New Reviews, New Goals, New Stories

Happy Monday, all.  I hope you all had splendid weekends.  My sister is home for spring break, so I might not be updating quite as regularly as I normally would because I want to spend as much time with her as possible.  I do want to share with you some fun updates.

First of all, the sequel to Cemetery Tours is officially in the hand of all my editors (though I may have updated that last week, I can’t quite remember) AND my graphic designer is officially on the job for the cover!  So exciting!

Speaking of Ben, he says, “Thank you for all the nice birthday wishes.”   

Second, Cemetery Tours has 34 reviews now!  Some of the new ones include…



I also have a new goal in mind.  Right now, I’m aiming for the sequel to be out early to mid June.  By that time, I want Cemetery Tours to have at least 50 reviews on Amazon.  I don’t think that’s too unrealistic. I only need 16 more.  Anyway, if you’d like to RSVP to the awesome possum Review Party on Facebook, here’s a link to the event:

I’m excited to be able to say I’m currently in the midst of reading and reviewing a new indie book, The Amazing Crystal by Gerald Lizee.   



He, in turn, is reading and reviewing Cemetery Tours.  I love doing book exchanges with other authors.  It’s a great way to connect with your peers and you get a cool new book!  

I’ve also almost finished the Percy Jackson series.  I just have one book to go, then I guess it’s on to the Heroes of Olympus series.  I am seriously loving these books.  I know I’ve said it over and over again, but Greek Mythology is just so cool.  I have several friends who have been revisiting their artistic days, and that plus reading all of these books is making me want to draw and paint again.  I just need to find the time!  

The little spare time I do have, I’ve been dedicating to the next book.  This will not be a Cemetery Tours book, though I am by no means finished with that series.  I figure I have at least two more books to go.  

It’s a little strange working on a new book.  I love it, especially since I get to work with new characters, a new setting, and a whole new set of circumstances.  No ghosts in this one.  It’s going to be a lot more chick lit than Cemetery Tours.  But I think it will be good and I’m excited about it.  It’s weird not to be writing Michael, Kate, and Luke though.  They’ve been with me for almost two years now.  They’ve become like friends to me.  They’re probably enjoying having a break.  Plus, I don’t want to be known just for Cemetery Tours. I have so many other ideas.  I want to have a lot of different books, several series, several stand alone novels, etc…  

Hopefully, I’m well on my way.  

Feels Like Home

This entire week has been kind of strange.  Although I’ve gotten a lot done, I’ve also had a lot to worry about and I haven’t been feeling very good myself.  I’m very ready for it to be the weekend.

However, this afternoon, I stopped by my friend’s house to drop off a copy of the new manuscript (she has graciously volunteered to be one of my beta readers).  To my surprise, I saw several cars lined up outside her house, but they’re doing a bunch of construction around her neighborhood, so I didn’t think anything of it.

I know on the door, however, and she answers it to reveal a bunch of friends that I used to work with at my summer camp up at Texoma!  I was so thrilled!  I hadn’t seen several of them in so long!  I got to stay and visit with them for about an hour, and even though I hadn’t seen several of them since last summer, it was like no time had passed at all.

Over the years, Camp All Saints has become like a second home to me.  I began working there as a counselor in 2009, but I’d actually been there once before, in 2002, back when it was a Lutheran retreat.  No offense to the Lutherans, but I did not enjoy it at all back then.  We had to eat at an outdoor pavilion filled with wasps and the water in the fountains was yellow and disgusting.

Today, the camp is absolutely beautiful.  I didn’t even know our church’s diocese took it over until I received a flier in the mail about it.  I applied for a job there on a total whim and ended up working there for three summers.  I’m going to go back in May also for a labor of love weekend.  I honestly can’t wait.

I grew up in the suburbs, about a thirty minute drive from Downtown Dallas, so big cities have never been much of a thrill for me.  To be honest, I really don’t enjoy them all that much.  I’d much rather spend my time in a small southern town, outside, in the fresh air, on the lake, running barefoot through sprinklers.

Before camp starts each year, the small town of Locust throws a local fish fry.  It’s probably one of the most small town things you could ever hope to do.


