Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rubbing Glass in the Wound

*sigh* There are things I'd like to keep secret. That's no surprise. Everyone has something they don't want known. Sometimes we have good reasons, like not wanting others to worry. Sometimes it's a pride thing. There are other reasons, but those are the two that I've been dealing with the last few days.

I made a mistake. The prideful part of me is embarrassed. However, I got really lucky and I chose not to tell people because I didn't want them to worry. I know how my close knit church group of family and friends are. I'd have people calling, texting, emailing, dropping in with food and gifts. Then I'd feel guilty because I'm fine.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Lucky for me, my friends understand that sometimes the deepest wounds are inside our minds. They have freely loved me and taken care of me for days on end, making sure I don't feel alone since my hubby is currently out of the country. I'm so grateful for every text conversation. Every phone call and meal that was brought to my family in spite of my trying to keep things a secret.

So, this happened last Friday...

You see that miracle bubble around the driver's seat? That's where I was. I admit, when I saw the car for the first time on Tuesday, I was decidedly NOT okay. Not emotionally in any kind of way. Sure, I was still walking around on my own with little more than a few scrapes and bruises, but suddenly the reality of how lucky I had been hit home.

All the "what ifs" that I had managed to relegate to the hours I should have been sleeping slammed into the daylight time. Things could have been so much worse!

What if one or more of my kids had been with me?

That's the biggest one.

So, let me tell you all, that I am doing good. The top of my head is bruised from hitting the roof (I think), my forehead is back to normal although I had a special glass edition of Microderm abrasion, the cuts on my foot are almost healed, the headaches only hit me at night, I can finally take a deep breath without pain, and the only thing that really bugs me is the poison ivy I got walking up the hill to the ambulance.

See, I was able to walk away. Miracles happen!

Here's the glass in the wound part of the post.

1. My hubby bought this car 3 weeks ago. Luckily it is old and was cheap, but now we are back down to 2 cars and 4 drivers.
2. We didn't have collision coverage.
3. I got a ticket for prohibitive driving. (Not sure what that means. I slid around a curve that was still wet from earlier rain. I was only going about 5 over the posted speed limit.)
4. When they did the CT scan to make sure my head really was okay, they found something on my thyroid. We don't know if it's something to worry about or not at this point. It's now on my list of things to get checked out. Along with checking to see if there's anymore glass deep inside my ear. (I got some out, but the one ear still feels weird.)

Anyway, if you believe in prayer, can you keep me in yours that this thyroid thing will be something easy to deal with. Nothing to worry about, and all that jazz. My family has had a hard year and I just don't think we could handle one more thing.

I also want to say thank you to the people I met on Friday. The ones who stood by and talked to me while we waited for the rescuers to arrive and get me out. I didn't catch their names. I'm sure they told me, but I don't remember them now. Those men kept me calm. Kept me talking. Made sure I wasn't alone.

Thank you to EMT Shane for making me laugh even though it hurt. He told me I sparkled in the sunlight (from all the glass and glass powder covering all of me). When I said that might make me a vampire he emphatically replied that REAL VAMPIRES DON'T SPARKLE! I laughed and if I'd felt like moving I would have fist pumped the air with joy to still be in the land of the living.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my house with some gift to help me feel better, good advice, a listening ear, a hug, dinner, etc. Thank you to everyone who has texted or Facebook messaged me. Your love and support has meant a great deal.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG July--Handcarts, Retreats, and Releases

What a crazy month June was! There were so many things happening that I could barely keep up. It was wonderful in way. I was too busy to let my insecurities really kick in. In fact, I think I found new courage in all my running around. So, today I'm rolling with it and just reporting on last month and setting some new goals for July. Having accountability is good for me. 

Report Goals for June:
  • Survive a pioneer re-enactment with youth from church next week (I put the best pictures in a slide show. I'm the fat one in the yellow dress, lol. I did pretty good hiding from the camera.)

  • Finish the draft of Talia's third book (working title: Demon Rising) while attending a writer's retreat--I did continue writing on this, but did not finish yet.
  • Continue writing Eleena's story--Added 15K to this story at the writers retreat.
I also got a surprise last month. Book 2 in the MAGIC WAKES has a cover and a release date! You can read about it HERE

I'm also running two giveaways on Goodreads. 
THE MAGIC WAKES--2 copies, July 4th--July 12th
DAWN OF THE MAGES--2 copies, July 4th--September 15th

However, you can be entered into a smaller pool of entrants by signing up for my newsletter.

Goals for July

  • Continue working on Demon Rising--it needs to move to priority.

Goals for the rest of 2016:
  • Finish both drafts--Demon Rising and Eleena's story (working title: Empire Rebooted)
  • Begin revisions on Demon Rising this fall and submit to my publisher
This month's IWSG question: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

I'd have to say the note I got on Facebook a few months ago. A sweet woman I knew years ago in North Carolina sent me a private message to tell me that her 12 year old daughter found my book on the shelf and read it. 3 times in a week! 

So the mom did what all good moms do. She contacted me to see if I had any other books. A week after I mailed them I got another note telling me that I was her daughters new favorite author! That was a first for me and I'll admit I teared up at that. I'd never even dreamed that was a possibility.


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

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dawn of the Mages Cover Reveal!

I'm so excited to share my new cover with you! Everything is a go as of today. I didn't plan any big launch, but I had to share with you guys right away.

