Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Post of Thanks - 10 (Shallow) Reasons I'm Happy This Holiday Season

I recently shared in a post how I've been struggling with writing and how grateful I am to have amazing fans. Since it's Thanksgiving, I want to go one step further and list ten things I am currently grateful to have in my life on this holiday of thanks. These are things that go beyond friends, family, and fans, because I feel it goes without saying that I feel blessed and cannot imagine my life without them. Plus those are things of importance and the list I'm about to provide is shallow and petty, but makes me smile nonetheless. So here they are, in no particular order:

1. X-Files reboot. The original series is in my top three TV shows of all time and since the first movie was release, my fingers are always crossed that Chris Carter will give us more. I'm a little annoyed because they're hinting that Scully and Mulder are no longer a couple, but I refuse to accept that they would permanently separate a couple of such epic proportions.

2. New Foo Fighters album. Most of my fans know by now that I freaking ADORE Dave Grohl and crew so much that I recently got a tattoo with the band's logo. This past Monday they surprised fans with an EP containing five new songs they're giving away for free. If you're a fan of music, I suggest you check out their new EP because they're a group of really sweet guys who are also hilarious and know how to rock.

3. Beta reading awesome books. I've had the pleasure of getting to know Kate L. Mary after I fangirled her on Goodreads. Now that she's convinced I'm not a crazy stalker, we've become friends. And when you're an author who is friend with another author, you often get the opportunity to read advanced copies of their work. As Kate is the author of my favorite zombie series, it was better than Christmas when I found her latest masterpiece waiting in my inbox. I know I'm always going on about her Broken World series, but honestly, peeps. If you're into The Walking Dead, you HAVE TO read this series. While it only vaguely reminds me of TWD, the plots and characters are fresh, and there's even a bit of romance involved. The series is available on Kindle Unlimited, and book 5 comes out next Monday! While you're at it, check out her award winning book While We Were Human.

4. Awesome beta readers. I finally finished the first draft of Paranormal Guardians, the sequel to Paranormal Keepers, and sent it off to the hands of some very capable beta readers. In the meantime I'm working on another rewrite of book 3, though that likely won't be released until some time in March. I'm very passionate about this series and cannot wait to share it with my readers! If you haven't read the first book, it's available on Kindle Unlimited.
5. New Stephen King book. I've been a fan of the master of horror for 30-some years and I'm always crazy excited when he releases something new. I have a small bookshelf that seems to be in serious distress from holding all my hardcover editions of his work. At the rate he's going, I figure one day I'll have to devote the entire bookcase to his work. I'm especially pumped for The Bazaar of Bad Dreams because even though I adore the man, some of his books tend to get a bit too long winded and I always think his best work has been in short stories. Even though the book has been out for awhile now, I don't plan on reading it until I'm on a beach in January (which brings us to #6).

6. Vacations. Living in Minnesota is akin to living in the tundra. Our winters are miserably cold, often dipping below zero with a wind chill in the double digitis, and the roads are scary as hell 85.9% of the time. As someone who is considerably fair-weathered, the only way I can survive the long, harrowing months is to know at least for a few days during the season I'll get to put my toes in the sand somewhere warm and read a good book. There's no feeling like it. My favorite part about going somewhere warm is taking a catamaran out to play in the water. Even though we just recently had our first snowfall, I'm beyond ready to pack my bags and get the heck out of here.

7. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. I'm planning to see the highly anticipated finale of the young adult series this weekend with my family. Although I enjoy the movies far more than the books (yeah, I said it), I'm ready for the story to be over. As much as I adore Jennifer, I'm ready for Katniss to go away and live her happily ever after.
8. Teens with a driver's license. I realize having a child on the road will be stressful, but my daughter will have her license in just over a month (she even already passed the test!) and I'm dreaming of all the times I won't have to drive her into town. But it makes me sad knowing she'll have more of a social life than ever.
9. Untraditional holidays. With our adult children spread out and a few of them holding down unusual work hours, it's not as easy to get together for the holidays. Accordingly, our new Thanksgiving tradition has evolved into swimming, doing a little shopping, and a movie afterwards. Honestly, I adore it. My childhood memories of going to my grandparents' and meeting with the cousins over the holidays is something I'll always cherish, but times have changed considerably and our little family is just as unique as our new tradition. (I guess that's a nice way of saying we're weird.)

