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! 

Entering Sanctuary

I’m busy editing, so here is a snippet for you from Hidden Promise (unedited)! The release is set for June 2023!

*Spoilers for Hidden Memory and Hidden Sanctuary*

Snippet –

On and on into the night, they flew at a pace no horse could ever match, and Larron wondered just how large this land was and how they managed to keep it hidden for so many lifetimes. Finally, he made out pricks of light filtering through the canopy ahead. His assumption of habitation was confirmed when he felt them drop slowly toward the trees. Their descent remained easy until they reached the forest. The prince told Larron to hold on but said nothing else before he pulled up and then dove straight down through the branches.

The ride twisted and turned, as jerky as any he ever experienced flying with Annalla. Larron struggled to cling to his bearer as the force worked to pull them apart. Behind him, he heard a brief, deep-voiced shout of surprise along with Patrice’s screams of fear. The one carrying her would bear claw marks for certain after this; the cat-like irimote was not at all fond of flying.

Once below the clustered branches, where the foliage opened, there was a final jerk as the prince righted himself and slowed to fly between the thick trunks. Sturdy trees surrounded them, and Larron saw an increasing number of structures positioned among the thick branches. There was no obvious way to ascend to the buildings dangling precariously high above the ground. Thin wood planks made the basis of their visible construction, with a gauzy material stretched over the windows. Bindings lashed them to the trunks and branches, but there was no invasive external support holding them in the trees. Assuming they were as sound as he suspected, Larron felt an elvish respect for a people who treated their land with such care. To use it without destroying it took an effort many races overlooked.

They weaved in and out of buildings growing in number and size. Most remained dark within, the people here either gone home or asleep for the night. The prince pulled them up once more in front of a large treehouse and set down upon the open porch circling it. The rest of their party followed close at his heels, and Patrice jumped down from her fairy and dropped to the floor. She clung to the boards even as she murmured repeated apologies.

“Patrice,” Annalla knelt at her side, putting an arm around her as she spoke, “she speaks little of the market tongue, but tells me her skins protected her well enough. She is fine, and you will not have to fly again too soon.”

The irimote rubbed her face before looking gravely at Annalla. “I really do not like flying.”

Snippets and Freebies

I recently set a target of forty reviews on Amazon between my first two books. When we reached the goal, I would post a deleted chapter from book 2 for free on my website. We crossed the rating threshold in December, and I diligently added the document to my book page for your reading pleasure.

I have been thinking of doing something similar for when I hit the fifty review/rating milestone for Hidden Memory. It is currently sitting at thirty-two ratings, and I hope they keep trickling in as they have in the days since the December promotion. I’m not making promises since I don’t have anything prepared, but get me to forty-five, and the tune might change.

The whole thing has me thinking about snippets and freebies in general. I love when my favorite authors have extras on their websites and share teaser snippets. Especially when they have fun, dynamic characters about whom I love reading more into their lives. Usually, this is for the more lighthearted fare I read. I find those extra bits when looking for the next book, Google the author to find out when it is coming out, and stumble through their website.

Many who read my blog followed before I published for the first time, following my author journey, so I wonder if snippets are a draw here. Do others enjoy those freebies as much as I do? How enticing are snippets shared in a blog if you don’t already have a rabid following? Would a potential additional scene or short story related to a book you loved entice you to leave a written review rather than a rating? Do you miss my sci-fi short story installments here?

I have not received an immense amount of engagement on the blog historically, so let me know if there is something you have particularly enjoyed reading in the last couple of years. Maybe I can even figure out how to do a survey for the blog’s two-year birthday coming up! For now, back to editing this draft of Hidden Promise so I can get it to my beta readers!

Wish me luck on my path to 50 reviews/ratings, and have a great weekend!

Anniversary Book Sale!

Earlier this week, my debut novel turned one year old. Hidden Memory came out last December and has since surpassed my initial goal and measure of success. When my husband asked me, pre-release, what a “win” would look like, I told him it would be if fifty people bought and enjoyed my book. While I have to guess at the enjoyment part, the first book sold around four hundred copies in the first year, and the second is already approaching two hundred. 

Achieving the success I wanted, I now dare to dream of even greater goals. I already have another three milestones picked out. 1) Fifty reviews on Hidden Memory. 2) Cover my advertising spend. 3) Reach the point where the books pay for themselves. Each one is a little step toward continuing to write and create stories I love. 

Celebratory Promo!

In honor of this one-year mark and to push in the direction of the reviews goal, I decided to test out the free ebook promotion tool on Amazon. From December 15th-19th, 2022, I have made Hidden Memory free in ebook format in all markets it is allowed. As of this writing, you still have a little time to jump on the deal if you have not already bought my first book. (It is also an opportunity to share the joy with fellow fantasy fans if you already read it yourself.)

This promo is also an experiment of sorts. Do people actually read the books they get for free? Does it generate interest and read-through for the other books in the series? Will it generate additional reviews/ratings? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know, and I hope to gain some insight from this event. With two more books in the series coming out and more books, worlds, and series planned in my head, I have ample opportunity to put what I learn into action for years to come. 

Grab your copy today, and don’t forget to leave those reviews as a thank-you for the free entertainment!

Series (drafts) Complete!

I still have the epilogue to write, but I have officially completed the first draft of the last book in the Hidden Series! For NaNoWriMo, I wanted to finish this draft and write over 32k words. This officially accomplishes both goals three days ahead of schedule.

Book four will now be set aside for a while so I can do a revision of Hidden Promise based on my alpha feedback. It took about three months for me to do this for Hidden Sanctuary, and I’m targeting having it for my alpha readers in April, my editor in May, and it is due out in June. The timing cuts it pretty close, so I will work to cut two or three weeks off of these deadlines.

Book Four: Then and Now

One of the greatest challenges with this one was that I could not really use any of my original writing. Years ago, I finished a draft of the complete series. I knew where the story was going and many of the stops it would make along the way. Most of the characters were at least rough outlines in my mind. I had over 72k words already written for this portion of the story.

Then, I built it out, starting with Hidden Memory. The world grew. The characters grew. I did it again with Hidden Sanctuary. With Hidden Promise, I had only scratched the surface of the fairy lands and people initially. So, I delved deeper and gave them more.

By the time I returned to the point of the final book, there were too many changes. People were not where they had been. The importance of some places and events shifted. It would have been more effort to squeeze the previous writing into the new form than to write it all from scratch. In the end, I used the former writing as an outline, trashed the writing itself, and the draft ends up at around 107k words.

If I can swing it, the series finale will be available before June 2024. This means going through all of the reviews and revisions. As always, if I can release early, I will.


If you are interested in joining the team, know I have openings for ARC readers. The first two books are free on KU. Start with those and leave reviews. If you are still interested, reach out to me, and I can add you to the team for Hidden Promise coming out in 2023.

Happy holidays to all!