Sunday, September 7, 2014

Finding Yummy Books in Unlikely Places

Yesterday, I was on my deck, watering the flowers in the planter boxes, and I got to thinking about how they are pampered and cared for, and how pretty their flowers are because of my attentions. My thoughts swung to those plants that don't get TLC and yet, do their best in spite of it.

I live in Washington state where we get a ton of rain. Blackberries grow along the road in wild thickets, even along the freeway where they are constantly enveloped in a fog of exhaust. And yet, these blackberry plants produce fruit. Sometimes big, fat, juicy, delicious fruit, though no one cares for them. No one prunes the vines, pulls the weeds, or waters them during dry spells. These blackberry plants are on their own. Most of their fruit dries on the vine, shrivels up, unpicked, unwanted. But for those brave souls who venture off the beaten path, some yummy fruit can be found for free.

Indie writers are much like these roadside blackberry bushes, striving to produce fruit even though few people will ever read our books. We are not pampered by publishers, cultivated and marketed by a team of paid professionals. More often than not, our books can't even be found in brick and mortar stores. Our fruit is hard to find and though it is often just as delicious, much of it remains on the vine, never having been picked, never seen, never tasted.

But for those adventurous souls who venture out, who dare to leave the supermarket fruit behind in search of something new, some exciting finds are waiting for you. Supermarket fruit is delicious, to be sure, but there's nothing quite like winding your hand through the brambles to take hold of that fat, juicy berry that would otherwise go to waste.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Favorite Writer Moments So Far

I've published three books and am about halfway through writing my fourth. This is a crazy, wonderful, stressful, exhilarating, and ridiculous journey I'm on, and I thought it would be good to take a moment to reflect on some of the best parts so far.

My Favorite Writer Moments (in no particular order):

  • The first time I held a printed copy of Between in my hands.
  • Getting glowing reviews on Goodreads from complete strangers.
  • Fan art based on my characters!
  • Receiving gifts from readers who fell in love with Lindsey and Aiden MacRae.
  • Friends telling me I've inspired them to write and asking me how to go about starting.
  • Meeting Aiden's Angels fan site creator Vicki Trask in person.
  • Being recognized at the RT conference by people I've connected with on Twitter.
  • Getting to the end of the third book, which I never thought I could write, and which is my favorite so far.
  • Seeing quotes from my books made into art, knowing they spoke to readers.
  • Hearing that my daughter bragged to her classmates that her mom is an author.
  • Having readers ask me when the next book is coming out because they can't wait to know what happens.
  • When my characters hijack a scene and take it someplace I didn't anticipate.
  • The Fake Scotsmen chats I've done with Jeri Smith-Ready featuring Aiden MacRae  from the Between series and Zachary Moore from the Shade series.
  • Wearing the Published Author banner on my name tag at the RT conference.
  • Having coffee with fellow authors and talking about the craft.
  • Getting reviews from readers who appreciated that I incorporated faith themes without being preachy.
  • When Aiden's Angels and KoomKey raised $700 so that the fan club prez could go to the RT conference.
  • Getting a t-shirt with the Aiden's Angels logo on it!
  • Shipping books outside of the US. Still boggles my mind that I have readers all over the world.
  • Visiting Scotland and seeing the setting of Aiden's story with my own eyes. Completely surreal.
What about you? If you're an author, what have been your favorite moments so far? If you would like to be an author, what are you most looking forward to in the journey?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Welcome Adriana to Aiden's Angels!

Adriana is our newest addition to Aiden's Angels, and she's sent her pic with Between to be added to the Awesome Fans page. Woohoo!

Is your pic on the page, too? If not, send me a photo of you with any or all of the Between series books and I'll add it to the site! Ebook pics are totally legit, too. ;)

And in case you missed it, there are new items in the Aiden's Angels store as well. Nicole Scott's new Kindle sleeve looks amazing!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Between Turns Three! Let's Celebrate with a Contest!

Between was published three years ago today. Holy smokes, where does the time go? Since that time, she's been followed by two siblings: Hell Transporter and Even In Darkness. And of course, we have one on the way (not yet named!) to round out the family. Awww....

I am truly humbled by the readers who took a chance on this book series, who fell in love with Aiden and Lindsey, and who continue to spend their time and energy to promote the series so that others will love it, too. A huge thanks to all of Aiden's Angels, and a special shout out to Vicki Trask and Theresa Largusa who are hosting an awesome contest on the Aiden's Angels blog this weekend. You don't want to miss it!! And don't forget to check out all the cool merchandise you can pick up from the Aiden's Angels Store.

I thought it would be fun to have a wee contest of my own as well. What do you think? Are you down with that? *grin*

Authors love to put endorsement blurbs on their covers and on their product pages, and I've been blessed with some great ones!

"A touching love story with a serious degree of YUM." - Author Jamie Canosa

"Aiden MacRae is the guy the word 'SWOON' was invented for." - Jessica from Just a Booklover

"Aiden MacRae OWNS MY HEART!!!" - Reading Angel

"What exquisite torture! You have no choice but to hang on until the ride is over. You absolutely will not put this one down!" - Author Linda Rae Blair

"With a gorgeous style reminiscent of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, I was absolutely enthralled by this novel." - The Violet Hour Book Reviews 

"From page one, this book draws you in and holds you there." - Were Vamps Romance

"Between had me laughing, sighing, and definitely a little teary-eyed. I loved every minute of it!" - Simply Me Book Addict

"I loved Between so much. I found myself looking forward to my reading time even more than usual. I kept telling my mom and husband, "I can't wait to sit and read a while. I'm reading the best book!"- I'd So Rather Be Reading 

"This is a truly enchanting story and not to be missed in any way, shape or form."- Magic of Reading


Now it's your turn to take center stage! 

