Indie Books and POGs

Last night, I found my old POG collection.  If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you also collected the little round pieces of cardboard that were apparently meant to be a game but really ended up just being shiny little circles we accumulated and hoarded like Smaug’s treasure in The Hobbit.

As I was looking through my old POGs, I noticed one had a ghost on it.  I thought, “Oh, that’s cute.  I should take a picture of it with Cemetery Tours.”


So I did.

But I didn’t stop there.

Slowly but surely, my little idea to take a picture with the ghost POG became a full fledged POG and indie book photo shoot.

This isn’t the first time I’ve taken pictures of several (not all) of the indie books I own.  I have a whole photo album that I’ve dedicated to the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement on my Facebook page.


There is a rhyme and reason to my madness.  Despite the fact that we call ourselves “Independent” authors, the truth is we are very much a community.  No one works alone.  We have editors and graphic designers and reviewers and marketing experts.  And we have each other.  As independent authors, we support each other 100%.  That’s one of the first things I learned about the community and one of my very favorite parts of being an independent author.  I never expected the warm reception or astounding support system when I first published Cemetery Tours, but it’s there.  And it’s so, so, so amazing.

There are several ways that authors support each other.  I have friends who Tweet and Retweet.  I have friends who share dozens of Facebook posts.  I have friends who review every book they read.  Me?  I definitely try to review at least every indie book I read.  But I like to take pictures.  It’s my favorite method of communication.  Funny, for a writer, I know.  But there’s a certain love to a beautiful image that words really can’t express.

I take pictures because these books need more exposure.  I want each and every one of these authors to know the same kind of love and praise and success that their traditionally published counterparts experience.  I want them to be interviewed and reviewed by Entertainment Weekly and fly to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List.  I want independent books to become mainstream.  And I think they are well on their way.




Wonderful Christmastime

Hi, friends!  Well, the new book is out, I enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Sanger Library as my last public book even for the year… I’m ready to enjoy the holidays!

It’s funny, I’ve had so many deadlines this year that every time I look at my phone and see the date, I think, “Oh my gosh! I need to hurry up and…”  And then I remember that I HAVE no more deadlines this year!  Yay!  It’s a pretty great feeling.  Not gonna lie.  And I’m proud of myself for sticking to them.  Now I just have to get them out of my head and relax and enjoy.  I’ve never considered myself a workaholic, but I am very goal oriented and I usually have to have SOMETHING I’m working on or toward or else I just don’t know what to do with myself.

But I DO have a lot of things to work on.  For one thing, I’m beta-reading my good friend’s first book!  Her name is April, but you might know her as A Well Read Woman.  I’m very much enjoying her book.  It’s taking me a bit longer to read than most books, however, because I’m going through and making notes.  I really enjoy beta-reading, especially because it means I get to read books before they’re released!

April was also sweet enough to read Boy Band and she wrote one of my most favorite reviews of all time.

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And no, I don’t JUST love it because she included a One Direction gif.

After I’m finished beta-reading, I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the books on my TBR list for 2015.  I’m not sure I’ll finish them all by January 1, but I WILL finish.

If I could have one wish this Christmas, it would be for independent authors everywhere to enjoy the same amount of recognition, respect, and readership as our traditionally published colleagues.  If you have a reader in your life, visit or and check out an independently published book.  I guarantee you you will make an author’s Christmas dream come true.  A reader’s as well.

Love you all!


NaNoWriMo 2015

We’re five days into National Novel Writing Month and I’ve got a confession to make:  I haven’t been keeping up with it very well.  I’ve written a little bit and brainstormed a lot, but I’m nowhere near where I should be in the grand scheme of NaNoWriMo.  There are a few reasons (or excuses) for that.

First of all, I spent a long weekend in Houston and didn’t return until Monday afternoon.  At that point, I was exhausted and had a lot of unpacking and pictures to go through.

Second, with only a little more than a month before Backstage is released, I’m devoting most of my time and energy into making sure it’s ready to go by December 8.  Those of you who’ve published your own books know that that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for much else.

Finally, I’ve been having a difficult time figuring out how I wanted to begin my NaNo book.  I think I may have figured it out last night, but I’m still not 100% sure.  Sometimes, you can’t force it.  You just have to let the words come naturally.

I am, however, SO excited to see so many of my friends and colleagues and total strangers participating in NaNoWriMo this year!  It’s a fantastic way to get people writing and to get some fantastic new books out there.  It’s also proof to me that the written word is thriving.  There are so many rumors and reports and literacy and society’s love of reading being on the decline, but even if they’re true, there is so much love for NaNoWriMo and so much enthusiasm and excitement for reading and writing new books that I can’t help but feel optimistic about my trade and profession.  I love books so much.  I always have.  And it’s so encouraging to see so many others sharing that love.

NaNoWriMo will always hold a special place in my heart, particularly because it gave me the opportunity to write something new, something that I guarantee I would not have written otherwise.  Boy Band is the book that was not supposed to exist.  And now, here it is, a year later and I’m getting ready to release its sequel.  How cool is that?