DAWN OF THE MAGES

...is now on Goodreads! Go add it to your TBR pile! I'll be giving away free copies of book 1 in the series the week of my release date.

Print copies will be available mid-July and ebooks the beginning of September! This is a huge jump in timeline for me. They were originally slated for late September and October, so I'm super happy!

Blurb:

The Dragumon have been defeated, but the planet Sendek will never be the same.

In order to save their world, Talia and Landry Sutton had to wake the forgotten magic on Sendek. But instead of restoring peace, it creates chaos on the city streets, with those unable to work magic turning against those who can.

When Talia and Landry travel to the planet Orek to discover how it combines magic and science, they find a new, anti-magical government. The Controllers have all the tech, weapons, and natural resources. On Orek, the magical outcasts beg Talia and Landry to help them rise up against their oppressors.

The two must decide whether to help save Orek or return home and save their own planet. Talia and Landry are torn apart by the conflicting missions. Talia knows what Landry wants, but if she gives in, she could lose what she loves the most.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June IWSG--Tip-toe With the Muse

Most of the Greek Muses have to do with music, dance, history, and various types of poetry. Since I write science fiction, I'll claim Urania as my Muse.

After months of not feeling inspired to write, I feel like I'm back! I owe it all to my wonderful writer's group. Several weeks ago I gave in and took my new first chapter. I'd been playing around with a story they'd already heard the start of. For some reason, I didn't feel I could keep writing the story until I really nailed that first chapter. Usually I write and then come back and rewrite that chapter 100 times. Maybe this means I'm finally growing as a writer?

Anyway, I had taken their comments from almost 5 months earlier and wrote a new first chapter for the story. I'll be honest and say my confidence was basement level when I started reading out loud. Would they like it? Did I finally find my character's voice? Was this enough to pull readers in?

When I finished there was silence. Then it went sort of like this.

Me: Well?
Tamara: That was amazing. This is a story I want more of.

That's all it took to have my Muse slinking up beside me ready to work. I value Tamara's opinion. She's never reacted so strongly or positively to any of my work before now. It gave me hope. Ever since then, I've been working on the story whenever I can. It's not a lot of time yet, but bits here and there are adding up. I'm in love with my characters. I hurt for their struggles. I'm allowing myself to write the story without boxing myself in. When it's all said and done, I hope readers will feel this story the way I have. Hope, fear, anger, and forgiveness. All set on a galactic scale!

I guess my words of encouragement for this month would be this. No matter how long your writing has been "off," don't give up. Keep trying. Keep putting yourself out there and one day something will light that spark again. It's so worth the wait!

Goals for June:

  • Survive a pioneer re-enactment with youth from church next week (There will be pictures!)
  • Finish the draft of Talia's third book (working title: Demon Rising) while attending a writer's retreat
  • Continue writing Eleena's story mentioned in the pos

Goals for the rest of 2016:

  • Finish both drafts--Demon Rising and Eleena's story (working title: Empire Rebooted)
  • Begin revisions on Demon Rising this fall and submit to my publisher



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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Girl Who Heard Demons by Janette Rallison

From Goodreads:
Shy Adelle Hansen hears demons, but she’s determined to make friends at her new high school by keeping her ability secret.

When she overhears supernatural voices celebrating the impending death of the school quarterback, Levi Anderson, she knows she has to do something to prevent it. However, the demons aren’t the ones plotting; they’re just celebrating the chaos, and Adelle must contend with earthly forces as well if she wants to preserve Levi’s life.

Handsome, popular Levi doesn't appreciate Adelle’s self-appointed role of guardian angel. As Adelle battles to keep him safe, she’ll have to protect her heart, too. Can she do both?

My Take:
I have to admit I've had this one o my kind for a while. I think I picked it up for free by voting for it on Kindle Scout. Anyway, the only downside I can think of for this story is the fact the cover didn't seem to match the story. When I scrolled past it on my carousel, the cover didn't suck me in. I couldn't remember what the story was about so I kept scrolling.

However, when I finally opened it, the first sentence caught my attention.

"The demons came again during the night."

Ralston introduces us to Adelle quickly. The fact she is more afraid of the possibility of robbers than the whisperings of demons is interesting to say the least. I immediately had a good feel for her personality, and soon learned to feel for the direction her life had been moving.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, Adelle is quite spiritual. Even though she doesn't understand why she can hear demons, and why her efforts to help others overcome the constant destructive voices only makes her life miserable, she keeps her faith in good. Her hope that she can make a difference is what keeps her speaking up even though she knows its safer to keep quiet.

Here's another great line--"Maybe I wasn't the weird girl because of demons. Maybe I was just hopelessly awkward."

Levi might be a little on the arrogant side, but deep down he's a good guy. He's working through his own issues--a growing concern about this father and the secrets he keeps. He tries to shrug it off, but the more time he spends with Adelle the harder that becomes.

The romance is cute and different enough to feel fresh. They are drawn to each other but still try to keep things on the friend level. At least that's what they keep telling themselves they should do. Adele doesn't want a relationship with someone who thinks she's crazy. Levi just can't decide. Is she crazy or a savant? He's much more comfortable thinking she's a brilliant modern-day Sherlock Holmes than the fact she might actually hear demons taunting people.

I loved the paranormal aspect, the suspense, and the romance elements. I give this a 4.5

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
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