I'll be looking for a quote to add to the cover of Book Four and/or the product pages of the books, so comment below with your own endorsement blurb (for the whole series or any specific book in the series). If your blurb has the magic stuff, you might just see it on the cover of the final book in the series!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Special Love Scene for Aiden's Angels!

As my Valentine's Day gift to the Angels, I asked you all to come up with the setting/location for a love scene between Aiden and Lindsey. I loved your creativity on the comments of my Facebook post!

And now, as my special gift to you, the love scene is now posted on Goodreads along with the other deleted scenes from Between and special scenes I've written just for Aiden's Angels! :)

In case you're wondering, this scene would chronologically take place toward the beginning of Hell Transporter, the second book in the series, and it is some naughty sexy times for them both. Enjoy!

Lots of love from me to you!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Teaser from Book Four!

Broch of Gurness, Orkney, Scotland

I asked Aiden's Angels on Twitter and Facebook whether they would prefer a sexy, sweet, or mysterious teaser from Book Four, and they chose mysterious! I was surprised, actually (I thought sexy would win), but I guess the Angels are anxious to see where the fourth book is headed. So here you go!

Book Four Teaser

I dropped into the rocking chair and began to nurse. Amidst the baby's soft suckling noises, I found myself drifting in a space between sleep and wakefulness, someplace not quite here, but not quite there, either. It reminded me of our visit to the Broch of Gurness in Orkney.

The weather had been blustery, windy with clouds rolling past, but no actual rain. Mom, Dad, and Aiden were wandering through the ancient village, listening intently as our guide pointed out the small stone frames where thousands of years ago, the inhabitants had slept. They’d slept piled on top of one another to keep warm, most likely under animal skin blankets. A circle in the center of the room showed us where they’d kept their fire. As the rest of my family wandered the ruins to see where they’d kept the animals in this stone settlement dated back to before Christ, I stayed behind, running my fingers over the rough walls in awe. The air shimmered around me like a mist and I felt as though I were no longer alone. I turned, expecting to see Aiden or my mom, but instead, I saw a translucent flicker of flames in the cooking spot. I stared open-mouthed at the fire, not comprehending what was happening, when a movement to my right caught my attention.

“Cadhìa! Come to bed, love.” The deep voice from underneath the mass of furs in the corner echoed in the small room. The language was foreign to my ears and yet I understood it perfectly. All of a sudden, I became aware of the scents around me: the clinging smoke from the fire, the cool earth beneath my feet, the dampness of the air, and the sweat from the man huddled under the blanket. Where before, the room had been open to the sky, now I stood in a small, darkened room with a low ceiling. My feet moved of their own accord across the length of the room to the man curled into a ball under a pile of sheepskin. Love for him gathered inside me, building with purpose like a bird taking flight, though I couldn’t see anything but the back of his head. Above the bed, a symbol carved into the rock seemed to glow with the light of the fire. I ran my fingertips over it in reverence, this picture of the sun sinking into the sea. My sleeve fell away from my wrist as I touched the stone, and I saw the same symbol tattooed on the inside of my forearm. This simple drawing meant everything to me, but I didn’t know why.

At the sound of my mother’s laughter, I'd blinked and the vision had disappeared. Completely disoriented, I found myself standing in front of the bed’s outline, stroking the rock wall where I’d seen the symbol. It wasn’t there anymore. The rock was worn smooth. A sense of loss enveloped me before slipping away on the breeze, leaving me confused and mystified.

“There you are,” Aiden had said, appearing at my side.”I thought we’d lost ye.” When I didn’t immediately respond, he'd studied me with concern. “Are ye well?”

With one more glance at the stone walls that had turned cold under my fingertips, I'd nodded and followed him through the rest of the broch, my heart strangely full and empty all at the same time.


Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to catch any future teasers I post! :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

When I Was a Wee Lass!

When I was in the eighth grade, I had a poem published in a literary book. My mom recently visited and brought me a copy of the book. Inside was another entry I'd submitted (a short story) which I actually like much more than the poem that was selected, so I thought I'd share it with you! To be fair, I have retyped it word for word, including typos (these were the days before spell check, after all!).


The black and white kitten entered the room and found a bright orange ball of yarn across the floor waiting for him. The kitten approached it slowly and cautiously and became less sure of himself with every step. He laid on his stomach, crouched down very low, waiting for the right moment. The ball, about one foot away from the kitten, stood still, waiting for the exact time the kitten would strike. The small feline edged closer to the ball of orange yarn and stared continuosly at it. Suddenly the ball moved away from the kitten and he leaped to the side. He was breathing very hard now and his heart beat rapidly. The kitten, once again, dared to move toward the orange ball with constant awareness of all about him. His ears were perked and his hair stood straight on end as a quiver ran down his spine.

The ball looked innocent, as if unaware of him, but he would not be fooled by an orange ball. He know that this yarn knew exactly when he would strike and so he decided he must trick it. He walked slowly around the ball as if to surround it. The orange ball of yarn looked at the kitten with beady eyes as if to say, "You'll never get me! I'm too good for you!" He knew this look, for he had seen it many times before, but he knew he must conquer this yarn, for he was the king.

He continued on around the object and hissed fiercely. Finally, he knew the right moment had come. He leaped high into the air with all his strength and landed with a crash on the small orange ball. Alas! A small string of yarn came bleeding out of the orange ball and he stood tall on the wounded yarn, for he knew he had won!

Then suddenly, the ball was lifted onto the forbidden shelf and he was alone again. So on the carpet he laid, and rested his eyes while he basked in his victory.