Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Let's step out of fantasy for a bit and talk about reality. Hahaha! Just kidding, we'll talk about a bit of the two.

Do you ever think about what a real life character would be like? Honestly, look at some of the situations your favorite protagonists go through and ask yourself, "How are they not suffering from major anxiety, depression, paranoia, etc.?" They go through difficult situations, but the reality is, they don't suffer from them. Because they're not real.

But you are. And I am. And that makes you (and me) the greatest protagonist in your own story. You feel everything. You struggle to cope. You fall down. And you get back up. You go to bed and wake up the next day holding to the hope that tomorrow will be better. Or maybe today was good and you go to bed thankful for the good day. Either way, whatever your circumstance, you're doing an amazing thing simply by choosing to live each day the best you can. So keep on keeping on. :)

By the way, Totems 3 is a mess. o.O

Monday, November 23, 2015

Totems 2

Totems 2 Update: Just waiting for the cover to be finished, and then I'll publish Totems 2. Hoping by the end of this week. *fingers crossed*

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Extraordinary Ordinary

I struggle, wondering if I should even tell this story. For some of you, it may completely disenchant you from my heroine, Arianwyn. I hope that for most of you, it draws you closer. I want you to see that YOU are enough. That YOU are amazing, even if you would describe yourself as “ordinary.”

There have been a few questions about Arianwyn (I pronounce it “Are-ee-an-win”). Some people are convinced that something from her past is going to prove pivotal or enlightening about her. And that’s okay that you think that. Just know that you’re wrong.

Arianwyn is an orphan. Her mother died giving birth to her. Her father was driven to drink by grief. Eventually he died from exposure in a ditch while passed out drunk. The villagers took Arianwyn in as the community charity project.

She is from a poor village. The men and women had children of their own they had to feed. Arianwyn was an extra burden that they didn’t need and they slowly grew to resent her. As she grew older, the predators of the village began to notice her. Like a wolf pack that has separated the weak and sick from the herd, Arianwyn became a target.

Arianwyn could have stayed. It is possible that someone in the village would have believed her and protected her. She chose to run away, to a future with far less certainty. Her one act of surviving a leap from a cliff was what she based her ability to survive later. And because she believed she would, she did. And she learned from her circumstances.

There are no prophecies or great secrets to her past. She is an ordinary person struggling to survive in ordinary circumstances (until she meets Parvati, but even then her circumstances become ordinary when she meets Rael). Can you honestly say that any of us are any different?

I grew up reading fantasy and science fiction. They honestly helped shape the way that I view the world. I wanted to be that special person who would one day make a difference in the world. As I got older, I realized there was something separating me from the majorities of heroes and heroines I read about: a prophecy or some other fantastic gift that was unique or better than everyone else’s. I was just an ordinary person living in a non-magical and non-technologically advanced world.

So perhaps my heroes and heroines are wish fulfillment. Or perhaps they are a prophecy for each of us. You see, I believe that you and me, the ordinary, are extraordinary. Heroes come about because ordinary people do what they think needs to be done, not because of any special gifts they are born with or prophecies predicting their greatness.

Think about it. Here’s our situation. We’re a single income family in an area where the cost of living is high (on a social worker's income, I should add). We are constantly told that families today cannot survive on a single income. But we have done it without going into debt (we just paid off our student debt this year!). I don’t tell you to brag, but to make you think about your situation. What are you doing that everyone says is impossible? What's your extraordinary ordinary?

You don’t need magical powers or a prophecy to make you great (although either would be kind of cool, right?). You need to be you, the extraordinary ordinary. I would love to hear your ordinary story in the comments section!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


How about a sneak peek at part of one of the chapters? Here's a glimpse at what Ethelinda is up to. :)


The birds chirped outside the open window, a soft breeze blowing the curtains inside. The smell of last night’s rain drifted on the breeze, sweetening the air in the western suite. Ethelinda sat at the small writing table in the sitting room, dressed in a long sleeved blue gown that matched her eyes. She drummed her fingers on the table, staring at the piece of parchment in front of her. She snatched it up, rereading the words from her father.
It is time and past that you either dispose of the peasant or challenge her directly. You deserve more than you currently have.

