Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sometimes Letting Go is Forward Motion

If this looks like a pep talk, it is.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block, unable to make forward motion on the manuscript of Trial By Blood (Book 3) no matter how hard I tried.

You see, a year ago, I had about 30,000 words written in that manuscript. Nearly halfway to completion.

Then I decided to make the plunge and self-publish the series. In The Blood (Book 1) and Out For Blood (Book 2) underwent an extensive revision, and while I am thrilled with the  final drafts of those novels, when I sat down to return to work on the third installment in the series, I realized nearly 90% of the book no longer fit where I had left off.

Writing a book is an intense process, and I had come to love sections of what I’d written. But my attachment to those scenes was getting in the way of being able to move forward.

Sometimes the only way to get things to flourish is to do some ruthless pruning.

Still, I dithered a little, telling myself I could make a few alterations and the text would still work. I printed out the pages of the manuscript, thinking that returning to pen and paper would work some sort of magic and fix what was wrong.

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Finally, I recognized it wasn’t to be. Those pages had to go. I wrote myself a pep talk, gave myself permission to let go, and literally tore out the pages that don’t fit the narrative anymore.

Almost nothing now remains of the original manuscript beyond chapter one. It was terrifying.

However, after getting a good night’s sleep and returning to work this morning, I felt suddenly free of the burden of fixing what was wrong, and after a cup of coffee, I wrote out a brand new outline for the book in about twenty minutes. As I sat back and read it over, I couldn’t stop smiling.

Trial By Blood isn’t the book I thought it would be.

It’s better.

It’s bold, breathtaking, and original. The twists and turns surprised even me, and now I’m energized and thrilled to get started. All those pages were tripping me up, and without them, I feel a renewed joy and wonder at the adventure ahead.

Some people have asked if this third book will be the end of the series or if there is more to come. The short answer is “I don’t know yet.”

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I can promise the end of Trial By Blood is satisfying, and the story arch is complete by the end of the book. However, there are certainly ways in which the series could continue with new storylines. I have ideas for three and potentially six more future installments. If readers want it, I will certainly be happy to provide more entertainment and excitement.

But I also have other stories that want telling as well, and other characters are waiting their turns to be brought to light. Whether they’re a part of this series or something totally new remains to be decided.

Trial By Blood is due out in the summer of 2018. I’ve already made a new cover for it, and I’m going to be hard at work giving it my all.

For updates on the release date plus other announcements from Eagle Heights Press, subscribe to the quarterly newsletter.

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The Wait is Over! (Plus Fabulous Fall Memories and a Grab Bag of Good News)

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, and so much has happened in the last few months, it feels like a whirlwind, but one that brings positive change, not chaos. This blog post is long because there is just so much to tell, all of it good.

Hungry For More?

978194181038In just five days, Out For Blood: Book Two of The Blood Royal Saga will be going out to readers all over the world.

“What had seemed like a simple rescue mission to bring Raul back home turns out to be much more complex than Marie or Sybill could ever have anticipated. Intrigue and secrets are on all sides, and somewhere there’s a spy in their midst. Out of her element and unsure who to trust, Marie is in danger, and as a result so is everyone around her. Meanwhile, Raul will have his loyalties tested, and he will learn some things both about Marie and about himself that will force him to choose sides in a battle that’s been waging for centuries. With new faces and even more excitement, this second installment delivers with every twist and turn.”

Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-947181-02-1

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-947181-03-8
Available from your favorite online outlet

Autographed Paperbacks can be ordered directly from Eagle Heights Press and shipped to you.


Upcoming Events!

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For local folks, I’ll be signing books at Grey Willows Arts, Antiques, & Gifts in Fayette, MO on December 9 from 3:00-4:30pm. Come by to celebrate the new book just in time for the holidays!


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For announcements about books and events, don’t forget to sign up for the Eagle Heights Press Quarterly Newsletter!


All Five Stars for In The Blood!

Reviews of In The Blood have been all five stars on Amazon and Goodreads, and I’m really excited about this next installment.

Author Phillip Harris (Serial Killer Z, The Leah King Trilogy, and Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet) was among the reviewers, stating:

“The tone reminded me of the movie, The Hunger and there’s a real sense of authenticity to the vampires. That’s hard to pull off when you’re writing about (presumably) imaginary creatures. Definitely one to check out if you like your vampires sans-sparkles, particularly if you’re a fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.”

It’s important to me to make good on my promise to not make people wait too long for the sequels, so there’ll be no rest for me anytime soon. The third book in the series, Trial By Blood, will be released in the summer of 2018, so I’ll be very busy in the coming months getting that ready. Once I have a more definite date for that release, I’ll announce it.


You Asked, We Delivered!

out_for_blood_119395539024336080-r_zrcfz_ewwbr_325Everywhere we went this fall, people asked about the t-shirts and mugs my mom and I took with us on the road. Several folks wanted to know where they could get some of our own. I took that request seriously, and have created a line of items that I hope people will use and enjoy.