10. Red Bull. I know it's bad for you, but it's my one big vice these days and it enables me to function instead of drinking coffee, something I cannot stand. There are days when I'm sure I wouldn't be able to write a single word without it. As may times as I've tried to quit the stuff, I've come to accept it's one thing I can't do without.
That's it, folks. Hope all my fans in the US have an amazing holiday and have plenty to be thankful for, both important and shallow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

On Being Burned Out, Frustrated, and Grateful...An Open Discussion About My Career

While I'm possibly talking to myself with this post as my blog seems to have lost followers in my absence, I thought I'd put it out there regardless. Because a writer's gotta write, right? And I consider it a form of therapy to openly talk to my fans about where I'm at in my career.

Contrary to popular belief or the darkest thoughts of my psyche, I have not quit writing. After several months of putting my craft to work in other avenues in which I usually worked seven days a week and sometimes up to 12 hours a day, I took the months of September and October "off" to help my husband farm. Turns out it was a much needed mental break from writing.  I didn't realize I was completely burned out until I stepped away from it all.

Although some people may think writing is easy and a non-stop fun-fest, it can take a toll on a person - especially when self-employed with ridiculously long days because you're not reporting to an 8-5 job and can type away in the comfort of you home until you're unable to keep your eyes open. And then there's the marketing aspect of being an indie author. Don't even get me started on the business side of my dream career, because I'm clearly not cut out for that kind of thing. I'm unorganized and unfocused, unable to stick to a plan. And the experts say as a writer you have to have a presence on social media. Although it has become an important tool for reaching fans, it's also a place where you learn about the success of others and begin to question yourself and your work.

*Cue depression*

I've been open about dealing with depression in the past and I'm not about to shy away from it now. Around the time I was preparing to help with harvest, I was in a tunnel so long and so dark that it seemed I would never find my way back out. I quit the business side of social media, even unfollowing my dearest of writer friends because it was too painful to see others flourishing when I was floundering. Thankfully I've never been suicidal, but there was a time when everything seemed pretty bleak and I would cry at the drop of a hat. Like many so people battling inner demons, I was able to smile and put on a brave face while trudging through the murkiest of waters. Not many people in my life knew about my struggle.

For the first time in five years, I didn't participate in NaNoWriMo (an annual (November) novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world). Instead I used this "time off" to evaluate my career. I say "time off" as I was sometimes spending 10 hours per day in the tractor and that can be way more exhausting than one would think. Now that I was able to take a step back and put things into perspective, I'm so incredibly grateful.

I'm sure everything I said above sounds incredibly whiny, especially coming from someone who works from home and doesn't have to meet the demands of a surly boss or punch a clock. Though it's dangerous when you're able to set your own hours in a job you love because there's no one to tell you it's time for a break, it's also incredibly convenient. I'm amazed my friends with jobs can keep up with their teenager's activities and I can't fathom how working farm wives can meet the demands of their husbands. Being married to someone who also sets their own hours gives us the kind of freedom together that most people dream about (aside from the grueling demands of planting and harvest seasons, of course). My days of spending weeks building up the courage to ask for accrued time off are long gone. And I can virtually write from anywhere so long as I have access to power, it's quiet, and there aren't people moving around me (demanding, I know, but I have crazy ADD). In reality, it's the ideal job.