She glared and stood. Her father had no vision, she decided, and tossed the letter into the fire. Bernie leaned against the door frame, watching her. Infernal man, she thought to herself. He was always watching. She tugged her sleeves down, ensuring the loop over each middle finger was secure and hiding the green dragon on her arms.
:You shouldn't trust him,: Shivti said in the back of her mind.
:Be silent!: she snapped at the beast. She had enough on her plate without some creature intruding on her personal thoughts.
“Well?” Bernie demanded. “What are the orders?”
Her lips tightened. “I do not recall giving you leave to speak,” she snapped. He glared at her, but kept his lips pressed together. He was a peasant, but he was clever enough to avoid real trouble. She paced, thoughts racing. “It is time for me to return south,” she decided. “I need to speak with father in person. You will stay here and continue to gather information.”
He arched an eyebrow. “Is that so?” he asked.
“Are you questioning me?” she hissed.
“As a matter o’ fact, I am,” he said. He straightened from the door frame and removed a piece of parchment from inside his tunic. “Let’s see, ‘Peasant,’” he read. He paused and smirked at her. “Tha’s what your father calls me, too.”
Ethelinda gasped and hurried forward, grabbing the paper from his hands. Her eyes scanned the paper. “How dare he!”
“It seems you’ve lost your father’s trust,” Bernie commented. He crossed his arms and leaned against the door frame again. Ethelinda narrowed her eyes on him and activated her Gift. She found his jumble of emotions, separated his loyalty, and pushed. Bernie stood straight, glaring, as the pressure of her Gift pressed on his mind. “I have given you no cause to doubt my loyalty.”
Ethelinda hesitated. “No, you haven’t,” she agreed. She pulled her Gift back from him. “But that doesn’t mean you won’t.”
“Why don’t we make a deal?” he asked. He straightened from his slouch.
“What do you want?” she responded.
“The same thing you do,” he answered. She crossed her arms and tapped her toe. “Power,” he qualified. “We already know we work well together. If we strike out on our own, we could take the entire kingdom.”
She tapped her chin with the missive to Bernie from her father, watching him through narrowed eyes. “Let me think on this. I will give you an answer before I leave.”
“And where are you going? Those aren’t your orders,” he challenged.
Ethelinda’s palm stung, the crack of her slap on Bernie shocking even her. “Do not overstep your bounds, peasant!” she snapped. “Be grateful I even consider you as part of my plan.”
To her chagrin, Bernie did not even reach up to rub his cheek. “As you wish, m’lady. I shall await your decision,” he said. He bowed at the waist and left.
Ethelinda stared into the flames, dismissing Bernie and his ridiculous ideas from her mind. She would return south, but not to her father. She needed a stronger ally than him. Someone whose own lust for power nearly equaled her own. Someone with nothing to lose.
Ethelinda sat at her desk and drew out a fresh piece of parchment. “Dear Mother.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sam's Interview

November is back on!!

Things have been going great with edits. I'm started (barely) on third edits already. :) I think, perhaps, today will be a treat: An introduction to a new character, Sam. Let's set up the interview room, shall we?

(Our Jot or a Lot (JOAL) interviewer is sitting in a big, overstuffed brown chair, notepad in hand. A giant window behind the chairs lets in natural sunlight. A steaming cup of hot chocolate sits on the table at her elbow. The door opens and a man walks in. He's tall, blond haired and blue eyed. He pauses in the doorway to take in the room before striding to the second overstuffed brown chair and sinking into with a sigh of satisfaction. He gestures for the interview to begin.)

JOAL: Hello, Sam, and welcome to the blog!
Sam: Thank you. I'm delighted to be here.
JOAL: First, what's your full name? Including your title.
Sam: *sighs*Must I include the title?
JOAL: It would really help the audience understand who you are...and what.*grin*
Sam: Fine. My name, including title, is Bloody Sam Roberts.
JOAL: "Bloody?"
Sam: An exaggeration of my enemies, to be sure.
JOAL: *a little wide eyed*Enemies?
Sam: *rolls his eyes* I'm a pirate. Just about anyone who sails in my waters is my enemy.
JOAL: Ooookay. I guess if something goes missing from the foyer I'll know who to ask.
Sam: *scowling*I'm not a thief! I'm a pirate! There's a difference.
JOAL: I'm sure there is. Okay, back to our questions...How long have you been sailing?
Sam: *chuckles*A long time.
JOAL: *arches eyebrow*
Sam: That's all your getting out of me.*smirks*
JOAL: Fine, then. Why did you become a pirate, of all things? You're bonded to a Phoenix, aren't you? Shouldn't you be a king or admiral or something?
Sam: *face darkens*Let's just say that there are problems with the family.
JOAL: Ooooh! You're the black sheep, are you?
Sam: Why do you accuse me of being this black sheep?
JOAL: Well, you're a pirate...
Sam: This is ridiculous. Are we almost finished?
JOAL: Not quite. There's still a few more...
Sam: *grumbling and standing*There isn't time for this. I have a mutiny to solve and a princess to protect.
JOAL: Wait, she's not a princess!
Sam: She is to me!*cheerfully said over his shoulder as he leaves the room*
JOAL: Hey! You haven't told us why you're in the story yet!*door closes*Well, I guess this concludes the interview. You'll just have to read the story to learn more about Sam.*grin*Thanks for coming!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Internet