I also love hiking.  I need to find more friends who will hike with me.  Most of my friends are married and boring.

Just kidding, I love you guys.

Even if you are married and boring.




The Texoma skies are incredible.


And the wildlife is abundant.


And then of course, there’s the camp itself.



It was good luck to kiss the fish you caught, okay?

Finally, this is a picture of me and Kit Kat, my beta reader, at the fish fry.  Kat is seriously the sweetest person I’ve ever met and this June, she will be leaving for the Peace Corps for two years!  I don’t know what I’m going to do without her!  I guess I’ll just keep writing.


I’m so grateful to have found a place like All Saints that will always feel like home to me no matter what, and to have made the friends that I did there.  Seeing them this afternoon was exactly what the doctor ordered!

In writing news, I started on the new book last night.  I swear, the hardest part of any book is the very first sentence.  Do any other authors feel that way or is that just me?

Feel free to sound off in the comment section!  Good night, all!

Good and Bad Day

Today has been busy and productive.  I like those kind of days.  I feel like I’m getting a lot accomplished, things seem to be heading in the right direction, and I’m pretty excited about a few new opportunities coming my way.  I got the new manuscript to my editor and I’ve gotten several new lovely reviews on Amazon.  I also bought some sunflower seeds.  I haven’t planted anything since I was about eight, so I want to give it another try.  And I just love sunflowers.  



I’ve also started researching my next book.  I’m pretty excited about it.  I’m tempted to start working on two new ones, but I know that eventually I’ll have to pick one over the other.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!  It feels strange not to be writing every day, so I want to get back to it as soon as possible!  

The reason it’s been a bad day, however, is pretty lousy.  My very oldest friend (seriously, we’ve been friends since we were three) lives in Lubbock and is married to an absolutely wonderful man who, unfortunately, has had his fair share of health problems.  He is back in the hospital, and while I don’t know details, I know that they’re both having a really rough time and it kills me that I can’t be there for her.  It’s weighing pretty heavy on my mind right now, so again, this will be a short post.  

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!  

Long Weekend

This past weekend has been a long one, and not necessarily in the good sense.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the best either.  For one thing, I’ve been feeling a little under the weather (even though the weather outside now is GLORIOUS!  Finally it’s feeling like spring!).  For another (and this is the big stressor), my sweet almost 21-year-old kitty has not been feeling her best, so I’ve pretty much been on round-the-clock nurse duty.  She’s doing okay.  I honestly thought she might not make it through the weekend, but she’s still happy, still purring, and most importantly, still eating and drinking.  So yeah, she’s been my number one priority these last few days. 





She’s my girl and she’s been my friend for a long time!    

On the book front, however, I am pleased to report that I have made quite a bit of progress.  I went through and did sort of a quick edit/format/spell-check and it’s ready for my editor and beta readers.  In doing all that, I got to reread and refresh and I am so happy to say that I love this book.  I love it just as much as I love the first one, maybe even more because there’s some new scenery and new characters and the old characters are already established so it was more fun to write!  If you enjoyed Cemetery Tours, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one.  I’m in the process of assigning its ISBN, but I still need to know a few things, like publication date, how many words the final copy has, etc…  Right now, it’s at 73,000 but that is always subject to change.  I do need to get back in touch with my cover designer, but he’s currently in Kentucky filming at the site of the sinkhole that swallowed up all those Corvettes (my uncles were in mourning for days…).  

Finally, A Platform of Sorts was nominated once again for the Liebster Award!  I’m so honored, and I will try to get around to nominating and doing all the facts, but Jazzy and the new book are, again, my first and second priorities.  Thank you to my friend Diana at for nominating me!  I’m honored!  🙂  


I also took a trip to the library for research for my next book.  If all goes according to plan (I’ve learned that nothing is set in stone when it comes to writing), my next book will be either a stand-alone novel or the first in a trilogy.  I’m thinking it will be the former though.  I guess we’ll all find out!  And hey, I’d rather have too many ideas to choose from than no clue at all!  

