Where I’ve Been. Where I’m Going. Come With Me.

This holiday week has been downtime for me writing-wise. For the first time this year, I’ve taken a whole week off to simply catch my breath.

There’s a sale this week on In The Blood to celebrate the holidays.

Though the link I’m advertising is for purchasing it through Amazon, the sale price is available through all other online retailers too, whatever type of ebook you prefer.


In addition, Out For Blood is out there in the world, and I’m very proud of my work on it. I hope readers enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Out For Blood, the second installment in The Blood Royal Saga is available now wherever books are sold. Go to for paperback and ebook links or buy at Amazon ()!

If you’ve had a chance to read it, please take a few minutes to write a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, if you don’t mind. It would mean a lot to me, in addition to helping other readers find the series.

Autographed Paperbacks of both installments in The Blood Royal Saga can be ordered directly from Eagle Heights Press.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my quarterly newsletter if you haven’t done so yet. I promise no spam. Just updates on books and events. I’ll also be sending out coupons for book purchases in 2018, as well as a few surprises.

Highlights of 2017

Looking back, this has been such a momentous time in my life. It was a major change going from working for other people to starting my own business, trusting my vision, and hoping that given time it would find an audience.

January – Having finished the major edits of In The Blood and Out For Blood, I decided to form an LLC, meeting with my lawyer to get the paperwork started. I made a business plan and set a publishing schedule for myself.

February – Once the LLC was official according to the state, I withdrew my retirement money and set up a business account, PayPal, and got a mobile card-reader. I downloaded accounting software and created websites and social media accounts for my publishing business.

March – I worked to learn what I needed for InDesign and refreshed my understanding of Photoshop. I created the business branding and graphics I would need for the foreseeable future. I finalized my publishing schedule. I also did some research and then decided on a printer for the series.

April – I began using my bullet journal to keep track of and plan for all the business-related work I needed to do, breaking big goals down into small tasks spread out over time. I began formatting In The Blood in InDesign and working on the graphics to start marketing the book. I bought a batch of ISBNs for my future books.

May – My mother had knee replacement surgery, and I helped her during her recovery. For several weeks, my work was on hold, but the internet was upgraded, and I set up the book with Ingram. I registered the ISBNs and got preorder links for the books.

June – I began planning the book release party and setting up some signing events for the rest of the year. I did an interview on the local radio station, KPIP. I set up an online store for signed copies and began promoting the book in earnest. I got the first preview copies of the book and sent out a few signed books early to those who’d ordered them already. I did a blog tour and tried not to panic as the release date for In The Blood approached.

JulyIn The Blood was released on July 1st. I bought a folding table, a tent, marketing materials, and Marie standup I’d need for all the events, and in the middle of the month we had the release party with the AMAZING cake, champagne, and lots of fantastic friends.

August – We had two fun local events where I signed books, and it gave me time to figure out what worked and what didn’t before we set out to do bigger festivals. I also began promoting and planning for Out For Blood, editing, assigning ISBNs, and setting it up for presale on Ingram.

September – My nephew got married, and that weekend was a real highlight of the year. We returned to go to another local festival, then attended the Saint Louis Bookfest before driving to Colorado for the Stanley Hotel Writer’s Retreat where I caught up with several of my favorite writer friends.

October – We went to the Twin Cities BookFest, had a signing at Grey Willows, and ended the month in Cape Girardeau at the Heartland Book Festival. It was a wonderful experience having such a busy fall, though I was worn out by the time it was over.

November – I spent the bulk of the month finalizing Out For Blood for publication and planning for next year. This month was also very busy personally with several birthdays and Thanksgiving with family.

DecemberOut For Blood launched on December 1st. I was so thrilled to have been able to keep to my deadlines, and I think the book was even better than the first, in spite of being finished in the midst of so much activity. I revised my outline for Trial By Blood, the third installment in the series, and have set up a publishing schedule for the spring. Grey Willows hosted the last signing event of the year for me, and I’ve enjoyed spending the rest of the month gearing up for the next phase in the process. I’ve also got another project planned for Eagle Heights Press – a book I’m editing for another writer – and I’m excited to say it’ll be published in April. I reorganized my office, and my space is ready for what comes next.