You don't know how much you use the internet until you don't have it anymore! This last month has been a hectic one for my family and me.

We bought a house (Yeah!). Because of how the loan worked, we didn't know until the actual day of signing if we were moving or not. Which means we didn't have anything packed because we still needed most everything for day to day living. So we signed and packed and moved in two days (Not so yeah!). At this point, we're mostly unpacked, but the move did put a bit of a delay on Totems: Clouds of War. Possibly end of November, although I'm still working my tail off.

We have started round 2 of edits. I have to say, I'm excited for this book. There are a few twists that I didn't see coming until I actually wrote the book. Very excited. :)

I'll keep you updated on how the edits are going. Have a good one!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


51,042! I'm very happy with that progress. In about a week and a half, I will do the first read through to smooth out transitions.

Happy Father's Day coming up! Some fun facts about Rael and Arianwyn's fathers.

Arianwyn: Her father had nothing to do with her rearing. Her mother died when she was born and her father descended into drunken grief, eventually dying from exposure when Arianwyn was very young. Arianwyn gets her looks from her father, but her size from her mother. Had she known her father, she would have developed the same temper and passion he had.

Rael: Having spent so much time training to be king, he didn't actually get to know his father very well. But in this book or the next, he's going to learn just how much his father loved him. Rael looks like his father in everything but coloring. Rael inherited his mother's temper and soft heart, his father's protective instincts and love of his people. Like his father, Rael would do nearly anything for those he leads as king.

Whether you like it or not (I do like it), you've inherited something from your father. If you never knew your father, take a moment to think about the person who became the father figure for you. What did you learn from them? There are good men all about us. This coming Sunday (and why not start now?), take a chance to tell them thanks.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wish I Would Have Known

I think there's an ever growing list of things that we wish we would have known then...the "What I wish I knew then that I know now" list. I doubt it ends. And that's okay. We gain a lot of experience from our wish we would have knowns.

One thing that's been nagging at me lately that I wish I would have known is that I wanted to be an author not a doctor. Yup. When I was in school, I said confidently and on multiple occasions that I wanted to be a cardio-pulmonary surgeon. I should have known from the fact that I already had specific words in place that I should be an author. I think most kids say "A doctor" and then figure out what kind after they start school.

It's not like I didn't think I couldn't be an author, either. I knew I had a fair amount of talent writing. It was something I enjoyed. But as a lucrative career, it seemed silly. Maybe that's the other thing I should have known. How much "lucrative" I really needed (turns out, not as much as I thought when I was a teenager).

I'm lucky, though. I figured out that not only did I WANT to be an author, but also that I COULD be an author and went after it. I stopped making excuses and started writing. Then I took a deep breath and uploaded to amazon. Then I took an even bigger breath and hit the publish button. This year, I took the biggest breath of all and hired someone to design the cover for me (Erica Crouch did a FANTASTIC job!).

Maybe that's all there is to it to shrink the "wish I would have known" list. If you really want something, take a deep breath and do it. And if you don't need to take a deep breath before doing something, is it really what you want to do? If it doesn't excite and scare you all at the same time, are you going for what you want or safe? Don't do safe. You won't like it so much. You'll burn out. You'll spend your life wishing you could do, be, something, someone else. That you would have known better. Don't be that person. Be the person you truly want to be.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eeek! One More Week!

I can hardly believe how time has flown! Totems: The King's Treasure is now under review with Createspace! Yeah!...yes, I know that's a lot of exclamation points, but I'm super-excited. :D

It's been an interesting process. I've learned a lot that I don't know. For one, I've learned that doing print on demand for a 490 page book is EXPENSIVE! For those looking at this option, just be aware of it. It's not something I was expecting. For another, it helps to have good friends who have done it before. It took me two days and many hours before I finally got the document to upload correctly.