Having gone from a well-paying job to being self-employed almost four years ago was at first a serious blow to my ego. I don't have the kind of salary that a person could live off, but I am making some money. The fact that I have actual fans who buy my books and want to read more really says something. I've wanted to be a writer since I was eight years old. I'm not only proud of myself for making my dream a reality, but incredibly thankful beyond words for those who have an interest in my work. I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

It has never been my goal to become famous. I know I won't ever be on the same playing field with the likes of Stephen King or J. K. Rowling as I'm lightyears away from their level of prose. Honestly, I wouldn't want that kind of public recognition anyway. I'm uncomfortable the way it is when a stranger asks me in public about my next book and therefore know I would totally suck if put in a spotlight of any significance. I simply want people to get excited about my books because the endless stories going through my head won't stay silent. I want fans to fall in love with my heroes and get lost in the worlds I create. And hopefully one day my ultimate dream of having a book made into a movie will be realized. *fingers crossed*

Last night I had a breakthrough and, for the first time in months, wrote for several hours straight. So here I am, back in the saddle of sorts, ready to focus on writing and decide what project I want to do next. Hopefully in 2016 I'll be releasing the long awaited sequel to Shymers and the next two books in the Paranormal Keepers series as well as a few other projects, but I still have to work it all out and decide my next moves. Because that's what you have to do as an indie author - make all the decisions on your own. It's stressful as all hell, but I'm still thrilled that I have the opportunity to spend my life doing what I love. If you've reading this and you've read even one of my books, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. It's people like you who have helped to make my life complete!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shymers got a brand new cover!

I'll admit, I'm a cover junkie. And I enjoy creating them as much as I like looking through them, although my design skills only go so far. Fortunately I stumbled upon a very talented designed by the name of Najla Qamber who has great vision and always knows how to meet my demands. We recently collaborated on an updated cover for my book Shymers, a dystopian tale that explores what it would be like if everyone knew how long they had to live. I had the vision and picture I took of a friend's daughter while Najla had the skills to make it come to life. What we came up with is so stunning...I'm dying to get my hands on a paperback copy!

To celebrate the new cover, I'm offering the dystopian tale for just 99 cents:

Stay tuned for more information on Rebels, the long-awaited sequel to Shymers (coming in 2015)!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Favorite Zombie Series Alert: SHATTERED WORLD by Kate L. Mary

Where are my Walking Dead peeps?  I'm crazy excited to share with you the release of Kate L. Mary's second zombie book, Shattered World as this has become my favorite new series! While there are parts of it that remind me of the The Walking Dead, it definitely has its own feel with compelling characters and a story that will blow you away. I had the privilege of seeing an advance copy of book #3 and can tell you that it just keeps getting better and better! Seriously, this series is a must-read for all zombie fans!

Shattered World (#2, Broken World series)
by Kate L. Mary
Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie Series
KindleBarnes & Noble │ KoboGoogle Play
Shattered World Cover  


***Warning: Contains Spoilers for Broken World (book #1)***

Stranded in the middle of the Mojave Desert, surrounded by zombies, Vivian and Axl are sure they’re facing the end. The dead are closing in and the shelter they were promised is sealed tight. Just when they think they’ve run out of time, the doors are thrown open. Five years underground with all the provisions there for the taking. It’s almost too good to be true. 

With the promise of security, Vivian hopes she’ll finally able to deal with the loss of Emily, her growing feelings for Axl, and the terrifying new world they’re facing. But their sense of security is soon shattered when they discover the shelter isn’t the utopia they thought it would be. It seems the company that built the shelter decided to solve their financial problems by selling off provisions, which means the group has to find a way to get supplies. Or face starvation. And Vegas is the closest city.

  With her feelings for Axl stronger than ever, Vivian volunteers to accompany him and a few others on a trip into one of the biggest tourist cities in the world. Vegas is overrun with the dead, but there are other survivors as well. Only not everyone they meet is a welcome sight. As the emotional baggage piles up, Vivian and Axl’s bond grows stronger, but it doesn’t take long to realize that zombies aren’t the only thing they have to fear.


