Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IWSG February Breakdown



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the February 6th posting of the IWSG are: Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace.


*sigh* I should apologize in advance for the extremely negative post to follow. There comes a point when you just can't pretend it's all sunshine and rainbows. Originally I hoped to post a lovely little "here's what I wish for you this month" kind of post. However, I've been an emotional child for the last two months. Angry, throwing temper tantrums. I want to scream, "I'm done!"

But I can't.

Too much of my heart and soul is wrapped up in writing. In these silly stories I want to share. The rub is I can't even give them away for free. Not the sci-fi anyway. I've tried for two months. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Booksprout. I only gave away two copies of the newest YA space opera. Out of curiosity, I posted my romance on Booksprout as well. I didn't share what I'd done anywhere. I gave away ten copies the first day with no effort on my part.

It shouldn't frustrate me. I should be happy something is reaching its audience, but why can't I figure out how to reach the other group? It's been ten years of thinking about it. And that audience is basically me! Where would I go to find my book?

The library, because I'm cheap.

Been there, tried that. They sold my books in the "Friends of the Library Sale" for $0.50 each after I had to buy them from my publisher for $10 a piece.

I'm tired of banging my head against the wall doing this on my own. Even when I had a publisher I had to do it on my own. But I can't pay someone else to do it.

The smart side of me says write romance for a year. Publish two or three of them and get some money coming in with little to no effort. But the childish side of me wants to scream that's not fair.

The worst part is all the anger makes it impossible to write romance. Just not feeling it, you know? I've also been hiding at home because I'm not a very good friend to be around right now. I hate that. I miss my friends. (Since drafting this I'm wondering if I'm having a midlife crisis or starting menopause. Could be either or both. Heaven help my family!)

I'll get over it eventually. The good thing is despite all my frustrations, I'm still listening to my favorite podcasts and taking free webinars on how to do this marketing thing. I want to quit, but I don't know how to really give up. That means there's still hope, right?

February 6 question - Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

I'd like to say photography, but I only have my phone. No fancy camera. Here's some pictures I'm proud of though. I've decided I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's good for my heart and soul.



Taken through a peep-hole cause I'm author creepy like that. LOL

And cooking and baking. Most recently I've been trying out all kinds of gluten-free cookie recipes since I've slowly been cutting gluten out of my diet. It's given me a lot more energy and less stomach issues, but man I miss cookies! This weekend I found the following online recipe and my family loved it. The best chewy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from My Gluten-free Kitchen's website.

Here are some cakes I made for a party in December. The white one was a Blue Velvet cake, there's a chocolate mint, gingerbread with caramel cream cheese frosting, and a gluten-free brownie with raspberry mousse. All were delicious!

If you stuck this post out to the end, you deserve a cookie. I promise to get my act together and be more positive next month.

Do you ever get tired of trying to put on the "good face" because that's what we're supposed to do? Or simply frustrated with things not going like you want them to?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

HAND OF ATUA excerpt for release week

My husband started reading my book on Sunday. He doesn't really like to read so I'm glad he's giving it a try. It makes for nail-biting anxiety though. He's asking tons of really good questions that I'm refusing to answer because it will be a good opportunity to see if they're answered in the actual story. *fingers crossed*

One of the questions he asked is about Atua and the whole talking to him thread that runs through the book. He wondered if this is science fiction or religious. Well, it's kind of both. It can be both. Right? I didn't plan it that way, but well, it sort of turned out that way in the end.

It all started in chapter two when Am puts Eleena on an escape shuttle with her Uncle. She's going because Am promised to help her father travel to the other side of the planet to retrieve her mother and then somehow get them to where Eleena is going. Eventually. Things don't go as planned.

Here's the excerpt.


"No problem. Be safe." Am shrugged and turned to me. "Eleena, don't worry about anything. Evander will let me know where to bring your parents so you can be together."

The other man, Evander, stepped forward. "Am, we've intercepted communications from Rawiri. Your father sent an envoy ahead to collect you before the fleet arrives. It could be here any moment. You need to leave now."

