Wild Intentions – Oregon Home Magazine

Illustration by Carly Larsson for Oregon Home Magazineh

Thrilled. That’s how I felt when I saw my little essay on the back page of Oregon Home Magazine, nestled within the covers of the Spring 2019 issue that is dedicated to… creativity in the home. It couldn’t be more perfect, more timely, and more exciting for me.

For small business owners like myself, home literally is where we create. We both have to and want to, sometimes the idea of a lovely little space away from the dishwasher seems appealing but also inconvenient at the same time. I don’t know how I’d get it all done if I wasn’t getting it all done at the same time…does that make sense?

Wild Intentions is about my family’s first year at our house in the country, when we were figuring out what we wanted and how to get there, wrangling with nature at the same time. Sometimes I feel like it was a hot sauna, as though we were sweating out the toxins of what we were supposed to do but instead did what our hearts wanted to do. Nature is powerful, it will remind you with one thundering windstorm that it is the boss and you are the unpaid intern struggling to keep up. I (a self-diagnosed control freak) recognized a path to freedom in that flurry. So I walked it and was led to a new creative streak, our family learned ways to connect without the use of a mobile device. Maybe this will inspire you to do the same, wherever your wild place may be.

The story behind the story – The Reanimation of Robert.

The Reanimation of Robert…the little book that could.

This novella went on a whirlwind journey…started almost immediately after the publication of Myth in July of 2016. I was pregnant with my youngest and wrote the book in a hot fury, trying to get it finished in time to send to Beta readers before my self-imposed maternity leave in the spring of 2017.

It was finished in time, but it never felt right. There was even an epic (totally cheesy) battle atop the Space Needle, hence its inclusion on the cover. Fix everything in editing, right?

Right. I don’t say I edited this book, I say I gutted it. There were times I wanted to walk away from it, frustrated as I clawed my way through the loose ends. I kept a running document of the deleted words…it tallies almost 40,000 words. But there was something about the main character of Robert that I just could not give up on. The image that first sparked the idea for this story was stuck in my mind, of him standing in that fateful coffeeshop, staring out the front window. I wanted to get him to the end. I wanted to see his story completed.

On Christmas Day 2018, it was finally published. I am so proud of this story and the reviews I’ve gotten so far have made all the work worth it. It’s spooky, it’s romantic, it’s my little modern gothic.

Jolabokaflod PDX

I’m so excited to be taking part in a wonderful new event next month in Portland, OR – Jolabokalflod PDX!

What is Jolabokaflod, you ask?

The event was organized by the talented Margaret Pinard of Taste Life Twice and will be held at the fantastic venue of Nordic Northwest. There will be music, giveaways, and of course…local authors like myself! I love that this is a book fair with a theme and it will be a lovely way to usher in 2019!

Join the Facebook page here to stay updated on the event! I hope to see you there!

Jolabokaflod PDX

December 30, 2018

3:30-6:30 pm

Nordic Northwest

8800 SW Oleson Rd

Portland, OR 97223

Cover reveal!

 

It’s here! I can finally share with you all the cover reveal for my urban fantasy “The Reanimation of Robert” – coming late fall/early winter! I am so happy with this cover, yet another piece of art done by the talented Char Houweling of Houweling Design.

Look for an announcement soon for the official publication date AND a sign up for Advanced Readers! In the meantime, what the heck is this book about, you ask? Well, read on…

Robert Castle should not be alive. When his wife Claire was murdered almost a year ago, Robert has no memory of his whereabouts on the night of her death or how he escaped the same fate himself. Narrowly cleared of suspicion for Claire’s murder and still reeling from her loss, Robert finds refuge in his floating house on the docks and the companionship of Piper, a spirited barista who sees another side to his sad tale.  But Robert is no ordinary grieving widower; he has made a risky deal with Death itself to bring his wife back to life – he just doesn’t know it.

As a string of murders plague Seattle, Robert finds himself again under the watchful eye of Alex Shaw, the detective who investigated Claire’s murder and believes Robert escaped justice. Caught between a budding relationship with Piper and his obsession with Claire’s cold case, Alex is willing to risk it all to connect Robert with the killings.

