You may order one paperback for $15 or both for $25 - both amounts include shipping. (If you order both, they will ship together.)
Just visit the SHOP to place your order today!!!
Haven from the Storm will be shipped immediately. Before the Storm paperbacks have been ordered and will ship once I have received them, no later than September 20th.
You may order one paperback for $15 or both for $25 - both amounts include shipping. (If you order both, they will ship together.)
Just visit the SHOP to place your order today!!!
Before the Storm is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.Haven from the Storm is also available on both.
Last weekend I had the privileged of attending an author event in Denton Texas with some amazing authors. Look at them, can you see the talent seeping from their pours?!?!
It was a hectic yet perfect weekend and I couldn't have asked for better friends and readers. Each of you that stopped by to say hello meant so much to me and I thank you for such a special day.
NOW for the pics. :)
TODAY is MY birthday! YAY me! Well no, not really. I have to admit I've reached the age where birthday's just aren't as fun as they once were. No, this isn't going to be a "woe-is-me-I'm-in-my-30's" post this is a "spread-the-birthday-love" post!
In honor of my birthday Haven from the Storm will be 99 cents for one month on Amazon! So go grab it if you haven't already.
I'm giving away 32 Kindle copies! Can you guess how old I am now? ;)
Complete the Rafflecopter below to enter. Winners will be announced next Friday, the 19th.
Have you ever gone on vacation and came home to a horrible case of the post vacation blues? Sucks doesn't it?
Well what I have is even more serious than vacation blues...I have post UtopYA deep-down-in-your-soul depression. You'll understand why in a minute...
And if you've been living under a huge boulder and haven't heard of UtopYA well you're in the right place...
UtopYA is a convention for writers and readers of supernatural YA and NA fiction. It's unlike any other convention I've been exposed to since entering the wonderful world of author-hood. The readers and the writers co-mingle 100% of the time. They are seated next to each other in the opening keynote (which was Jennifer L. -freaking- Armentrout by the way), they visit the exhibitor booths side-by-side, they listen to each of the panelist share their expertise together, they even sleep next to each other in the same hotel. It is as up close and personal as a reader/author convention can get. AMAZING right!?!
Each and every author that attends is there not only to spread the word of their works but also to spend time getting to know their readers. Just wait I have proof with many, many photos.
Did I mention that UtopYA is in Nashville, TN. Home of some awesome music and amazing night life. Well before I got to the night life part of things I met up with the uber gorgeous K Anne Raines to set up our exhibtor booth at UtopYA.
I have to admit walking into the building knowing I'd be surrounded by so many talented authors was scary...SCARY! But everyone was extremely nice. K Anne and I had a fabulous booth even if we weren't quite as prepared as our booth neighbor Kristen Day author of the Daughters of the Sea Triology...whom I forgot to get a picture with. DANG! Kristen had coconut milk and seaweed chips that I nicely declined to consume. :)
After getting our booth pimp on we met up with my soul sister Kate Mathias. If you've had the pleasure of meeting Kate then you know how absolutely sweet and genuine she is and how blessed I am to call her a friend.
The convention kicked off with none other than Jennifer L. Armentrout! She was an amazing speaker and stuck around to meet and greet. So inspirational!
The rest of the day was filled with fangirling and stunned silence at the authors and readers that I was able to meet. The proof is below.
Day 3 - where exhaustion kicked in
By the time day 3 of my trip rolled around I was EXHAUSTED. A girl can only take so much awesomeness before things start getting blurry.
But the day kicked off with a bang...
Saturday morning I was chillin at my booth because I some how arrived extremely early and none other than Samantha Young walked up and introduced herself...like I didn't already know who she was. So we chatted for a minute and she made her way to the days opening keynote.
However, she was unaware that she was being stalked...umm, I mean followed by ME. ;) She was nice enough to allow me to sit next to her during the keynote...I was polite and didn't drool all over her...no really I promise I didn't!
The rest of the day was a tizzy of lovely people...
Saturday night was the UtopYA Awards. How amazing is it that this convention has its own awards! I was super excited to get all prettied up and walk the red carpet...but unforunately me and some ladies I went out to eat with had a little too much fun with our fancy dinner at Ruth Chris' Steakhouse and we missed the awards! GASP!!! But we sure do look pretty, right?!?
Home Sweet where-did-all-my-friends-go Home
And then I was home...
Home without all my brand new friends...
No more tackle hugs, no more stalking unspecting authors/bloggers/readers, no more looking around for Indie authors everywhere I go, no more being surrounded by pure unadulterated talent.
And I'm sad...and I miss everyone... :(
I can't wait until next year when all my people converge on Nashville once again!
