Happy Birthday (to me)!

I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day because my birthday is so close. One year I was supremely irritated because the holiday fell on the weekend closest to my birthday. My family tried to go out for a birthday dinner and it was insanity. Parking was impossible. There was an almost two-hour wait to get into any restaurant. I was in my teens at the time and had a teenage breakdown (not so bad where my parents went into “don’t make me turn this car around” mode).

Since that day, I have been hyperaware of the holiday’s proximity to my desired family meal day. The latter is this afternoon, and we are going to a local Korean BBQ place. This will be my grandmother’s first time trying it, so we’ll see what she thinks. I suspect she will like the sweeter marinades the best and not care as much for the spicy sides. 

A friend also sent me the flowers in the main picture, which was very thoughtful. Other than that, I’m planning to take it pretty easy this weekend. I’ll polish another six to ten chapters of Hidden Strength to send off to my alpha readers. I have just over twenty chapters left to send, so I’m hoping to get those out before the beta feedback for Hidden Promise comes in. 

Though, I should also reach out to the cover artist if I want to have that done in time for the April newsletter…Okay, maybe “take it easy” is a bit of an overstatement, but these are busy times, and there are only so many days between deadlines! 

Of the Realms – Orientation

Elaria is a realm where the current inhabitants are not all native in origin. Throughout the Hidden Series, I make references to other realms and the races coming to Elaria from them. For the story in this series, the specifics of how the realms interact are not critical. It is enough to know humans, dwarves, and magai are immigrants.

However, I have been asked about the realms by readers. I could add more explanation into the books, but it adds little to the story, slows down the pacing, and can start to feel like a lecture. Instead, I have decided to lecture here and offer these “realms” posts as bonus insight for my readers who check out my website. Details on specific realms will come later. Today, we will look at the general structure and interaction of the realms.


So, what are the realms?

The realms exist upon another dimension. I’m not referring to the “everything that can happen, does happen” type of multiple dimensions, but about X/Y/Z dimensions.

3D, Time, and the theoretical “mystical power” dimensions.

Back and forward. Right and left. Up and down. These are the physical dimensions in which we exist as we pass along the time dimension. I am not a theoretical physicist, so this is where I will depart any proven/measurable science to delve into the world of fantasy.

The various realms exist along a spectrum of mystical power and governing forces with diverse expressions.

Aryanna (Earth), Elaria, and Scorcellen as they currently sit on the dimensional line.

Our realm exists toward the physical end of the spectrum. Toward this end, science and the laws of physics hold sway. One plus one will equal two. Actions and reactions, from a physics perspective, will be calculable. The further this direction a realm goes, the further it departs from magic and mysticism and becomes more structured and standard.

Moving in the other direction along the spectrum is where things become more chaotic and fascinating. Magic and other arcane forces change how the people of a realm interact with the world around them.

In Elaria, the world and its creatures exist connected to the people evolving there. The natural world strives for balance, and it exerts influence on and through those people. While there is power beyond the physical, most life conforms.

Further down the line, Scorcellen sits seeped in magical energy at the edge of what the magai call the boundary between high and low magic. Our world is on the low magic side. On the high magic side? Wonders. All you can imagine, glorious and terrible, can exist in those realms.
Fae, dragons, and even god-like beings dominate independent high-magic realms.

Perhaps they have visited. Maybe it is only stories of their existence that have passed down through the realms. They exist out in the far reaches of the power spectrum, spinning and ever-changing.

“But how do they all interact and fit together?” you ask.

Such interaction is a topic I will touch on further in the upcoming “realms” blog installment. Until then, have fun imagining a realm of your own making.

Generating Interest


Recently, my sales have slowed to a trickle, along with my Amazon ad impressions, so I decided to give Facebook ads a try. The opinions of Facebook ads in the indie-book business group I joined are pretty mixed. Some other authors have had success with Amazon ads and none with Facebook ads, while others experience the opposite. 

I searched through the group’s previous posts and responses on the topic, but there were no conclusive or overwhelming answers or experience in either direction. It is a very mixed bag, even within the same genres. So, I decided to do some research through trial and error.

Dusting off my Canva skills, I created two images (main post image and the one below) and ran with a few different headlines and a link taking folks to the Amazon page where they could buy the book

I Made a Sale!