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  

Also, if you’ve read Cemetery Tours, it only needs ONE MORE REVIEW to break 30 on Amazon!  It’s been stuck at 29 for a few weeks now, so if you’d like to stop by and write like, two or three sentences on why it’s a good book (or an awful book, but honestly, I’d prefer the former), I’d be eternally in your debt.  Thank you all!  

Peace out.  

Well, the first draft of the second book is finished!  As great as that feels, I really didn’t intend for today to become a day of self-congratulatory celebration, but that’s sort of what it ended up being.

First my good friend and neighbor surprised me with flowers!  She’s such a sweet heart!  She also happens to be one of my beta readers!


Jazzy liked the flowers too.


Then this evening, I had dinner and dessert with my best friend, Jessica.  I ended up finding out that she has absolutely no faith in my taste in men.  But other than that, we had so much fun.  Actually, talking about guys is fun too.

To top it all off, my sister and I were texting and she started sending me a bunch of funny Frozen pictures and this one almost had me in tears.

Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard.

Anyway, this blog post is kind of silly, but I’m tired and all I really wanted to do was show off my flowers because I love flowers.  Good night, all!  It’s almost Friday!  Yay!


Okay folks, this is it.  The final sprint to the finish line.  I have one chapter to go until I finish the first draft of sequel!  YAY!  

That being said, this is going to be a short entry since I really want to get this done.  

To make up for my lack of words, here is a picture of a damselfly and her shadow. 



By the way, did you know that you can tell the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly by the way they rest their wings?  Damselflies’ wings close together above their bodies (like in the photo above), while dragonflies’ wings lay flat.  

You’re welcome.  

Looking For John Green

So, I’m going through a phase.  It’s an “I need to purchase and read as many John Green books as possible” phase.

This is problematic for a number of reasons.

1) Money.  I know I could go and check them out from the library, but for some reason, I rarely ever read pleasure books from the library.  I read research books, no problem.  But fiction books?  I don’t know, I just really like to own them.  That way, I don’t feel any pressure to get them read by a certain date.  I like to read for fun.  Time limits are no fun.  Neither, by the way, is not having any money to buy every book John Green ever wrote.

2) I am currently in the middle of the Percy Jackson series.  Not a bad thing.  I’m really loving Percy Jackson and I have a feeling that once I’ve finished with that series, I’ll go on to read Riordin’s other mythology series.  Greek mythology is just so cool!

3) I’m still about a chapter and a half away from being done with Cemetery Tours 2.  Again, not a bad thing.  But I’ve come to realize that I have this habit of, once I get close to finishing a project, I get self-congratulatory and decide that I need to go out and buy myself presents because of how great I am.  The problem is… I haven’t actually finished.  That means that even if I were to go out and buy these books (and okay… I just came home from the bookstore with An Abundance of Katherines), I’m still not allowed to read them until I’m done with the sequel!  So what I actually do is go out and buy myself a reward that I’m not allowed to use until I’ve completed the task at hand.  That’s how I got through my last semester of grad school.

4) I have so many other books that I own that I still need to read!  Do I really need to be going out and buying more?  Well, yes.  Some women go out and buy shoes that they don’t need.  I buy books that I don’t need.  I was able to restrain myself today, though.  I discovered the old books and nostalgia section and it was all I could do to not buy every cool old book I found.  I have a thing for old books.  I almost fainted when I found one from 1899, but then I noticed how nasty the cover was.  It looked like someone had used it as a coaster!  Really?!  I might use a crap book like 50 Shades as a coaster, you know, if I hadn’t burned it to the ground.  But a cool old book that’s over 110 years old?!  NO!

So, yeah, that’s the big thing on my mind right now.  And finishing the new book.  That’s important also.  I’m almost done.  I’m so close to being done, I can almost taste it.  Metaphorically of course.  No one eats books.  At least, I hope not.

In the meantime, the old book has been getting more great reviews!

Okay, does anyone else have this thing where your post randomly goes blue while you’re writing it?  Because that’s happening right now and I’m afraid I’m going to click the wrong thing and erase the entire post.

Anyway, here are the new reviews!


That makes 29 reviews in total!  I can’t thank you all enough for your amazing and wonderful support and I hope I can support each and every one of you the same way!