I want to thank Janet Wallace and her creative brain for dreaming up such an event and allowing folks like me to meander around it. Also Lindsay, April, Jamie and everyone else that I'm forgetting that works so hard all year long to put on UtopYA. I'll see you lovely people next year!
On to the announcement...
UtopYA's theme the first year was werewolves, unfortunately I didn't attend that year because I would have been all over some werewolves. This year's theme was angels and Janet announced during the closing keynote that next year's theme will be aliens...
If you've meet me under the right circumstances then you know how much of a supernatural sci-fi geek I am. Anything other wordly draws me in...besides scary, creepy supernatural because my over active imagination doesn't need that kind of help.
The afternoon after the reveal of the theme and banner I had the most amazing dream that I was very unhappy about waking up from. It was pretty much my dream book all rolled into one, it featured two characters...Sutton and Knox. So I just decided that after Before the Storm is published August 30th I will start work on Sutton and Knox's novel. Yes I hear you Adley and Derek fans screaming at me...I will also be working on Sanctuary from the Darkness at the same time. But right now I make no promises as to which will be published first but will do my best to keep everyone up to date.
That's all the details you're getting right now...you can infer that the theme of next years UtopYA has influence over the premise of JJ and Knox (and you'd probably be correct if you did). :)
As a thank you to all of you still reading my ramblings and to all that accepted me without question at UtopYA here's a giveaway.
Win 1 of 13 prizes
The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you know, the more places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss
Hiya! Me again. *waves*
What was you favorite book growing up?
I have and will always be a Dr. Seuss fan. But who isn't, right? I also loved Where the Wild Things Are, Charlotte's Web (even though it makes me cry just thinking about it), The Giving Tree, Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?, I could list them all day.
I was a late bloomer when it came to reading (just ask my mom), Hooked on Phonics was NOT my friend. To this day if you ask me to read aloud in a room full of people it makes my heart race as I think back to the days of counting the paragraphs ahead to mine so I could practice reading it to myself before it was my turn - don't act like you didn't do that too. ;)
Even with those struggles reading was a huge part of my childhood. It shaped me, taught me about using my imagination, how to grow, how to love, how to make friends, how to give...it made me who I am today. I fell in and out of love with reading as I was growing up, sometimes other activities won out over reading. But I've always come back to books in the end.
A friend of mine (shout out Jemi) was kind enough to let me know of a teacher from my hometown and her need for children's books for her first grade classroom. Her school was one of the two that was destroyed by the May 20th tornado in Moore. She was even interviewed by Anderson Cooper for a segment on CNN, yes THE silver fox Mr. Anderson Cooper.
Anyway...this got me thinking. I can't imagine not having books for those children that have already been through so much in their short lives. They survived such a devastating disaster and they deserve something as simple yet important as books in their classroom when they get back next year.
I reached out to fellow authors and book lovers about this need and was not surprised that I immediately got responses from some that wanted to donate to this cause. So I decided to put it out to the masses because I know how much reading means to so many of us.
I started a GoFundMe account to raise monetary donations. I can personally promise you that 100% of those funds will be put to this cause (minus the fees from GoFundMe). So click here to visit my GoFundMe page.
I encourage monetary donations so that the books can be hand picked by the teacher themselves. However, I will not turn away even one book. So if you have books that you would like to donate get in touch with me and we can arrange that. Just shoot me an message from my contact me page.
If you'd like to see this amazing teacher that inspired this fundraiser for childrens books...well here's her interview from CNN.
My home state of Oklahoma has definitely seen its share of severe weather recently. On May 20th after two days of watching this state that I love and its residents be beaten and battered I was at a loss for what I could do to help. My family had already donated food, water, and other essentials but I longed to help in other ways. That's when I decided to ask you, my friends and readers, to help assist me in this endeavor. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support I have seen for my efforts as well as others.
My novel Haven from the Storm centers around the fictional town of Kolby, Oklahoma. The story begins with the town being devastated by a tornado with numerous lives lost. The rest of the story is shown through several different characters points of view and how they deal with the emotional toll of such devastation.
On May 20th I pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Haven from the Storm to Oklahoma Tornado Relief. I created a few images detailing my pledge and posted about it on my blog and was blessed to see it spread like wild fire.
Others in the book community stepped up and offered their support as well. The lovely ladies at Beauty, Brains, and Books announced the following day that they would match my donation up to $300. The team at Literati Literature Lovers organized a fundraiser (Acts of Kindness) with the hope of raising upwards of $2,500 with the assistance of numerous authors. Other authors and bloggers pulled together to raise money and support relief efforts: Ana's Attic Book Blog, Casey Quinn, Amy Cox, Kristie Cook (see info here). I know there were more that I am forgetting to mention that stepped up in the name of love and support for my great state.
