ended on I5 and I am still recovering from the whiplash. I'm happy to say, that I seem to finally be regaining strength and getting back to my 'normal'. :)

I had a BIG accomplishment this week, too. I finished the 2nd book in my middle grade mysery series: The Secret of Camp Whispering Pines! I'm really excited about this fun, thrilling story. I am in the process of editing right now and will have it out on Feb, 1st! THEN, I will work on recording the audiobook version.

After that is done, I am going to turn my focus onto narrating/producing the next two books in my YA trilogy. The first book, Bloodline has gotten all positive reviews so far, so I guess I don't suck at it. Seriously though, even though I only sold a few each of my two audibooks last month, I made as much as all my ebooks, combined. So I have determined that it's worth it!

I need to get back to my editing, so I will leave you with a picture I took a couple of days ago. These two bald eagles like to hang out down by the river this time of year, and they are great about posing for me!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 Is Off to a Fast Start!

Cold, foggy mornings and bright sunny afternoons! This has been our weather for several days now and I LOVE it! (as far as January goes)

We're only two weeks into January and already things have been busy. I am more than halfway through the second book in my middle grade mystery series, and have been writing on it every day. My daughter is back at High School and my son at College. He has his first indoor track meet this weekend down at the University of Washington, and it will be exciting! (he is throwing shot put)

What have YOU been up to?

I've been taking advantage of the weather to get a couple of fun pictures while out on walks. I think this one is my favorite. For years now, these doves have been circling, swooping and then landing on this barn. EVERY time I walk past it...there they are. That is their life. Yesterday, there was a cool sun dog positioned just right so that I could capture it in the background. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cover Reveal - GARDEN by Jane Yates

Inspired by the classic novel The Secret Garden, Jane Yates introduces us to a steampunk world of bio-domes, robots and mysteries. Eleven-year-old Aberdeen is so used to being by herself that all she has to fill her thoughts are stories of mighty dragons and grand castles. Aberdeen’s world is soon thrown into disarray however; her parents murdered.
Having no choice, Aberdeen is sent to live with her uncle back on Earth where her fascination into her new surroundings begin to take hold. Untrusting of new people at first, it isn’t long before Aberdeen comes across 3 other children, and taking a risk, befriends them as she tries to adjust to her new home. And yet, along with Maisy, Peter and Lenard, Aberdeen comes across a riddle – a set of clues to reveal the hiding place of a lost manuscript. A manuscript that forces more questions than answers.
Oh, and there’s Frank too, Peter’s robot dog, who completes this special circle of friendship.
Garden is a journey of self-discovery, of trials and friendship. With adventure boundless, Jane Yates follows up her acclaimed Paradox Child trilogy with a new tale for young fans of steampunk and science fiction. 

Book Trailer

About the Author
Jane lives in the historic city of Oxford, England with her two spaniels. She works at the Pitt Rivers museum there too and is amazed and inspired by its wondrous array of objects. Being a museum of anthropology and world archaeology, Jane often finds herself influenced by its exhibitions. And indeed it has helped Jane write a trilogy for children – the Paradox Child series.
Jane is not only a mother, artist and storyteller, but dyslexic too, which only highlights her success even more. Jane refuses to allow the disorder to halt her dreams and continues to enjoy her favourite hobbies. Jane is a lover of steampunk, adventure and children’s stories, which often play a huge role in her own books.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bloodline WINS Top 50 Indie Books of 2014

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Bloodline ended up ranked #43 on the list, and I couldn't be happier! According to the site, there were 500,000 self-published books released in 2014. That's mind blowing. No wonder it's so hard to get your book noticed! They (the readfreely website) had over 20,000 votes in the contest, so it seems like it was a substantial ranking.

Here is the list , where you can check out ALL of the Indie books voted onto it!

On another note, I am participating in hosting a blog tour tomorrow, for the first time. I am excited about this! Be sure to check back in tomorrow to see who is stopping by!! :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Last Chance to Vote

I mentioned several days ago, that Bloodline was in the running for top 50 Indie Books of the Year on a Indie book website. Today is the last day to vote, so I am going to post about it one more time. I don't like to go crazy over this kind of stuff (because lets face it: most people don't like reading about it!)

Here is the Link to cast your vote for Bloodline

You can vote up to THREE times! There isn't any requirement to register, but you can enter your email to be entered into a drawing to win the top ten books..but you don't have to!

[Bloodline is still on sale for 0.99 but today is the last day]


I hope that everyone had a very safe and fun New Years eve. OR...for those that can't think of anything better than getting to sit at home and just do nothing but relax, I hope you got that, too! My kids ended up having a few friends over and we hosted a little party. It was fun, and I managed to get a couple blisters from rocking out too hard on the drums during Guitar Hero. (HEY, don't judge. I can play most songs on expert!! ;)

Have I mentioned that I'm a bit accident prone? Well, I am. To give an example: my daughter got a compound bow for Christmas and my husband and I went to a local range to shoot it with her and get it set up. The only bows I've ever shot, are the kind you make out of sticks in the backyard (those never went very far. I also tried to set up a tight-rope to walk, but that's another story), so I was excited to try it out. My daughter is a natural...seriously. I can shoot a gun pretty good, and so I thought I'd be rather accurate too...I never really got much of a chance to find out. The second try, I slapped my forearm with the string hard enough to leave a wicked bruise from my wrist to elbow. (Katniss I am not) My advice? If you have an arm like mine, that twists a little when you extend it, either leave your elbow bent a little, or get an arm guard. Check. (and no, I didn't cry. Just hopped around a little bit)

***As I am sitting here, writing, our first snow of the year is finally falling outside. I have no doubt that it is melting as soon as it hits the ground and we won't have any accumulation, but I still like it!***

I decided yesterday, that this next year, I am going to focus more on face-to-face marketing. So the first thing I did was a search for any up-coming comic con or science fiction conventions in Seattle. I've never been into cosplay or a anything, but I really have always been a hard-core science fiction fan. I discovered a convention called Galacticon, and it's in Seattle at the end of July. It started out as a tribute to Battlestar Galactica, but has spread out to include the Star Trek Franchise, Firely and several others. I submitted an application for a vendor table to sell my books and got accepted! The guest lineup is very exciting (like the original Starbuck as well as numerous actors from the new series) I think it will be GOOD!  Link to Galactica website

The Emerald City comic con was already closed to registration :( as it is in March, but I got on a waiting list. I'm also going to continue giving my books out to local libraries but will start soliciting for books signings. I purchased a nice, new pop-up booth with the cool, zippered sides for street fairs. I have two or three this next year that I will do for sure (photography and books). Anyone have suggestions on other things I can do?

I am on chapter six now for my next middle grade mystery book: The Secret of Camp Whispering Pines. I am really liking this story! It's moving along well and I don't think I'll have any problems getting it out by the end of this month. (January)

I'll leave you with a picture I took a couple of years ago...some people don't get it, but it's one I refer to when I am in a creative mood.'s all about the small details. ;)