Coming Attractions in 2018

In January and February, I’ll be writing Trial By Blood. Writing a book is often an isolating experience, so I’ve scheduled two days a week out of the house, working in a coffee shop or library. Otherwise, it’ll be too easy for me to spend weeks alone in the office, never seeing anyone other than my family.

I’m excited to burrow into the story world and get back into the flow with my characters. Throwing myself into their adventures is a very immersive process. For me, it unfolds in my imagination like a movie, but that story lasts for weeks. I have a plan for what will happen, but I’m certain my characters will manage to surprise me along the way.

At the same time I’ll be working on my own project, I’ll also be wrapping up the work  preparing the nonfiction project I’m editing and getting it ready to send to the printer.

In March, I’ll attend StokerCon 2018 at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island. I’m hoping to meet up with some old friends and make some new ones as well. The conference is always a good opportunity to learn more about the market, and I’m looking forward to that as well. I’ll also begin major edits/revisions to the manuscript of Trial By Blood.

April is the Unbound Book Festival in Columbia, Missouri, as well as the release of the book I’m editing. I’ll be talking to some beta readers this month and getting some feedback on Trial By Blood.

By May, I’ll be deep into final revisions and proofreading of Trial By Blood, setting the book up for preorders and beginning to market it along with the rest of the series.

TBBMockupCover copyJune will bring preparations for the book release, and I plan to have Trial By Blood ready to go live on July 1st. Also, I’m looking forward to my niece’s second baby who’s due to make an appearance at this same time.

In August, I’ll be at Scares That Care in Williamsburg, Virginia, with a signing table. I’m really excited about this event and can’t wait to catch up with some of my friends.

I’ve got two writers retreats in September, and I’m thrilled about it. It’ll be fun to spend time with friends and do some work on whatever comes next. I’ll also have at least one book event, plus I hope to attend homecoming at my alma mater.

October is going to be busy with several book events, though it’s still up in the air which ones I’ll attend.

November is going to be family time, and I’ll be working a little more on my next project.

Finally, if all goes well, I hope to spend time in December in Tanzania attending a dear friend’s wedding and doing some adventure travel.

The Power of Goalsetting

If this year has taught me anything, it’s that you only get where you’re going if you have a plan.

Bullet journaling has kept me on track, making it possible for me to set goals and reach them using long range planning and breaking big jobs down into a series of short tasks. That’s why I already have a plan for next year, and I intend to keep checking off each completed step day by day until I get where I want to be.

I will keep telling stories.

And I’ll keep setting new goals and reaching further every day.


It is easy to get bogged down in the daily cycle of bad news, and it can be hard to rise above those things to see what is going right. That’s why I’ve made it a habit to list the good things each week so I don’t get overwhelmed by what I can’t control.

I am grateful for so many things this year.

  • My parents for all the reasons.
  • My extended family scattered all over the country.
  • My teachers and mentors who helped shaped me into the person I am today.
  • My friends both near and far, past and present.
  • The friends and compatriots I have only met on social media but who have become my tribe and heroes.
  • Fellow writers who inspire me and make me see I’m not alone in my weirdness.
  • Readers who show me that my wild imagination is appreciated.
  • My lovely dogs who show me love in their (mostly) quiet way.
  • Lessons I’ve learned over the year, sometimes by trial and error.
  • Anyone who took the time to write a review of my books.
  • Anyone who came by my table at the events to talk and listen and take a chance on an unknown author.
  • Anyone who gave me words of encouragement.
  • And to you. You are appreciated. You matter. I am thankful and better for having known you. THANK YOU.

12342500_932866580130527_7528094646785469681_nI love getting to know new people. Find me on social media:

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