On the other hand, I'm so excited to see my book in a physical copy! I love Rael and Arianwyn so much! I think you will, too, as you get to know them.

And just so it's clear APRIL 25 is the day The King's Treasure will be available. It will be available in print and as an ebook. :) So excited! As part of the release, the ebook will be discounted from the $5.99 price the first week, so make sure to get your copy soon.

Love y'all! Happy reading!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Totems Update

Coming next month: "Totems: The King's Treasure." I'm excited for this and you should be, too. Why? Because you're going to love Rael and Arianwyn. They're pretty awesome people. Who are they?

Arianwyn is a peasant girl. She just wants to disappear and be safe. She doesn't want to cause trouble. She wants to survive, maybe carve out a small slice of comfort for herself. Well, for her and the dragon she accidentally bonded.

Rael is the King of the Dragon Totem lands, bonded to his dragon Charon. He has to get married before war breaks out among his thanes. War already looms among the other Totems. He hopes to find a political ally, but dreads going against the tradition of wedding an unbonded woman.

The first time Arianwyn sees the king, she's terrified. She hopes he doesn't spot her.

The first time Rael sees Arianwyn, he's furious. He threatens to kill her.

Can the two of them come to terms in order to save the kingdom and those dragons to whom they are bonded? That's what you'll get to find out in April!

Also coming soon, the cover reveal for this book! :D Great things come to those who wait.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


"The essence of poverty is shame," Anne Sullivan. Read this document about Anne Sullivan's time at the Tewksbury Almshouse (25 pages). It's incredible. BTW, she's the Miracle Worker, the one who taught Helen Keller.

Her statement is true on so many levels. Have you ever felt ashamed about something? The way you looked? Your family? Reading in class? In each instance, the shame was a result of poverty. I have felt the shame, but never recognized the accompanying poverty.
Take some time to remember a moment of shame in your life (recent or otherwise). What was happening? Why did it make you feel that way?
For example: In high school, I hated social situations (yes, high school is a cliché and was a long time ago, but it's so convenient!). I was usually embarrassed and uncomfortable because I never measured up to the other girls--all of whom were beautiful, well put together, stylish, funny...you name it, they had it and I didn't.
Where's the poverty? That was just high school, right? Well, yes. I was uneducated in the ways of personal grooming (I'm still not stellar, I'll be honest). Oh, my clothes were cleaned, I bathed daily and did my hair, I brushed my teeth. But I had no clue about what to wear and how. (I have a very distinct memory of one of my friends untucking my shirt (after asking if it was a body suit). I was so grateful for the help because I didn't know). I didn't know how to do my hair all cute or my make up (seriously, either a clown did it or I didn't wear anything).
I was also poor in self-confidence. Yeah, I walked out the door looking somewhat freakish, but spent most of my time hiding behind books and hoping no one tried engaging in chit chat with me (unless they were my very close friends who understood the nerd that I was--okay, am). I was uncomfortable because I didn't fit in and I knew it. But imagine if I had the confidence to not worry about that so much, to know myself and wants without worrying about everything else.
Sorry this isn't a lovey-dovey post for Valentine's Day. I think you'll get over it. I know I am. And now that I'm aware of how impoverished I am, I can get to work on it. Because some types of poverty can be fixed without a mountain of money. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Keeping Resolutions

And we're about half way through the first month of the new year! Congratulations, you've survived another two weeks. ;) But what about the resolutions you've made?

Resolution shares a root with the word resolve. It's a powerful promise that you make. And when you make a promise to yourself, you need all the resolve you can muster because no one will call you out on backing out. It's between you and you. So what can you do to really keep that promise to yourself?

1. Make sure it really matters to you.
2. Set a reminder in your phone, your e-mail, somewhere that will pop up monthly.
3. Stop making excuses and do it.

I personally have enjoyed following Denise Duffield-Thomas's approach (her website: http://www.luckybitch.com/). She uses the "Be, Do, Have" for setting goals. Check out her book for more detailed approach, "Get Rich, Lucky Bitch." No, I do not get anything for promoting her book. There are just parts that I really like.

Essentially, the Be, Do, Have approach looks like this:

Be: In one year, what do you want to be?
Do: In one year, what do you want to be doing?
Have: In one year, what do you want to have?

I have found that I am able to get down to what I really want when I ask myself these questions. I whittle away the "rich, famous, and beautiful" thoughts that I think would be fun, and get down to the ones that I really know will make me happy.