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For those wondering, that little guy in the picture is Simon the NaNo Dragon.  He’s my November writing buddy.

Fellow writers and aspiring authors, enjoy your NaNoWriMo experience.  Write well.  Write what you love.  You never know what may come of it.  And if you get behind (or if you haven’t started on time – oops!), don’t get discouraged.  After all, it took me TWO months to finish Boy Band.  All you need to know is that you can do anything.  And you will.  Just keep writing.

Book Things

Hello, friends.  Well, today I’ve barely made it out of bed.  It’s just one of those icky sick days that kind of knocks you off your feet and punches you in the face.  Needless to say, I have not been very productive at all.  That’s why this post will be pretty short.  In fact, it’s basically just going to be me sharing a few new reviews and book covers.

The Cemetery Tours reviews go something like this:

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Friendly reminder that the Cemetery Tours eBook is only $2.99 on Kindle!

After Death has a few new reviews too, but this one is my favorite:

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Finally, a few book cover updates!  First of all, I designed the back cover for Backstage, the highly anticipated sequel to Boy Band:

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I also designed a cover to my new NaNoWriMo project.  I’m still not 100% set on the title or on the font, but it’s something!

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How are you this fine October afternoon?

#NaNoWriMo 2015

Well friends, it is that time of year again.  Preparations for National Novel Writing Month are officially underway!

Last year was my first year as a NaNo participant, and that was because a writer friend of mine talked me into signing up.  I’m so glad she did.  I used to be of the mindset that if you needed a special month to get you to write a book, then maybe you shouldn’t be writing.  But that’s not what NaNoWriMo is about at all.  It’s an opportunity to try something that you might not have tried otherwise.  For example, I never would have written Boy Band had it not been for NaNoWriMo.  It just wasn’t something on my radar.  Then I signed up, watched a music video, and there it was.  The rest is history.

Since the sequel to Boy Band will be on December 8, that isn’t the book I’ll be working on this year.  I don’t actually have a title yet, so it’s temporarily titled Nostalgia.  It sounds really deep and dramatic, doesn’t it?  The funny thing is it’s really not.  If anything, it’s only slightly less girlish and fluffy than Boy Band.  It will not be a YA book, however.  It’s more aimed toward the New Adult audience.  That’s not to say that YA fans can’t read it.  But just as I wrote Boy Band specifically for the girls who love boy bands, I’m writing Nostalgia specifically for my generation.  For the girls who grew up in the 1990s.  And that’s all I’m going to say.

If you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, I’d love it if you added me as a buddy.  See you on the other side!


My Back-Up Plan

When I first decided that I wanted to become an author, I had countless people ask me what my back-up plan was.  My answer was simply, “I don’t know,” because I knew they wouldn’t like the real answer, which was, “I don’t believe in back-up plans.”

It sounds pretentious, but hear me out.  At the time, I believed that having a back-up plan meant, on some level, that I believed that I would need one.  That somehow, I was conceding that failure was an option.  When you dive into something not knowing what the heck you’re doing, you’ve already got enough fear and insecurity and self-doubt to last you a lifetime.  The last thing you should be thinking is, “This might not work out.”  It’s true, it might not work out, but that isn’t what you need to be focused on.  Instead, you need to focus all of your energy on achieving your goal, whatever that may be.

My goal for the past few years as been to become a NYT Bestselling Author by the time I’m 30.  As I round the corner to 28, that self-imposed deadline is fast approaching.  There is a very real possibility that that won’t happen.  But I also believe (perhaps foolishly) that there is a possibility that it will.  If it doesn’t, I’m not going to give up writing.  I don’t think I can give up writing.  It’s too much a part of who I am.  I did, however, comprise a list of potential occupations in which I can see myself should the writing thing just not work out.

Paranormal Investigator

You all had to know this was coming.  After all, I wrote a book called Cemetery Tours.  I would love to make visiting haunted locations part of my routine anyway.  Time, unfortunately, always seems to get away from me.

Travel Writer

This would be my ideal career, getting to see new places and writing about the experience.  Heck, I think that would be everyone’s ideal career.

Wildlife Photographer

I’m addicted to my camera.  I think everyone knows this.


This one sounds ridiculous, I know.  But if this one TLC show is to be taken seriously, all you have to do to become a sovereign is take out an ad in the London Gazette and have a royal ancestor.  I’m a granddaughter of Robert the Bruce.  Where’s my tiara?

Pet Foster Mom

I would love to take in unloved, abandoned, special needs animals.  However, I have a spoiled rotten three-legged black cat who would probably disown me if I were to bring any other pets into her domain.  This is something that I will eventually pursue no matter what.  Of course, it might be a bad idea since I’ll get so attached to them that I’ll just end up keeping every single one.

Cover Designer

I’ve been getting in a lot of experience designing book covers and it’s actually something I really enjoy.