Life and death collide as Robert navigates his new powers and the consequences they bring. The deceased seem drawn to him like moths to a flame, but Robert’s end goal remains the same – to bring back his dead wife and clear his name. But if you make a deal with Death, prepare to pay the price.

More info to come!

Summer updates

Ahhh…summer. Long days. Really early mornings. Really, really hot temperatures. And too many activities out in those really, really hot temperatures. (Can you tell I’m a fall/winter gal?)

But I’ve got some air conditioned plans coming up in the future! I’ll be attending the Willamette Writers Conference August 3-5 in Portland, Oregon. If you haven’t attended before, it’s a GREAT conference filled with workshops for every interest. I’ve made some great contacts in the past and it is just a great feeling to commiserate with hundreds of other authors who are all toiling away on their projects as much as you!

I’m also participating in a My Book Cave promotion called “Lost in Time” with over a dozen other authors. You can download a copy of our offered book for free (I have “Memories Wait Alone” up there now!) in exchange for signing up for our newsletter. If you’re interested, you can snag a free book here until August 6th!

In other book news, I am THISCLOSE to finishing the final draft on “The Reanimation of Robert.” I can’t wait to share this book with all of you. It’s been several years in the making but I’m proud of the themes addressed and the main character is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Be patient with me, gentle reader. I only get work done when everyone else is asleep (and I probably should be, too.)

Myth Machine!

If you all haven’t heard of this site yet….well, you’re welcome.

I’ve shared a bit about this in my newsletter, but I’ve been involved in an amazing site called Myth Machine since earlier this year. Readers can go to this site and “read for free” from a selection of books (I have three books up there!) that are posted. You can read these in an e-reader style program that Myth Machine populates, and every other page will have ads (this is how us authors benefit, too!)

Free for you…pays us, too.

I personally love the way this is designed.

But wait…there’s more! They are also building fandoms around our books, in addition to MANY MANY other books, television shows (Charmed!!), movies, etc. These fandoms have a social media feed built into them….so you’re sharing and chatting and connecting with other people who love that fandom as much as you do.

WHEW!

If you are interested, sign up for a free account here.

And then go find me here and let’s be friends!

Don’t forget to join my fandoms for Myth, Memories Wait Alone, and The Quinn Family Adventures. I’ll be sharing more history and other fun stuff surrounding my books in the future. I’ll see ya there!

Port Orford Indie Press Writer’s Conference – 4.21.18

I’m excited to share that I will be presenting at the First Annual Indie Press Writer’s Conference in Port Orford, Oregon on April 21st! I will be focusing my presentation on some of the questions I had when I first began self-publishing. I truly hope the information I share will be valuable and help another author get their work out there!

And it’s at the Oregon coast…can’t get any better than that!

Read more about the conference at WordLink and visit the Port Orford Library’s website here. I am blown away at the wonderful programs offered by this library, I can’t wait to visit next month!

Goodreads!

Happy 2018! Anyone else taking place in the Goodreads Reading Challenge? One of my goals for this year is to up my time dedicated to reading…my evenings should be spent either writing, reading, or yes, occasionally watching reality TV.

So far this year, I am two books into my 25 book goal. I consumed Murder on the Orient Express and cannot wait to get my hands or Kindle e-reader on more Poirot. He is by far one of my favorite fictional characters and Christie’s magnificently constructed story….well, it’s no surprise this story has stuck around as long as it has.

My second book for the year…The Handmaid’s Tale. I wanted to love this book. I wanted to REALLY love this book. I have a Margaret Atwood quote hanging up in my office, for goodness sake. But I felt unable to connect with the main character, Offred, from the start. I’ve spent a good deal of time pondering if this was all part of Atwood’s plan, to keep us disconnected from Offred just as she was disconnecting herself from her terrible predicament. Yet still, it kept me distracted from the story. I loved the ending and how it substantiated the tone of the book. And, of course, Atwood’s use of language and sentence structure is right up my alley.

Good luck to you, fellow reader! Future books on my horizon include The Great Gatsby and a range of Sci-Fi classics. Happy reading!

Short Story Collection Volume I – published!

Yay! After much compiling, formatting, and proofing…my first collection of short stories is finally published!

Ta da!

I am so excited to have these stories out. I am a lover of short fiction, my first story ever published online was a piece of flash fiction. As the description says, they are “tales of fantasy, science fiction, and the obscure.” Some of the work has appeared previously on this blog over the years, while other stories are new and unpublished.

