Of Scary Stories and Reviews

This week isn’t even half over yet and already, it’s been kind of crazy.  Before it ends, it’s going to get a lot crazier.  I have like, a million things I need to remember to do and unfortunately, I’ve been sick for the last two days which means all I want to do is lie on the couch in my sweatpants and read.  Granted, that’s what I do a lot of the time anyway, but with less than a week before my next book comes and with more than a few book events and speaking engagements on the horizon, not to mention a meeting tonight at church and cat-sitting, I don’t have time to be sick and feel sorry for myself.

Then, of course, there are the new stories that I’m continuing to work on for the rest of the month.  One, of course, is the sequel to Backstage.  That one is just pure fun.  I seriously love writing YA.  I love writing ghost stories too, but they require a certain level of depth and emotion, and it can be draining to pour all that heavy onto the page.  Stories about boy bands however?  Pure fluff.

The second story is for the second book in the Lurking Anthology series called Lurking in the Shadows. I can’t give you too many details about the story itself, but I can tell you it is by far the darkest thing I’ve ever written.  It makes Cemetery Tours look like The Princess Diaries.  I’ve got to be honest, I’m really hoping I’m not inviting in any dark energy or anything by writing this.  I’ll make sure to keep my Bible on hand.

Speaking of Cemetery Tours, as I was writing this, a package arrived on my doorstep…

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After Death, the third book in the Cemetery Tours series, is here!  And it looks amazing!  I’m so, so, so excited!  I can’t wait to share it with all of you next Tuesday!  It’s kind of weird to think I’ve officially written a trilogy.  Of course, it won’t be a trilogy for long.  There are two more books coming!

Finally, I’ve been making a point to read and review the stack of books I’ve had sitting by my bedside for forever.  I’ve been making progress.  One book, Moon Tears by M. M. Frische, I really enjoyed. Well-written, historical fiction about the author’s cousin, I highly recommend it.

I’ve read a few other books, however, that I can’t say I enjoyed, or even finished.  I always feel so guilty when I don’t like a book.  It sounds weird, right?  I never feel guilty not liking a song or a movie, but when it’s a book, I almost feel like it’s personal.  Maybe it’s because I’m an author myself.  I don’t know.  I especially feel guilty when I’ve met the author in person.  Now, I’m not going to say which books I didn’t like.  I don’t want to do that to a fellow writer.  If I don’t like a book, I simply won’t write a review.  And maybe that’s wrong.  Maybe a lousy review is better than no review at all.  But I almost feel like I owe it to the author to give them a good review, just because I know how much time and effort and love they put into a story.  Even though, on the flip side, I know I owe it to fellow readers and reviewers to be totally honest in my recommendation.

Anyway, I suppose I better be off!  I’ll talk to y’all soon!  Keep reading, keep writing!

It’s Christmastime in the City

Hi, friends!

I hope you all are getting into the holiday spirit.

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I’ve been enjoying this time with family and friends (especially my sister, who is home from college) and working hard to make sure my new manuscript is finished by the new year! I think it’s going to happen.  I’m having way too much fun with it.  This book is pretty much the life my teenage self wanted to live.  I feel like I’m making her very proud.  Hopefully, readers will enjoy it just as much!

Other than that, I’ve been trying to savor and make the most of this special time of year.  Midnight is, too.

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She particularly likes this time of year because it reminds her of her youth as a street cat, when she used to climb trees and live life on the edge.  Nine years later, she still wreaks havoc on the Christmas tree.  Don’t let the innocent look fool you.  She is a menace to all holiday trees.

I also forgot to share with you the best White Elephant Christmas gift of all time.

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Everyone, meet Audrey and Seymour, the Christmas Venus Fly Traps!  I went into that White Elephant gift exchange thinking that I would be regifting whatever useless item I ended up with, but oh my goodness, I love my Fly Traps!  How cool are they?  Seriously?

And with that, I will leave you to the rest of your day.  I hope it’s splendid.

Merry Christmas!

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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 http://brilliantlynovel.wordpress.com 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.  

Just For Fun

In honor of Friday, I thought I’d take the day off of business stuff and just post something fun.  Okay, it’s still sort of about writing, but it’s silly and cute, not “hey, go buy my book” and miniature progress reports.

I was going through some of my old stuff the other day and I found a few of the first books that I ever wrote.  They’re not actually my books, more like little kid versions of Disney movies, but I did find one book that I wrote called, A Scary Book for Halloween.  It went something like…

“Mummies scare people on Halloween night.

Spiders bite on Halloween night.

Pumpkin faces glow bright on Halloween night.

Meow go Halloween cats.

Ghosts arise on Halloween night.

Witches go back and forth through the air.


I have to admit, I cracked up.  I spent an entire book (or like, six pages) writing about all these monsters and what they do and I ended it with “Frankenstein.”  Smart kid.

A few other gems include lines such a page from my Dallas book, “This is a cactus that is sharp,” and “This is a tortilla growing in a tortilla patch.”  Now, I don’t know if I thought I was being funny or if I actually believed that tortillas grew in tortilla patches, but I still got a pretty good laugh out of it.

I also found an old alphabet book that I wrote.  I was particularly impressed by my choice for O.


It’s kind of cute.  I was smart enough to know what an opal was but not smart enough to know not to write my lower case a’s backwards.

I also found a few of my Disney books…


I was so obsessed with Ariel.


This one was written before I figured out that J and L are not the same letter.


Apparently, Prince Philip was not important enough for color.


“Prick your finger!”

But the first book I ever “wrote” was inspired by Donald Crews’ Shortcut.  I still remember my pre-k teacher reading it to us like it was yesterday.  It was about a group of kids who had stayed out past dark, so they decided to take a shortcut home along the railroad tracks.  Near the end of their journey, they heard a train whistling in the distance, and they knew it would be coming along the tracks.  In my head, that train whistle in the night was so eerie, and I remember feeling chilled and a little scared.  It was the first time a book had gotten to me like that, and I was fascinated by the idea that words on a page could be so powerful.  I decided right then and there that I had to have that book, but instead of going out and buying it, I wanted to recreate it for myself.

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So, there you have it.  A small glimpse into the early days of my writing career.  Hey, we all have to start somewhere.  You know, I didn’t realize that writing was what I wanted to do with my life until my junior year of college.  Looking back, I can’t believe it took me that long to figure it out.  I’ve been writing for fun and therapy since the day I learned the alphabet.  Granted, it took me a while to master a few letters, but overall, I think I’ve got them down.  Though I’m still a little iffy on 5’s if I’m being totally honest.  My hand has just never felt comfortable writing 5’s.

Anyway, before I sign off for the day, I also wanted to share this adorable picture of my kitties when they were babies.  Sadly, my sweet Rusty (the orange one) is no longer with us, but Jazzy (the one with the tongue) is still alive and happy, even though my sister says that in this picture, she looks like an “aloof doofus.”  Mean.

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Have a happy weekend, everyone!

Another Week

It’s the end of another week.  Not all that much to report.  I went back to the library for more books for my new manuscript.  I’ve been talking a little to the woman who is helping me with editing, but her friend is still reading.

My mom and I ended up having to take Midnight to the vet today.  There was nothing seriously wrong with her, but the procedure to take care of the problem was, to put it lightly, unpleasant.  She is home now and is still trying to decide if she’s going to forgive us or not.  As far as she is concerned, we’re just lucky that we’re still allowed to live in her house.

I texted the saga to my sister, who found the whole situation hilarious, and as a result, ended up creating this little masterpiece.


That’s my mom, my sister, and me.  I’m the one with the cat on top of my head.

So yeah.  That was my day.