Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What's with all the death? Embrace life!

We lost too many beloved celebrities and I know several who lost loved ones last month. And the deadly blizzard took a toll on millions. I'm glad January over. Lessons learned - embrace life and make the most of the time you have, especially with those you care about, and physical things don't last.

Which brings me to my  Insecure Writers Support Group post for February. Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for establishing this totally terrific institution each first Wed of the month. It's so huge, he recruits special guest hosts to make sure we all get taken care of. And there's always room for more!

I usually write encouraging posts - I'm in a happy place with my publishing situation. But January brought me some unhappy moments. Nothing as severe as losing a loved one or a job, but I've gotten several blows to my self-esteem.
  • I've been querying agents - and we all know how depressing those rejections can be
  • Reviews are lacking... People tell me they enjoyed SIMULATION, but not many are reviewing or rating it... If anyone wants a free e-copy of any of my books for a timely honest review - please let me know! I'm sharing the love in February! Reviews are lifeblood to an author.
  • When POP TRAVEL was on sale, it did well. Then I got two 1 star reviews which I can handle, but upon further inspection, the readers posted a ton of ratings on the same day, so it didn't seem like they even read it.
  • Lastly, I'm in substitute limbo again and not working much, when I really need to.
All these negatives pile up and with the extra, get-myself-motivated, "free time" on my hands, it can be hard not to dwell on the downside, like: Maybe I'm not that great of a writer. Maybe I'm too old to get a permanent job. Being home also reminds me what a terrible housekeeper I am. Some days I just want to get in my car and drive away from it all... But I won't. Running away is never the answer. I know I have to keep going. I won't give up.

Instead, I come up with ways to motivate myself.
  • It's not me, it's them... I can't please everyone. I know I'm not a "literary" writer. I'm a lite, entertaining, action-packed fun storyteller. And many people seem to like my books. One of my neighbors got so excited when Simulation came out, and several of my students keep bugging me, asking for the next Broken Branch Falls book - those are the moments to live for and keep in mind.
  • Be productive - I've been getting lots of writing done, but it's all WIPs - emphasis on in progress. To feel more productive, I need more immediate results. I've started looking into freelance writing jobs - writing to get paid, what a concept. I love Shannon Lawrence's posts advertising publications looking for submissions. I also get updates from sites that are like want ads for writers. I'm going to start a short story file and an article file.
  • This means I need to actually submit my writing. Which means more rejections. But I also know that the more you submit and improve, the better your chances of acceptance. It's a depressing process, but it's the only way!
  • Lastly, I tell myself that this time off (that I'm always asking for) is a gift. I have time to do necessary domestic things, time to work on my online classes for recertification, and time to finish my writing projects! Like I was able to put Jolissa, chapter 2 onto Youtube!
my latest muse
We have to make the most of what we have. Find the positive. And keep going. It's just hard sometimes. Thanks for listening!

But enough of my whining. I do want to encourage you guys and I know you like to encourage others. So why not join Christine RainsC. Lee McKenzie, and me the week of Feb 29 - Mar 4 for A MEME Blog Hop! Make a funny, cute, or inspiring MEME! Use any picture, use an app, or do it yourself, and sign up below. It's easy!
And I leave you with a gorgeous parting image of MURDER (open with death, close with death...)
The amazing COVER REVEAL (and new covers) for Yolanda Renee's MURDER collection!

Flames burn between a hardboiled cop and a gifted artist, but soon extinguish as another man’s obsession ignites into an inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness.

As wedding bells echo like the ring of toasting champagne glasses in the ice carved mountains of Anchorage Alaska, detective Steven Quaid rehabs his grandfather’s cabin into a honeymoon cottage for his new bride.

When he returns from a hunting trip, Steven’s faced with five police officers, who “Want to talk.” Plagued by two unsolved murders, the Department is searching for answers.

Steven’s jaw clenches and his heart races. Images of Sarah streak through his mind. The silence breaks as an explosion of accusations vibrate through every fiber of his being. Steven bolts…

This Steven Quaid mystery is both personal and heartbreaking.

Yolanda's first two MURDER novels:

to be released March 10.

Congrats, Yolanda!

Now let's have a lively February!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The road not taken, for a reason

Today I'm happy to welcome my friend and space knight, David P. King. I hope you enjoy this little interview I was able to talk him into...

Q: How did The Undead Road come to fruition?
A: I’ve always wanted to write my own zombie story, but it wasn’t until I saw the first episode of The Walking Dead when it finally clicked. This book is also semi-autobiographical, meaning it’s based on how my twisted mind thought about things and perceived the world when I was 15.

My boys LOVE the walking dead, and I have no idea why... but you will totally relate to them!
Q: What are your thoughts on the new trends in publishing?
A: It’s a complicated shift from what I expected when I first set out to publish in the 90s. Self-publishing makes it easier for authors to get their work out without a gatekeeper holding them back. When I couldn’t get traditional publishers to sign this book, “self-publish” was shouted at me from all angles. I figured if my traditional efforts didn’t pan out, why not self-publish?