For the cover design, I wanted to incorporate the new-and-improved No Wyverns Publishing logo. The background text is a loop of the titles of the twenty-two stories contained in this book. I plan to publish more anthologies of short fiction in the future that will use this same layout…eventually becoming a box set! (Oh, the plans…the plans…)

 

Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite stories included, “The Last Machinist.”

I have searched countless years, scouring the globe for an object that probably doesn’t even exist.

Jen-Li stared at the wrinkled page of her sister’s last journal entry. It trembled in the whipping wind that invaded the abandoned living quarters, howling as it broke through the cracked windows. The room was so cold. Bitter and lonely, as though resentful for being left in such a state. A thin layer of dust covered the overturned furniture and broken dishes like downy, providing just enough protection against the raging elements outside.  Removing her gloves, Jen-Li traced the sentence with her finger, leaving a muddled smear of letters in its wake. She wiped it again for the last time so that it would belong to her alone. So that this idea that her sister pondered became nothing but a blur, just like the stain of runny ink on her fingertips that would eventually wash away.

“What does it say?” Terra asked from the doorway. Her small frame was swallowed by her heavy coat, transforming her into a bulky, short stump of a ten-year-old. Her blue eyes shone fiercely from the depths of her fur-lined hood. She could read her mother’s body language too well.

Whisking the withered journal in her arms, Jen-Li closed it with a loud clap. A cloud of dust sauntered up to her face, burning her freckled nose as she hacked on the taste. The sound seemed to startle the frozen room as another wave of dust trickled from the ceiling and into her damp auburn hair.

“I wanted you to stay in the mech,” she said, peering out the frosted window glass as she replaced her gloves. Her mech was still there, motionless and protected beneath the ancient fir tree on the edge of the abandoned drive. She looked up at the splitting beams of her sister’s last known dwelling place. “This place is falling apart.”

“Did Aunt Nina find it?” Terra pressed. Her voice sounded on the precipice of panic.

“I don’t know,” Jen-Li replied sharply before she caught herself, realizing that her own voice sounded strained. That was not her job, not her duty as Terra’s mother, to sound afraid. That was not who she was. That was not the tone of this journey that had taken them from the warmth of home to this wasteland. Jen-Li recovered and joined her daughter in the entryway.  “But we will find out.”

 

Intrigued? I hope so! The e-book is priced at only .99 and the print version at $4.99 – both available at Amazon!

“The Unfinished” at The Manifest-Station

Today, I was honored to have my essay “The Unfinished” featured on Jen Pastiloff’s wonderful website, The Manifest-Station. This was a very personal piece for me, detailing my journey from a miscarriage I suffered several years ago and how it played a part in my return to writing.

I wrote this essay for several reasons.

One – Writing is cathartic for me. It’s how I process life and death, literally. I knew writing about my loss was the key for me to find that elusive closure, but I wasn’t ready to tackle it until the recent birth of my daughter.

Two – I aspire to be a truthful and brave writer. And sometimes (well, many times) that’s going to be mean placing myself out of my comfort zone. Look, there’s some pretty darn personal stuff in this essay. But be brave and truthful, right?

Three – Maybe my story will help someone else. Shortly after my miscarriage, I joined an online grief support group. I was floored. My weird little horrible miscarriage had happened to other people too! I wasn’t a freak. I wasn’t an anomaly. And to know someone else out there had survived and healed, well, that made all the difference.

Indie Author Day 2017

Happy Indie Author Day!

All images via @bookfairies_oregon

 

This year, I was lucky enough to get involved with the wonderful organization Book Fairies for Indie Author Day. If you’re unfamiliar with these little sprinklers of literary magic, there are Book Fairies around the world who hide books for others to enjoy and share again. They were such a pleasure and so gracious from Day One and what a wonderful way to support indie authors!

Copies of MythMemories Wait Alone, and Quinn Family Adventures were hidden at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. I want to try to find them myself, I LOVE TREASURE HUNTS! So good luck, book hunters, and let me know if you find a copy!

Happy July!

July means…it’s almost time for the NW Book Festival! I loved this event last year, it’s in a GREAT location in downtown Portland. Check out the website for a map and more information!

