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It’s all about the classics

It’s all about the classics…

When I decided Keira’s livelihood would come from owning a classic car shop, it was, in a sense, a way for me to live vicariously through her. I love classic cars. The way they looked, the simplicity of their designs before everything became electronic based. Functionality and beauty combined to work harmoniously in a package that was created to be a work horse, and last its owners years, even generations before having to be replaced.  Classic car and truck builders were artists and craftsmen whose reputations were on the line. In today’s throw it away every few years mentality, that’s just not so.

KNB Classics, Keira’s shop for those who don’t know, is my virtual playground since I can’t afford to own a bunch of old cars and trucks. I get to find old gems online through research, sometimes through my husband, and post what car or truck Keira has in the shop during different parts of the different books of the series. Some of that research involves finding and downloading pictures so I can see and almost feel the curves and soul of the car or truck I’m having Keira work on at that time.  It’s made my love of the old beauties even stronger than it already was.

And I’ve found, it isn’t just old cars. One of the things I love about Leo is that he has the refined tastes and money to own some very rare and exotic cars himself. In my current book I’m writing, he drives a Morgan Aero 8 roadster, which I had never heard of until I told my car guru husband I needed a cool car for Leo, and boy does it deliver. If you don’t know what one looks like, here’s a sneak peak.  What a gorgeous car, and one I can definitely see Leo driving.

Well that’s all for now, I better get back to writing.

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Update

Blood Cure has been out for roughly five months, and already I am over halfway to my break even point (the number of books I need to sell to pay for what I spent on an editor and the book cover), and I can’t even tell you how ecstatic that makes me!!

Blood for Blood, book 2 in Keira’s story, is well on its way, and I have put myself on my editor’s schedule for mid-October, which means it’s crunch time in my writing world right now, so if you don’t hear from me for long stretches of time, that’s why. Also, the first book in my Death Maiden series, which I have not named yet, is waiting patiently for me to pick it up again once Blood for Blood is off to the editor.

I have been reading whenever possible, and have found two new series by authors who are new to me: the first book is The Change by Teyla Branton (which I really enjoyed), and the second is Grim by Thea Atkinson (which I mostly enjoyed). I plan on reading the next book in both series, and I hope Thea Atkinson can reel me in a little more. I picked up the last book in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series, but am reading each book slowly (I’m about halfway through the series) because I really don’t want it to come to an end. It has been one of my all-time favorite series.

That’s it for now. I’ll keep writing, and will offer updates whenever I have them.

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Where have I been?

I realized yesterday that it’s been a while since I last wrote something, and for that I apologize.  It’s been really busy. My editor told me she’s so busy she is booking into August (which is really awesome!), so I had her pencil me in for mid-October so I wouldn’t miss her editing services by the end of the year since I plan to have Blood for Blood out early next year. This means I have six months to complete and turn in my rough draft (yikes!). Plus, I’m still marketing Blood Cure, which makes it a very busy time around here…oh, and did I mention I have a full-time job?

Anyway, I’m loving my new writing program, though I’m still figuring it out, and Blood for Blood is coming along very well. I plan on buckling down for the next six months so I’ll be ready for edits, so I may not be on here as often as I’d like, but I’ll blog as often as I can. Thanks for hanging with me, and I hope you enjoy the ride!

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What I’m doing

vintage truckAs those of you who have read Blood Cure already know, Keira makes her living by taking care of classic cars and trucks at her shop, KNB Classics. Something I’ve been considering doing for some time now is to bring this to life once a month on my blog where I feature a classic car or truck to talk about and encourage comments and feedback from you guys. My husband and I love classic vehicles, which is where the idea to make Keira a classic car mechanic came from. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know if this is something you think you’d like to see.

I am also thinking of creating a newsletter, where people who sign up get to read a short story about the night Keira was born, and how she got Rya as her tattoo. It would also be used for exclusive short stories in the future. Another thing in the works, are Blood Cure book bags. I haven’t found the right company to create them yet, but I am working on it, and may have some to offer in the future.

And as always, I’m working on the next Keira book, Blood for Blood. With the overwhelming request of my fans, I have shifted gears so that Blood for Blood has moved to the top of my finish pile instead of my first Death Maiden novel, which I am still working on, but it will take a backseat to Blood for Blood for now.

Lots of exciting things going on around here. Don’t forget I have a book signing at the end of this month on the 29th at Boarding House Books in Claremore from 6-9pm if you’d like to attend.

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What’s happening.

Spring is here!

I love this time of year. The flower beds are done, new flowers planted, and the hummingbirds will be happy to find nectar waiting for them when they arrive. I plan on getting a sliding rocker to place on the front porch so I can enjoy the sunshine.

As for my writing, I am learning a new writing software with the hopes it will help me organize all my notes in one place, instead of having them and my research scattered all around. Blood for Blood, Keira’s second book is just warming up, and my first Death Maiden novel is moving along quite nicely.

Upcoming events: I have a book signing coming up this month on the 29th at Boarding House Books on Main Street during a Taste of Claremore from 6-9pm. I have some door prizes planned, so if you haven’t made it to any of my other signings, this would be a good one to come to as there will be a lot of activities going on out in the street, as well as a lot of fun in the bookstore. I hope to see you there!

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Spring Fever

I don’t know about you, but I officially have Spring fever.

Over the last few years, debris accumulated around the house into several piles, and became bunny havens (I can’t believe how many rabbits we have!), and ultimately, huge eye-sores. It was time to do some cleaning. So I called a young man that helps around the farm when I need him to, and we got to work. Two hours later, we had the piles cleaned up, loaded in the horse trailer to be hauled to the dump tomorrow, and the front porch even received some attention. I’m completely exhausted and sore, but it was a very productive day.