On May 19th numerous tornadoes ripped through central Oklahoma. In Edmond at least twelve homes were destroyed. In Carney a hospital was damaged as well as forty additional homes that were damaged or completely destroyed. The town of Prague also had several homes receive damage. A tornado left a path of destruction for over twenty miles from Lake Thunderbird near Norman all the way to Shawnee, claiming two victims with several injured severely.
Images from KFOR.com.
On May 20th, there were a reported fourteen tornadoes that touched down in Oklahoma with some causing deadly damage and destruction. Mostly notably was an EF5 that took a seventeen mile course from Newcastle to Moore over thirty-nine minutes and at it's peak was 1.3 miles wide. This path was very similar to the tornado from May 3, 1999. Even though I've lived in Oklahoma my entire life and seen all the severe weather that mother nature can throw at us, while writing Haven from the Storm I still researched tornadoes and their destruction, and this was the tornado I focused on because of the sheer magnitude of power and destruction behind it. That deadly tornado in 1999 claimed 36 lives.
This time in Moore there were a total of 24 deaths and over 377 injuries sustained during this storm. Approximately 12,000 homes were damaged or destroyed with over 33,000 residents affected. Two public schools were hit, Briarwood Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary School. When the tornado struck Plaza Towers there were seventy-five staff and students still present, nine fatalities were reported from the school. Moore Medical Center was heavily damaged but no injuries were sustained as staff were able to relocate all thirty patients to nearby facilities.
Over 100 were pulled from the rubble alive.
Images from KFOR.com.
Last night (May 31) while preparing parts of this post another deadly storm system moved through central Oklahoma. A reported five tornadoes touched down claiming nine victims and injuring at least seventy-five. This storm also caused life-threatening flooding in many parts of Oklahoma.
Images from KFOR.com and nbcnews.com.
Thanks to your support and helping me spread the word, I am please to announce that the proceeds from Haven from the Storm that I will be able to donate are just over $800. That does not include any matching funds that have been pledged by other entities. Half came from the sale of the ebook on Amazon.com and the other half came from the sale of paperbacks, most signed and purchased from the two events I was able to visit this month in my hometown of Hobart, OK.
That is above and beyond what I ever imagined I would be able to donate, and I could have never done it without your support and encouragement.
The donations will be split equally between The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
I can't thank you enough for your generosity, it truly means the world to me. Additional donations are always needed if you can spare, but prayers are very much appreciated as well. Lives were lost during each of these storms this month. The families and loved ones of each victim needs your support and prayers during this time. And let us not forget those that were injured and those that have lost everything. Although worldy possessions can be regained it still takes a heavy toll.
So please take a minute and remember these individuals in your prayers everyday.
May God Bless you...
No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.
– George Chakiris
She lightly touched my forehead and ran one finger down my cheek to the tip of my chin leaving a trail of fire in her wake. I closed my eyes trying to savor her and my head instinctively leaned into her touch. Her soft finger swept over my lips and I tasted her salty skin one last time before she was gone.
I could hear her footsteps growing faint but I didn’t open my eyes to watch her walk away. I stood completely still, the only sound was my heart pounding frantically as I knew the space between us grew larger by the second. My soul was begging me to chase her but my body knew she could never follow where I was going.
My cell phone rang and I didn’t need to look at the screen to know it was Dean because of the stupid ringtone he’d programmed for himself. He was the last person I wanted to speak to at this moment. I finally opened my eyes and her car was gone, she was truly gone. My chest felt empty, the only thing that remained was an overwhelming ache. I had done it, I had completely pushed her away. I would never see her face or feel her touch again.
The phone stopped blaring at me and then started back again just as quickly. I jerked it from my pocket and hit ignore. Just as I stuck it back in my pocket it beeped with a text message. I opened the text and saw “Gonna keep calling till you answer” and then Dean’s ringtone started playing again. I inhaled until my lungs were near bursting and hit accept.
“What do you want Dean? I already told you to leave me and my family the hell alone!” I screamed as all the air from my lungs escaped in one long steady stream.
“Are you at home? Where’s Lily?” I could hear how frantic he was. His voice was shaky and he sounded like he was on the verge of tears.
“Seriously! That’s what you called to ask me? I told you to leave my sister alone. Don’t speak to her, don’t touch her, don’t even think about her. You’ve already done enough!”
“Easton, there’s a tornado headed right for Kolby. I tried to call Lily but she won’t answer her phone. Are you home? Is she safe?”
I looked at the sky above me and only saw pure darkness. If there were storm clouds the black was concealing them well.
“Easton? Answer me where’s Lily?” he shouted again.
“Where my sister is isn’t your business, she’s my responsibility not yours. Stay away from her.” I quickly hung up on him and ran to my truck.