"I'm not leaving Talrano." Am shook his head. "We'll take my ship to get his wife. We can do it by the end of the day, tomorrow at the latest."

"Am, don't be stupid. Your father wants you back. If you don't leave he’ll get what he wants. Send someone else for Talrano." Evander stood his ground.

Uncle pointed at the people surrounding us. "They know who your father is, and it won't take long for them to turn on you. If you go back, you won't make it off the planet. "

Am turned away. I waited and silently prayed he wouldn't break his word. He said he'd get my parents.

"What about Eleena? I promised her." Am's voice cracked. He coughed and stepped farther away from us.

"Eleena," Beck looked me in the eye. "One day this man will save planets from Hatana Anaru's wrath, but if he tries to reach your parents he will die here. Who will save those other people if that happens?"

A tear slid down Uncle's cheek. He knew Mima and Popi would be left behind. I looked at Am. Who was he that he could do this? I'd always looked at him as just another one of Popi's students, but the others acted like he was something more.

Now, his eyes pleaded with me as if everything were up to me. My parents or so many others? Who were they and how would he save them? I didn't know. I only cared about my family.

Atua, what do I do? I want him to get my parents, not save strangers. My eyes scanned the crowds of people. They were scared but grew angrier with each moment. They pushed closer and the soldiers now fought back. I didn't like them, not any of them. 

A voice, softer than a whisper, touched my heart. But I love them. Let me save as many as I can. I will need him to do that

The voice filled my entire body with warmth. With Atua's love for me. For my parents. For Am and everyone on Manawa. It was so full, I thought it might be for everyone in the universe.

Tears flowed down my cheeks, an extension of what filled me so completely. I wanted my parents, but I didn't want Am to die.

Atua, keep my parents safe. I silently pled.

The reply was immediate. They are in my hands.

"It's okay." I launched myself at Am, hugging him tightly. "Peace on your path, Am, and may Atua be with you."

"Eleena?" He squeezed back, and when he spoke his voice sounded rough, like it struggled to pass his lips. "Atua willing, one day we'll find the light leading all of us home." 

The sadness didn't go away, and the voice didn't speak again, but I felt peace. Mima would be proud of me for listening to Atua. 


I let Am go. His eyes looked sad, and I wanted to tell him Atua would protect my parents, but my voice had frozen in my chest. Instead, I waved as Uncle Beck led me up the ramp into the ship.

Pre-order Kindle at a reduced price until February 3rd
Download Free Review Copy from Booksprout

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Hand of Atua Book Release Week!

This Saturday THE HAND OF ATUA will be available for Kindle and print on Amazon. This is a Young Adult space opera that I've been working on and off on for years now. I'm super excited to have it out where people can read it.


I didn't plan a blog tour or any of that stuff. However, if you want to join in a little fun this is what you can find:

  • Facebook release party event on Saturday, February 2nd. Drop in for guest authors, games, giveaways, and book discussions. Go RSVP to be entered in the first prize drawing!
  • Download the first 10 chapter preview to read before the party to discuss at Prolific Works as part of a group giveaway--no strings attached!
  • Download a free copy of the full e-book ARC over at Booksprout review request.
  • OR simply pre-order on Amazon it at the reduced price of $2.99. Full price will be $5.99 after the weekend.
How about something visual to clue you in on what was in my head while writing this story, or inspiration photos I found when procrastinating?


I'll post some of my favorite excerpts throughout the week, so come back tomorrow!

Join my newsletter for the most up to date news, opportunities to beta read, get advanced reader copies, and see freebies and sales from other authors as well.
Click here or text NEW READER to 444999

You'll get a chance to download Stellar Cloud and/or My Brother's Best Friend by River Ford just for signing up. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

IWSG Happy New Year! 2019 Goals and Giveaway


It's a new year. Although it may seem cliche to set goals, this is a good time to evaluate current paths and make any tweaks and course corrections necessary. My goals aren't new by any means, but they are drifting in a new direction.