Now I’m sitting here working on my Death Maiden novel, and soaking my achy feet in an epsom salt bath. Sometimes I wonder how I’m ever going to keep up with all the work around the house, work a full-time job, be a good wife, and write. It’s tough at times, but I’m determined to make it work. Maybe some day, I’ll be able to quit working full-time, and switch to writing full-time….that’s ultimately my goal.

I better keep this short so I can get back to it. Have a great day, and enjoy whatever you’re reading!

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A Little Writing Advice

woman writingAdvice for anyone who wants to write a book, but doesn’t know where to start.

If you’re like I was back in 2011 and have an idea for a book, but haven’t the faintest clue how to go about it, trust me, you are not alone. I, and so many others, have been in your shoes.

My biggest advice to you would be to do your research. These days it just isn’t enough to want to write a book because there’s so much competition.  I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to how-to books centered around writing and learning the craft: everything from developing good dialogue, learning the secrets of plot and subplot, to finding your unique voice, and so forth. I even took an online class from a local university about writing fiction.

The other thing I recommend is reading. Lots of it. Find books by authors you like and read them. It may sound silly, but a lot of the things I learned in my how-to books I was already mostly doing because reading so many good authors had given me an ear for what sounded right. If I hadn’t been such an avid reader, I would have had a lot further to go in my learning.

Lastly, find the best editor you can afford (I’m speaking from the self-published point of view, if you go the traditional route and pick up an agent, they will provide the editor – but you still need to edit it to within an inch of its life before you ever submit it). Don’t think that using the spell checker in word, or your best friend’s cousin who was good in English, is going to be enough. If you want to be successful and put out something that people will love and enjoy, it has to be edited properly.

Remember, after doing all these things…write! Nothing will happen if you don’t write. You can’t publish a book until you’ve written it. No matter how busy you are, how many times you start and stop, keep writing. If you did your research, and wrote the best book you could, (with a little luck!) you’ll have something people want to read and you’ll be able to stop saying, “I’m trying to become an author,” and instead will say, “I am an author.”

 

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Death Maiden Teaser

I wanted to give everyone a small taste of what I’m currently working on (this is part of the rough draft, so it may change some when revised and published). This is from my first Death Maiden Novel. I’m very excited about where this story is going, and I love the characters (don’t worry, I’ve also begun book 2 of Keira’s story). Let me know what you think:

Jarko Knox shoved open the door of The Cauldron and stepped into the warm Oklahoma darkness that greeted him. The heavy steel door clanged against a Dumpster situated a little too close behind it, then swung shut, drowning out the laughter, yelling, and loud music that had become The Cauldron’s hallmark.

“Idiots,” he mumbled half-drunkenly. Hadn’t they learned by now only fools played flaming quarters with him? Jarko knew how to manipulate his craft better than any of the other witches, wizards, or warlocks that frequented the bar. He’d been there when they invented the game as a way to settle disputes peacefully, so he knew the rules intimately. Nowadays, they used it more as a way to flex their metaphysical muscles than anything else. A drunken bar game he had yet to lose. He loved it.

He kicked an empty beer can on the sidewalk with the toe of his boot and listened as it clinked and rolled off the concrete into the gutter. The street was empty this time of night, except for the two women that passed him on their way to The Cauldron. Witches perhaps, he couldn’t tell. Judging by the leather they wore and the twinkle in their eyes, they craved a little after work fun. Jarko smiled and tipped an imaginary hat to them, causing the two ladies to quicken their pace. Whether they guessed he was a warlock or not, they knew to avoid his kind: tall, dark, and menacing.

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What I’m Up To…

WritingThe reviews of Blood Cure since its release have been wonderful. It’s so exciting to see something I have loved for six years, be loved by others. For everyone who has bought a copy and left a review, I say thank you.

As for what I’m doing now – I am prepping for my book launch tomorrow. Everything appears to be in order, but I will double check one more time this evening just in case. I have also been in contact with several independent bookstores in an effort to get Blood Cure into as many of them as possible. So far I have three for certain, and one I am waiting for them to get back with me. I am also hard at work on my first Death Maiden novel. I ran up against a wall on a certain part, but I think I have the kinks worked out now because the words are once again flowing. Once I get past this initial rush of release stuff with Blood Cure, I will post a little more about it.

For those of you who are following my blog, you will always be the first ones to get updates and see what’s new and exciting, as well as getting to read things I don’t post anywhere else. That’s it for now, enjoy whatever you’re reading!!

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Writing

Throughout the entire writing process my family has been very supportive. I think in the beginning, some of them thought it was a passing faze, but when I announced a few months ago that it would actually be published, they all cheered and asked when could they buy it. My father, who I was afraid to tell what kind of books I wrote, has turned out to be one of my biggest fans.

When Keira first popped into my head, I knew she would be a human living in a world full of amazing creatures. I just had to figure out where she fit into everything. I knew I didn’t want her to be a damsel in distress, but could mostly take care of herself. And I knew I wanted her to have an animal that was her tattoo, but could also become real and fight by her side and be her closest friend and confidant. I achieved that with Rya, and I must say she is probably my favorite character. She’s smart, snarky, and loves Keira unconditionally. What more could you ask for in a partner? Then Sally and Sam came into the picture and I knew I had everything Keira needed to accomplish her ultimate goal, even though at the time, I wasn’t sure what that was. Now I do. Throw a vampire named Léonce Trevelyan into the mix, and well…you’ll have to read it to find out.

With Blood Cure’s official release day fast approaching, the thrill and excitement of it all makes me want it even more than I already did. I hope everyone who decides to purchase a copy loves reading about Keira, Sam, Sally, Rya and Leo as much as I have loved writing about them. The second Keira book, Blood for Blood is already started. I hope you enjoy!