I didn’t make it a mile down the road before the rain started to fall in thick black sheets. The wind was howling outside and made an eerie shrieking sound as it fought its way down the row of trees flanking the country road. The farther I travelled down the road the heavier the rain became until I could no longer see beyond the hood of my truck. For the first time I was thankful I knew these old country roads well enough to drive them blind. My phone kept blaring as Dean called the entire way to my house. I never once considered answering his call but I did think about throwing my phone out the window a couple times.
By the time I pulled into the driveway hail had started to fall. It was at least golf ball sized and I was afraid it would shatter my windshield if it hit the long crack that ran down the middle. I parked my truck as close to the front porch as I could get without knocking down the white picket fence. I didn’t see my dad’s truck anywhere so he must be at his home away from home, the bar.
I ran from the truck and tried to maneuver my way to the house. A large piece of hail hit me square between the shoulder blades knocking me to my knees. The ground was completely covered and my hands could only feel hard ice - no grass, no dirt. After several tries I was finally able to stagger to my feet and make it to the safety of the front porch.
I flung the screen door open and saw that the living room TV was already on with the tornado warning blaring. Gary England was feverishly telling everyone around Kolby to seek shelter now. Dean was right, a tornado was here.
I felt the adrenaline rush through my body, it was similar to how I felt under the Friday night lights. But this time it was more edgy and pure, this was truly life or death. I took off down the hall to Lily’s room. She was stretched out under her covers asleep.
“Lily, get up. We gotta go.” I said from the doorway.
She didn’t wake.
I flipped her light on and walked to her bed touching her arm. Her hand flew to mine and squeezed hard. “Lily? C’mon we gotta go.” I said and shook her arm lightly.
“Dean?” She moaned.
Oh hell, I think I need to wash my ears out with bleach now.
I jerked her arm a little harder. “Lily, we have to go. Lily, can you hear me? Wake up, Lily, wake up.”
Her eyes popped open and she looked around completely confused. I shook her arm a few more times to try to pull her from her dream.
“Easton, stop shaking me. I’m awake, let me go.” She stammered still half asleep.
“A big storm is coming. Get up! We have to go to the cellar now.” I grabbed the closest pair of shoes I could find on the floor and tossed them to her. She was still staring at the wall with her eyes glazed over. “Now, Lily!” I shouted to get her attention.
She mumbled something about no sirens and I wondered if it would be faster if I just threw her over my shoulder and carried her to the truck.
“Gary England just showed the storm and said for everyone in and around Kolby to take immediate cover. The tornado has already touched down south of town.”
Fear flashed across her face. I didn’t like seeing the panic in her bright, innocent eyes and knew I should try to calm her, but she finally focused on putting her shoes on so I kept my mouth shut. I knew I had time to console her once we made it safely to the storm shelter.
“Where’s everyone else?” she demanded.
I’d had enough of the talking and was ready to get out of this house and somewhere safer. I grabbed her arm and hauled her from the room.
“Dad isn’t here and Mom’s in bed. You get in the truck while I get her.” I dragged her down the long hall and pushed her toward the front door. As I started toward Mom’s room Lily grabbed my hand.
“Easton, no. Don’t leave me. I’ll come with you. C’mon.” The fear on her face had turned to terror at the thought of being left alone and I felt the same way. But I didn’t want her in this house another minute, she was now mine to protect and I’d never let anything or anyone hurt her…never again. The safest place for her was away from this house and I’d do anything to protect her.
“No, Lily. Go now. We’ll be there in a minute.” I wrapped my arms around her hoping to pass what little courage I had through our embrace. “Go. I’ll only be a second.”
I turned and ran to the back of the house.
Click picture above to purchase.
I've been sitting here all evening watching the coverage of the devastating tornado in my home state of Oklahoma. We have been hit hard. If you've read Haven from the Storm you know it is based around the devastating aftermath of a tornado and how it affects each character in the novel.
As a business owner and a fireman, my husband, has volunteered his work machinery to help clear debris and search for victims, he is currently awaiting a phone call to head that way and assist. I want so badly to help in anyway that I possibly can. I don't have any special skills, the only thing I have is YOU and my writing.
So I will be donating 100% of the profits from Haven from the Storm for the entire month of May. I will split the donation equally between The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. I will make this donation on June 1st.
Please help me spread the word.
If you would like to donate yourself here is the info. Text:
STORM to 80888 for The Salvation Army USA.
REDCROSS to 90999 for Redcross.
FOOD to 32333 for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Each text is for $10 charged to your phone bill.
And as always PRAYERS are equally as important!
Coming in 2015
is the a weaver of tales with her head in the clouds.