It's a whole new world - and seems even more competitive than ever!
Q: Do your undead characters resemble anyone you know?
A: A friend of mine won a Zombify Me! contest a while ago. She’s a zombie in the book! Look for Ilima Todd within the pages. And if you’re not nice to me, you’ll get undead soon enough.

That's awesome Ilima is an immortalized zombie! Ha!
Q: Can you share a short section of The Undead that you particularly enjoyed writing (nothing gross please!)?
       Her oncoming baseball bat made me stumble back. My voice caught in my throat as the dog joined in with a bark. This girl was quick! I reached for my .45, but before I could grab the handle, she had me pinned, ready to splatter my brains.
       I closed my eyes, expecting her blow. Nothing happened. I blinked my eyes open. The girl was standing right over me, and she smiled a smile that I would never forget.
      “Now we’re even.”

Ooo - great sneak peek! Wicked smile =)
Q: And finally, how's it going? I hope all is well on the home front! Any good news to share (besides your latest book!)?
A: Truth be told, I’m currently unemployed. I was laid off before the holidays. While I am seeking new work, my writing is the only source of income I have (not much, but better than $0). I’m still writing and looking forward to the writing conference scene this year, and hoping upon hope that I will find a new job to support my family. Please share this book with all you know!

That last question was asked a while ago. I feel bad for nosing in expecting innocent happy stuff. But I'm also glad he shared his struggles because now we can help him by spreading the news about his awesome books. And hopefully it will just be a temporary setback or lead him to something better!

It was so nice to have David over here - it's been too long. And now, here are some details about his fabulous book. The cover is sensational and the story is to die for - poor choice of words? Regardless - check it out!

The Undead Road, My Zombie Summer: Part One
by David Powers King
Publisher: Dashboard Books / CreateSpace
Ebook Release: January 2st, 2016
Paperback: January 26th, 2016
Cover by Steven Novak
Edited by Reece Hanzon

Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse …

Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Berretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her.

After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.

Don't wait! Get yours TODAY!


Visit and leave and comment and/or tweet about The Undead Road (at least once) for a chance to win a free ebook. One out of every 10 comments and tweets is a winner!

"Nothing brings the family together like a #zombie #apocalypse..." #99c #kindle! @DavidPowersKing

About the Author:
David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to be a writer. He is the co-author of the YA fantasy novel WOVEN, published by Scholastic. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He currently lives deep in the mountain West with his wife and three children.

And don't forget to join Christine Rains, C Lee McKenzie and I for our uplifting MEME BLOGHOP, February 29 - March 4 ...

Monday, January 18, 2016

The red or the blue?

Loaded question, isn't it? I could be talking about the Matrix or the upcoming elections or a sports team or just which shirt I want to wear. And each choice we make can set into motion a different chain of events, whether catastrophic, terrific, or just a regular day... Which brings me to an exciting new anthology put together by Randi Lee who is now Stay Classy Publishing. And I'm honored to be a part of it!

The Thing That Turned Me

Here is our riveting (updated) cover...

There are so many awesome authors contributing! Check out the trailer:

I had so much fun writing my piece, I made a little image for it...
My story is a lite apocalyptic romance...because I like to put all seriousness aside.
It will be out this summer. I can't wait to read all the stories!

And even though it's January, the A to Z blogging challenge is right around the corner! I better start thinking of a theme  (you don't have to have one, but I find it easier to come up with posts). I also need to decide if I will have time to even do it this year...

Important Dates:
January 25, 2016 – Challenge Sign-Up
January 28, 2016 – Twitter Chats begin
February 22, 2016 – A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest Sign-Up
March 21, 2016 – A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest
April 1, 2016 – Challenge begins

Website                 Facebook Page

What's new with you? Ever try your hand at short stories?
Thinking of a theme for A to Z?

BTW - It's my week at the Really Real Housewives
I'm talking about yearlies... come on over!


I just got confirmation for a NEW BLOG HOP!!

Christine RainsC. Lee McKenzie, and Tara Tyler are hosting A MEME Blog Hop! We want to help chase away the winter blues with some Encouraging, Inspiring, and Funny MEMEs! Join us the week of Feb 29 - Mar 4!
This is a MEME
a picture with words

Easy Peasy "rules"
  1. Post a MEME during the week (use your own pic or an easy meme maker app) - and if you can't think of anything, pass on encouraging words from one of your reviews, or an inspiring quote! 
  2. Visit others
  3. That's it!
Then the awesome hostesses will hop around and Ooo and Ahh and choose one entry each to win an ebook. AND two lucky random participants will win a $20 GC. Enter and spread some warmth!