I still celebrate every sale and preorder, but the conversions are nowhere near enough to cover advertising costs. It means my advertising is not doing its job and I need to make some changes. 

  1. I need dynamic ads…which means researching dynamic ads. This one will have to wait until I send Hidden Sanctuary to my betas.
  2. I need more reviews. The best I can do here is remind and provide easy links whenever possible. If you haven’t left a review yet, log into Amazon now and do so today!
  3. I need to finish the series. I’m working on it!
  4. I may need to change the description or title. 
    • The description part is easy enough. Understanding how to change it to entice readers to buy will be the challenge. I’m also considering going into KU, but more research is required before clicking that button.
    • Title changes are a can of worms. 
      • Sub-titles will be the first thing I work with because those are modifiable on KDP. 
      • Changing full titles means new covers and a complicated mess of publication drama. I do not see myself doing this. My time is most valuable in writing more books. 


Eventually, I will get to a reader magnet short story. If you have read Hidden Memory, do you have a favorite character? Is there someone or something about whom you want to know more? Do you have a favorite scene or quote I should feature?

On another topic: Should I do a launch party for Hidden Sanctuary this August? A virtual launch party? 

Let me know answers to these questions here or on my social media accounts. In the meantime, thank you for your support, and don’t forget to leave that review!

And the Winner is…

Thank you to everyone who signed up for my newsletter and especially to everyone who entered the paperback giveaway! Please join me in congratulating the winner of my first-ever giveaway.

Congratulations Joni!

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

There will be more opportunities to win in the future, so be sure to sign-up for my newsletter and follow me on Facebook to stay in the know!

Signing Preparations

Another great way to get your copy of Hidden Memory signed is to bring it to the Meeker Street Nerd Party. If you happen to be in the Kent, WA area, stop by and visit. I will have copies for sale, just in case yours does not arrive in time.

In the weeks since booking this signing gig, I have been planning like crazy. Books were only the first order on the agenda. I ordered fifty, just to be safe. Taking guesses on how many I will sell from my darkened corner of the store? I said two, while my brother guessed highest at thirteen. If I sell fifty, the fiftieth will only cost that person $5 in celebration!

In addition to paperbacks, I will have bookmarks and cool wax seal stickers as giveaways.

Look how great the seal stamp turned out!

I also designed a poster to display on my signing table. It will have my cover art along with some quotes from early reviews. (If you haven’t left a review on Amazon yet, it’s not too late! *Wink*) My only concern about the event is it goes through dinner time. I will have to remember to bring snacks along. I hope to see some of you locals there!

Coming Soon!

First, I have been told I should be more specific on the newsletter sign-up in relation to my blog. I have decided NOT to copy over the audience list from my blog subscribers to my newsletter. As such, if you are a subscriber here, you will need to actively sign up for my newsletter to receive it. You can do so below or on the homepage of my website.


Success! You're on the list.

New Page

Now for the big news! I have released a new page on my website cleverly titled “My Books.” This has information on what is coming soon and my tentative release schedule for the rest of the series. It will evolve, with the pre-order link added in about a month when it goes live on Amazon and other changes as books are released. I am by no means a graphic or website designer, but I am pretty happy with how things are looking so far.

Check out my new page here: https://tiffanyshearn.com/my-books/

I’m at that nervous-excited stage of publication. Things are becoming more real every day, and there is so much left to do to release on time. Fortunately, the book is effectively complete. I am working on polishing front- and back-matter, but the story itself is wrapped. While it might not be perfect, all the advice I see is that at some point you have to stop polishing and release it.

I went to Fiverr to look for copy editors, and I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful everyone I spoke with about this was. Whether I went with them or not, all provided advice on the entire process of selecting editors, which was very helpful for this first-time author. They were all great communicators and answered all of my, probably repetitious for them, questions. Based on my needs, I ended up working with Maxine Meyers she had some great reviews, and I am happy with the results.

The next few weeks are going to be looking into various author pages on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, etc., so hopefully, the existing publication info tides you over for a bit until I have that learning to share. It will probably be random life bits for a week or two.

Three months to go! I should start a countdown!