“Here goes nothin’,” Axl says, echoing my thoughts. He leans down and fools with the wires under the steering wheel. The dead bang against the car, but even more have surrounded the sedan. I dig my nails into my legs while I wait for Axl to do whatever he has planned. He grunts, and a few sparks fly. 

My entire body jerks when the deafening sound of the alarm rings through the car. The world around us explodes. The bodies go crazy and converge on the car, banging on it with their hands, their bodies, their faces. They leave thick smears of black on the windows as they desperately try to get in. The door handle rattles, and some even climb on top of the car. They’re wild and frantic. It’s so terrifying that for a moment I can’t remember exactly why we decided to do this. My heart pounds and I cover my ears, trying to block out the sounds of the hammering and the alarm. 

Trying to keep the terror at bay. All I want to do is run, but there’s nowhere to go. The realization that we’re stuck hits me so hard I start to shake. Then the sedan drives off. It turns the corner with the truck close behind it, and I relax just a little. They’re going to make it. Nathan and his wife, their daughter. Two other little boys who have years ahead of them. Trey can get back to Parvarti and Winston to his daughter. They will have food and safety. That’s why we chose to commit suicide in this horrifying way.

 Axl pries my hands away from my ears and pulls me against his chest. He wraps his arms around me as the pounding continues. He doesn’t say anything, and neither do I. All I can do is watch silently as the truck pulls out of sight. After a few minutes, he turns the alarm off, but the damage is already done. They know we’re in here, and they won’t give up until they’ve broken in. A crack starts at the corner of the windshield and travels across. Then another. A dead man hurls himself against the glass and pounds his fists. Hundreds of cracks fan out across the windshield in a frightening web pattern, and I have to stifle the urge to scream. It’s safety glass, so it doesn’t give. At least not yet.

  “I won’t let them get us.” Axl’s lips brush against my head, and strands of hair fall into my face. They tickle my nose, but I can’t find the motivation to move them aside. I nod and swallow against the lump in my throat. He doesn’t mean he won’t let them get in, because we both know there’s nothing we can do about that now. Surprisingly though, I’m okay with it. A bullet to the brain sounds a lot better than being ripped apart by the undead.


image  Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California. Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

socail media links  

other books

BrokenWorldCoverWhen a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. Then her car breaks down and she’s faced with a choice. Give up, or accept a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl. Vivian knows the offer has more to do with her double D’s than kindness, but she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach her daughter. The virus is spreading, and by the time the group makes it to California, most of the population has been wiped out. 

When the dead start coming back, Vivian and the others realize that no electricity or running water are the least of their concerns. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl. While searching for a safe place to go, they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival.
Amazon Barnes & Noble │ KoboGoogle Play

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MY TETHERED SOUL Blitz & Giveaway

Peeps! I give you the My Tethered Soul blitz...sounds like one to add to your TBR lists! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below!


It’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.

When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.


My Tethered Soul (Reaper’s Rite 2)
My Sister’s Reaper (Reaper’s Rite 1)

Author Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


“Have you tried … lately?”

Mara’s gaze met the floor and she replaced the brush on her dresser. She knew exactly what I was talking about. Vila powers. Our ability to make things happen. When I defeated my sister’s Reaper seven months ago, Mara was stripped of her powers. Lilura told us there might be a chance for Mara to regain them, but there was no way to know for sure. Mara tried to will something—anything—to happen the first two months after her Reaper’s demise with no luck. I hadn’t asked her since if she tried again. Until now.

“No,” she said.

“But if you haven’t tried, then you don’t know for sure. Maybe you can—”

“Just drop it, Zadie!”

I flinched.

Mara quickly regained her composure, closing her eyes and holding her hands out as if to steady herself. “Sorry. I just don’t want to talk about it.”