Wait a minute.  Now we’re getting into very familiar territory….


I think, at the end of the day, I know I’m right where I need to be.  This is a perfect fit for me.  It always has been, ever since I was little.  I love writing books.  I love everything about it.  It’s my dream come true.  And I hope and pray every day that I’ll be able to pursue my passion for the rest of my life.

Love you all.


Happy Bookday!

It’s here!  After more than a year, After Death is finally available in Paperback AND Kindle!



I’m so excited for the ghostly misadventures of Michael, Luke, and Kate to continue.  I hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

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I want to take a little bit of time, however, to celebrate a few OTHER books being released today: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer, and of course, the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

The fact that my book came out on the same day as all of these ladies is, quite frankly, a huge fangirl honor for me.  JK Rowling is Queen, as everyone knows, and I don’t know a single person whose lives she hasn’t touched with her magical world.  Stephenie Meyer, yeah, okay, it’s kind of fun to make fun of Twilight.  But I’ve got to be honest.  I still love it.  I love the story.  It’s just pure fun and fantasy, you know?  Very escapist, and I do love to escape.

Then, finally, there’s Rainbow Rowell.  I fell in love with her writing after reading the story of my life, Fangirl.  I’m serious.  I’ve never read a book that so keenly described what it feels like to love a book and, frankly, to be apprehensive of the world outside.  Oh my Heavens, do I love Fangirl.

As if I didn’t already love Rainbow Rowell enough for  bringing that story to life, I then got to meet her last May.  She is incredible, basically everything I want to be as an author and as a person.  When I found out that her new book, Carry On, inspired by the book series in Fangirl, was being released the same day as mine, I was thrilled.  And yes, I’ve already run out and bought my own copy.


Yes, I bought Life and Death too.  I wanted to buy the new Harry Potter, but let’s face it, as an Indie Author, I barely have two dimes to rub together.  I really shouldn’t have bought these two books, but I can’t help it.  I have to support the authors and stories that I love.  And, yeah, okay, I really need to feed my addiction to YA literature.  Most importantly, though, these books serve as a reminder of why I do what I do and why I put so much time and effort into my books.  I want this world of words to be my world, too.

Happy Bookday, everyone!  Go read your favorite book!  Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go pick up something new!

May I recommend a ghost story?


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!

One Week!

Exactly one week from today, After Death, the third installment in the Cemetery Tours series will be available on and Kindle.  It will be available on Barnes and and Nook shortly thereafter.  I am so excited to share this book with y’all.  It’s a book I began over a year ago, but after completing the first draft, I realized I hated it.  It didn’t have a plot.  It was just a bunch of people sitting around and talking.  I couldn’t give you all that, and I certainly want to do better by my characters.

I’m so pleased with the final draft of After Death, and I’ve received very positive feedback from my editors and beta-readers.  I’m hoping y’all like it just as much.  I want to give my characters a good story, and most importantly, I want to give all of you a good story.  You deserve it.

I’m a bit under the weather today, so this is going to be a rather short blog post.  I do, however, want to share the first two chapters of After Death with you here! Enjoy!

After Death Chapters 1 & 2

After Death on Pinterest

After Death Soundtrack

After Death on GoodReads


Five Stars

Last night, I added Backstage, the sequel to Boy Band, to GoodReads.  And, since I like to add my books to lists and you can technically only do that if you’ve “read” them, I went ahead and gave my book a five-star rating.  Of course I’ve read it!  I’m the author!  Even though it technically may not be all the way written yet.  Regardless, of course I’m going to give it five stars.

Then I logged on to Twitter and remembered that I have this nifty little GoodReads feature that shares whenever I rate a book.  Usually, I like sharing my ratings.  Last night, however, I was thinking, “Oh great.  Now everyone is going to know I rate my own books.  And that I give all my books five stars!”

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That’s a lot of stars.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, “You know what?  It’s okay to be proud of my books.  It’s okay to think my books are worth five stars.  In fact, if I thought my books were worth anything less than five stars, I probably shouldn’t be publishing them.”

As an author, you deserve to feel proud of yourself and your work.  Do you have any idea how many people want to write a book and how few actually succeed?  It takes a lot of time and effort and dedication to get all those words out onto the page.  But it’s all worth it.  A million times over, it’s worth it.

As an author, you should think the very best of your work.  That’s not to say that everyone will.  There will more than likely be some negative ratings in there.  And that’s okay!  Even JK Rowling gets one-star ratings every now and then.  Just remember that no one else can offer what you can offer.  No one else can write your story the way that you can.  You are giving the literary world something brand new, and that’s what I love about books and writing.  It’s always changing, always evolving, always new.  And we all have something to contribute.  We’re not like other artists.  We don’t compete for the same roles or fight for the number one spot on the charts.  We get to work together.  And that’s incredible.

Love your work.  Love what you do.  And most importantly, love yourself.

And remember… It’s okay to rate your own book.  Because you know it’s worth five stars.