 

Out with the old/In with the new

Hello, I’m here!

It’s been a whirlwind of a year so far, that’s for sure. I had my second daughter in March (hello, Esper!) and only just recently reclaimed my late-night writing/editing/business time after the kids go to sleep. (That’s right, my baby is sleeping through the night. Huzzah!) So things are in motion…it may be slow motion, but it’s onward and upward from here.

There are several projects in the works that will be released this summer. AND, have you noticed the amazing logo at the top of this post? No Wyverns Publishing has a brand new logo and website design and I LOVE it. Now I can finally go swag-purchasing-crazy. (No Wyverns shirts, anyone?)

In other news….the e-book for Myth will be on sale for .99 from June 23-30….so grab it while you can! I’m super excited about this sale, this is my first paid promotion that I have invested in. Several e-book deal sites will be including Myth in their daily deals email blast, which enables me to reach many, many more potential readers. Fingers crossed, I’ll post results after the promotion ends, which hopefully will be filled with many smiley faces and exclamation points.

Lastly, I’ve only planned one event (so far!) for 2017, and that’s the NW Book Festival in Portland, OR on July 29th. I attended this event last year and had great success, not only selling books but meeting other authors, as well. I’ll be at booth 45, over in the shady area by the Starbucks (hmmm, how convenient!) It’ll be hot. Guaranteed.

That’s all for now, check back for more frequent posts – I promise!

 

New Horizons

 

It’s near the end of the first month of 2017…wow. January has been a busy month of birthdays, anniversaries, family visits, ice skating lessons and pretty much everything else in between. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m having a baby in about six weeks? *insert ten thousand other things that need to be done before baby #2 comes*

I have a lovely list of goals for 2017 outlined on the front page of my obsessively detailed 2017 planner (which I live by.) I’m calling them my New Horizons because I’m excited about the direction it will take me and my writing. I’m hoping to expand No Wyverns Publishing, release three new fiction titles this year, and explore the world of non-fiction writing. Another goal on my list? Aim for 100 rejections this year. That’s right. The more rejections = the more I’m submitting my work out there.

Oh yeah, did I mention I’m having a baby in six weeks? Don’t worry, that event is on my planner, too.

The Man in the Polaroid Picture

Image by kristina

 

He loved days like this. Where it was just him and the rain and his subtle disposition. He took a careful sip of his steaming coffee and smiled just before the amber liquid touched his lips. He had become good at this. For too long he hid behind a newspaper or a suitably worn paperback book, stealing glances only at opportune times. But not anymore. Now he could sit on that open bistro patio scattered with autumn brush, finally unnoticed without the aid of cover or distraction. Unnoticed, until now.

She would not have been the type to catch his eye and he would blame himself for it forever after. He had allowed his confidence to muddle his senses, careless in the easy anonymity provided by the busy crowd. He even let his mind wander, distracted by a memory awakened by a scent in the air. It was in that moment that she approached him, placing the package so quickly in his hand that he looked twice to confirm it was there. The woman disappeared in the breeze with a flash of her long black trench coat.  He never would be able to describe her completely, other than a pair of soft brown eyes that looked back to confirm one last time that he was he.

Something told him to wait until home to investigate the small package held firmly in his coat pocket, quickly moistening from his sweaty palm. Holding it beneath the window light, he traced the careful folding of the brown parchment paper, with creases so precise they must have been measured. The package was a neat square no larger than his fist, with the words To John written in scrolling penmanship across the front. The paper felt worn between his fingertips and upon inspection, this wrapping had been reused many times before. He unfolded the paper to reveal a photo. It was a Polaroid, developing in front of him as he held it to the dwindling afternoon sunlight. It was him, sitting at the table on the open bistro patio, oblivious in a whirlwind of autumn leaves. He was struck by the look on his face. A revealing break in his facade, captured for his own eyes to see.

He didn’t have many things to pack, he lived that way for a reason. Or he had, anyway. Tucking the Polaroid in his jacket pocket, he left the simple brown wrapping atop the neat bed. It would be used for the next John Doe, whoever that may be.  But he wished him one thing. To allow himself those breaks in consciousness, those reminders of himself, no matter who may be watching. He looked back one last time before shutting the door. It will always be worth it.