“Like you don’t want to talk about going to visit Mom?” It came out of my mouth before I could stop myself. But I didn’t regret it. I had been holding it in too long. Our mother had been locked up in a mental institution for the past four years, since I was thirteen. It wasn’t until I found out about our family history—our half-faery/half-witch history—that I learned the real reason she lost her mind. If a Reaper couldn’t take a Vila’s soul, it could take her sanity instead. Mom’s Reaper was still out there, probably searching for her so he could finish the job he started. But there was a chance to save her from him. I vowed to help her defeat her Reaper. To finally bring her home again.

Dad and I visited Mom at least once a month, but Mara never made the trip with us. Not since before her accident last fall.

“I’m not ready.” She turned away from me and crawled into her bed.

“Why not? I don’t get it.”

Mara shook her head and shrugged. “I just … I know what it’s like to be haunted. To feel like there’s literally no escape from a demon. To have no choice but to give in. And knowing Mom is still … Zadie, it terrifies me to even think about being around that.”


Dorothy Dreyer is an author of young adult books. Her debut, MY SISTER'S REAPER, released June 18, 2013, from Month9Books. MY TETHERED SOUL releases summer 2014.


Monday, June 16, 2014

THIS SUMMER trailer reveal by Katyln Duncan

I am super excited to be participating in the trailer reveal for Katlyn Duncan's THIS SUMMER. It's awesome and it makes me even more excited to read the book and I can't wait for its release on July 9th.

I am also thrilled to be able to share a guest post in which characters Hadley and Lily share their Top "Summer to Remember" Must Haves.

If you haven't yet heard of this upcoming New Adult release from Author Katlyn Duncan, the book's description is below. And if you haven't yet "met" the author, her details and places to find her online are also below.

But first, here is the THIS SUMMER Trailer. I can't wait to share it with you. What do you think?

The Trailer

The Guest Post

Hadley and Lily’s Top ‘Summer to Remember’ Must Haves

Hadley: Hey everyone. My best friend, Lily, and me are going to tell you our top must haves for this summer.

Lily: This girl is headed to college in the Fall and it’s our last summer together before “growing up”. I’ll start! My number one is boys.

Hadley: (eye roll)

Lily: What? Boys are important for a summer to remember. And now that we’re both single we can have a little fun with them.

Hadley: Are you done?

Lily: Fine. What’s your number one?

Hadley: (grins) My best friend.

Lily: Oh! And a job working with your best friend.

Hadley: Yes that too.

Lily: (pauses dramatically) And on a serious note…sunscreen.

Hadley: UV protection is important.

Lily: I was thinking more along the lines of awful tan lines.

Hadley: Okay…

Lily: Next is…parties. And oh! Older brothers who can get supplies for parties, if you know what I mean.

Hadley: Oh my God…

Lily: So we have boys, best friends, a job WITH a best friend, sunscreen, parties, brothers, what else?

Hadley: Camp!

Lily: That counts as a job with your best friend.

Hadley: Camp should be a category of its own—

Lily: Here we go…

Hadley: But without camp we wouldn’t have had the best summers of our lives. And we will be a part of making that happen for the kids.

Lily: Yeah. I’m still sticking with boys.

Hadley: You’re hopeless, but I do love you! Well that does it, everyone. Be sure to make this summer, a summer to remember. And comment below with your must haves I’d love to hear them!

About This Summer

Release date: July 9, 2014
Publisher: Carina UK
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
ISBN: 9781472096449


Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas - ex-boyfriends who don't seem to know what 'ex' means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn't anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.

Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt - for leaving, for coming back... Now he's just passing through to tie up loose ends but it's clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it's built on two years of lies...

This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change - again?

Find it at...

Coming soon... iBooks, Nook UK, Kobo, Google Play, & Sony Store.

About Katlyn Duncan

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.


Monday, June 9, 2014


★✩★SUMMER SALE!! ★✩★

Happy "official" summer and, oh yeah, I HAVE EXCITING NEWS!
This week (6/9/14-6/16/14) only, each of my 7 YA paranormal romance books will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for just 99 cents each! So be sure to fill your eReader for the summer months ahead before they return to $2.99!