First, a recap of 2018. My goals were simple--get back to being a writer and publish three stories. I feel I accomplished this. I published two stories as River Ford (Landscape Love and Christmas Magic) and have one coming out next month as Charity Bradford (The Hand of Atua--previously known as Eleena's Tale). The plan had been to release THoA for Christmas but it needed a deeper edit before setting it free. Most of my current insecurities are tied up with these final edits. Things are moving along but so is time.

I'll get there. 

The greatest accomplishment of 2018 was getting the author ball rolling again. It wasn't easy. There were days I really struggled, but I feel the momentum is finally picking up. I'm excited to see what 2019 will bring. 

In order to continue moving forward, I'm keeping my goals simple:
  • Continue learning and implementing better marketing skills through kindleprenuer and the many Indie Author podcasts I've discovered
  • Write Monday through Friday (Saturday when my family allows) and attend writer's group Wednesday nights
  • Finish Teacher's Crush, Dancer's Heart, Demon Rising, and several short romances for an anthology
  • Live author events I plan to attend: World Building Panel at Roger's Public Library as a presenter, AAIM as a presenter, Flea In the Park, and possibly the Christmas Bazaar if my hubby does it with me
Did some of your goals carry over from 2018 and what's new for 2019?

Oh, and there are lots of giveaways going on right now. You can read the first 10 chapters of THE HAND OF ATUA in a preview in the following giveaway. I believe there are over 200 books to choose from. Check it out!




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the January 2nd posting of the IWSG are: Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue.

The Question of the month is: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

Any question about my stories, characters, or author journey are always fun to talk about. Just be willing to tell me when to stop!

I don't think I have a least favorite question, but I don't care for when people tell me what I should write to make money. Just because I'm a writer doesn't mean I will enjoy writing everything. If I could make myself write strictly for a paycheck I would have done so years ago, but I write for myself. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

IWSG December: Recovering from Nano and Surprise Novellas

I participated in Nanowrimo for the first time in several years. The best part is I use Nano to help me accomplish whatever my goals are at the time. In the first couple of days, I finished THE HAND OF ATUA (currently up for pre-order for Feb 2nd release). Then I decided to write a Christmas short story with the sole purpose of publishing it on December 1st.

Crazy, right!?

Why? Because I had planned to publish three books this year and only did one. Perhaps that's a stupid reason for publishing a short story, but not making my goal really bugged me.

Well, I wrote, got feedback from beta readers, revised, and edited that story in about three weeks. CHRISTMAS MAGIC is doing well at the moment. It makes me feel good, and it sometimes makes me angry. I put years of thought and revisions into my science fiction stories and they never do as well as my romance. Is that because I'm horrible at writing science fiction or simply because romance has a larger audience?

The logical side of me says the latter is true. Romance has a huge market with lots of subgenres and a voracious reader pool. Seriously, romance readers devour books. Maybe they are just easier to market to or simply easier to please? They will forgive huge plot holes, typos, and contrived conflict that doesn't make sense. Science fiction readers are much pickier.

This is why most of my writing insecurities are tied to my science fiction stories. My sci-fi is character driven not science driven. There are aspects that fall short because no amount of reading on a topic will help me sound like I know what I'm talking about--hand to hand combat for instance. Sometimes I wonder if I should give up sci-fi ideas and stick to what makes me money.

However, I love my sci-fi ideas. They give me the opportunity to delve into things in a way I feel comfortable.  Plus, it challenges me to stretch and try and be better than I am. I guess that's what matters. If only the releasing it into the world and hearing crickets didn't hurt so much. Even though I don't get lots of reviews for romance either, at least I can see sales and pages being read.

How does your writing make you stretch and grow? What part of the stretching makes you the most insecure? 




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the November 7th posting of the IWSG are: J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker, Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey!

December Question: What are 5 objects we'd find in your writing space?

There isn't a clear answer to this one because my writing space changes all the time. I don't have a dedicated space. However, if I'm writing somewhere in my home I will have:
1. my computer of course
2. a water bottle
3. my phone
4. my dog Rosie trying to sit on top of the computer or glued to my side
5. a view of the trees

That's it. If I've traveled somewhere I lose the dog.

Now Available on Amazon
Pre-order on Amazon