The Blood Royal Saga now has merchandise available from Zazzle! Coffee mugs, t-shirts, and more to celebrate the series!

Are there other items you think I should add? Marie Antoinette themed items? Vampire gifts and collectibles? Something else I haven’t thought of?

Let me know! I’m happy to hear suggestions!


Looking Back

This fall, I was on the road at events all over the Midwest, meeting people, signing books, and doing selfies with Marie. We had a lot of fun talking to folks in every city, large or small.

BoonvilleFestivalOfLights

Boonville Festival of Lights

STLBookfest

BookFest Saint Louis

Twin Cities Book Festival

Twin Cities Book Festival

Grey Willows Book Signing

Book Signing at Grey Willows Antiques, Collectibles, & Gifts

HeartlandBookFestival

Heartland Book Festival in Cape Girardeau


In The Works

Among the things I’m currently gearing up for are:

  • Audiobooks – Several people asked about them, and that is in the works. I hope to have more information on that very soon.
  • A short story for an anthology – I’m keeping that close to the vest until I have something more to tell, but I’m very excited about it.
  • A joint writing project with a friend of mine (also a vampire story)
  • Several events in 2018, including:
    • StokerCon March 1-4 at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island
    • Unbound Book Festival April 19-21 in Columbia, Missouri
    • Scares That Care August 3-5 in Williamsburg, Virginia

On A Personal Note

This fall also brought a ton of good things to my personal life.

  • My nephew got married.
  • My niece is going to have a second child.
  • I got to see some good friends at the Stanley Hotel Writer’s Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado.
  • November meant birthdays (including mine), Thanksgiving, and time with friends and family.

Other fun things that made this fall enjoyable included:

  • Watching the St. Louis symphony perform the entire score of Jurassic Park live along with the movie.
  • Outlander and Stranger Things 2 have become my obsessions, though I’m also really loving The Orville, Season 3 of Lucifer, the return of the Shannara Chronicles, and the second season of the quirky Dirk Gently series on BBC America.
  • I am mastering the art of stranded knitting. I was afraid of it for a long time, but now I can’t wait to make a million things.
  • My bullet journaling is such a simple but life changing way of managing my time. I’ve loved getting back into calligraphy, and it has not only sparked my creativity, but it’s also been a wonderful stress reducer and helped me keep on top of all the big projects I’ve worked on and accomplish my goals one step at a time. If you’ve never heard of bullet journals, go now and google it. There are a ton of examples to look at, and you can tailor your book to suit your individual needs. It’s one of the best things I ever did for myself.
  • Anne and Christopher Rice’s new novel, Rameses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra arrived, and I can’t wait to get a little time to finish it.

This winter, I’ll be relocating my office to a much larger room in the house (no small task, given the size of my library), and I’m really looking forward to a bigger, more open workspace.

I will also be catching up on a lot of reading, and plan to do several book reviews over the coming months.

What are you reading, planning, watching, doing? Tell me about it in the comments below!


WHEW!

I hope to have a little time to rest over the holidays, but there is still a lot happening. Keep your eye out for sales and giveaways over the holidays. I’ll make announcements for those here and on my Twitter and Facebook pages.

Taking the Show on the Road

Last month, I was revising my draft of Out For Blood: Book Two of The Blood Royal Saga which I plan to release in December. That’s all very quiet work, with long hours spent in my office alone.

My introvert life has to take a backstage, however, and I’m in for a long stretch of time being social. After spending Labor Day weekend with family celebrating my nephew’s wedding, I’m settling in for a lot of work all through the fall.

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This week begins an exciting two month rush of writing and book/sales events that I’ll be attending. Marie and I will be hitting the road for signings and selfies all over the Midwest.

All of these festivals are free and open to the public. If you’ve already bought a book, I’ll be happy to sign it for you, though you’re also welcome to simply stop by to chat and do selfies.

I’m in the process of scheduling some other signings and readings, as well, so keep an eye out for announcements for that on my Events page or on my Facebook and Twitter pages. If you would like email updates on what’s coming next, you can sign up for the Eagle Heights Press Newsletter.

Like my vampiric characters, I haven’t seen the sun in a while by the very nature of what I did all summer, so don’t be surprised by my pale appearance.

During the last weekend in September, I’ll be at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park for a horror writers retreat. Some of you may have heard me talk about going there before. I’ll be seeing several familiar faces, and I’m really looking forward to

I’ll also be working on some other projects – interviews with fellow authors, editing another person’s book (announcement coming soon), writing a short story, and prepping Out For Blood for presale.

It’ll be very busy, but in the best sort of way.



inthebloodmarketingIn The Blood: Book One of The Blood Royal Saga
by Delia Remington

“Art Student Sybill Lysander had an ordinary life, working in a coffee shop in the Central West End of St. Louis. Then a vampire named Fin walked in the door, and her whole world changed. Fin and his maker, former Queen Marie Antoinette have hidden for years from her enemies, but both Fin and Sybill become caught up in Marie’s unfinished business.”

Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-947181-00-7

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-947181-01-4
Available from your favorite online outlet

Autographed Paperbacks can be ordered directly from Eagle Heights Press.

 

Bloody Good News

Busy Bee

So much is happening this fall! Things are getting very busy for me in the best and most exciting ways.

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In addition to gearing up for the release of Out For Blood, Book Two of The Blood Royal Saga in December, I’m also going to be signing books at several events here in the Midwest in September and October. I’ve created an “Events” page and added it to the navigation menu of my website in order to make those easier for readers to find, and I will keep it updated regularly.

Next year, I plan to expand those so I am visiting book festivals across the country.

Eagle Heights Press is also going to have a quarterly newsletter. If you sign up for that, you’ll get updates on my book releases and events sent to your email. No spam. Just news.

At the end of September, I’ll be spending the weekend in Estes Park for the Stanley Hotel Writers Retreat. I’m looking forward to catching up with my friends and having time to relax and get some concentrated work done on Trial By Blood: Book Three of The Blood Royal Saga. I’m planning to have the first draft of that manuscript done this fall so the book can be ready to release next year.

As for what’s happening right now, I’m wrapping up revisions to Out For Blood this month. The revision process is tedious, but necessary, and I’m hoping that this next book is even more exciting than the first.

20023887_1422794567804390_7157344157526564539_oThe book release party we had in July was a ton of fun, with about fifty people who came to celebrate with me. We had a fabulous cake decorated to look like the cover of my book, and we set up a cardboard standup of Marie Antoinette for people to take selfies with on the front porch.

The standup and the backdrop will be going on the road with me wherever I’m doing signings this fall, and we’ll be giving away red velvet cupcakes to people who sign up for the newsletter. After all, “LET THEM EAT CAKE!” Hahaha! It should be both eye catching and a lot of fun.

We had our first booth signing table at the Fayette Festival of the Arts last week, and that was a wonderful success.

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I’ll be posting from the road on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. If you come to the booth, I’d love to do selfies with you and Marie.

In The Blood Reviews

DEZW1P2W0AESwkEI’m grateful and humbled by the reviews for In The Blood. So far, it’s all been five stars on Amazon, and a lot of people have tagged me on social media to tell me how much they enjoyed the story.

You always hope when you write something that readers will enjoy what you’ve written as much as you enjoyed the telling of the story, and it’s thrilling to me that the book has found an audience that finds the book exciting and fun.

I’ve had fun tracking all the places I’ve sent signed copies on a map. It’s exciting to know that there are people on the other side of the world who have read the story, and it definitely gives me a lot of encouragement and motivation to keep working on the sequels. The first three books are a certainty, but if the series sells well, I have ideas for a great deal more. I hope that readers will want to continue to take that journey with me.


 

Want to be featured on this blog? Let me know!

Shadowed Attachments Blog Tour with Author PJ Belden

-10Twitter: @PJBelden
Instagram: @p.j.belden
-4Book Blurb:
You don’t know me, but I’m standing at your door begging you pay attention. See, I know things that you may not yet know. I see things you don’t even know are there. Some call me crazy, and you probably will too, but when you see that what I tell you is the truth… When you see the truth, then you’ll be hunting me. You’ll search for me. You’ll need me to help you understand. See you may not know this stranger at your door, but you will, and you’ll need me. I came to tell you what I know, what I’ve seen. The rest is up to you. There’s nothing else I can do. I’ll run from you when you stand stunned after I tell you. You don’t know me, but very soon… you’ll be hunting me, needing me, wanting me. I don’t know you, but pretty soon… I will because you are just like me. The question that you can’t ask me right now, but I’ll answer anyway, is trust no one or anything. For what you knew was all a lie.
 
Book Links:

Pre-order Links:
Amazon (US) – http://amzn.to/2sviA6G
Amazon (UK) – http://amzn.to/2rsoAhR
Amazon (AU) – http://amzn.to/2sI7KJY
Amazon (CA) – http://amzn.to/2rK4HUb

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2s8WRUP
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qXS4Rv
Scribed: http://bit.ly/2r0H99x
B&N: http://bit.ly/2qZTFWK
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2svz1zJ
24Symbols: http://bit.ly/2sPwTlK
Inktera: *Coming Soon*
Playster: *Coming Soon*
Tolino: *Coming Soon*
Angus & Robertson Bookworld: http://bit.ly/2svl9FC

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/…/s…/35305751-shadowed-attachments

Teasers:

 
-1My Bio of sorts LMAO!!

Hello! 😀

I’m PJ. I’m a happily married mother of three incredible children. But my super power lies in words… LOL No, seriously though… I write and read romance, of all sorts. Romance is a girl’s best friend. Well, it is for this girl. Ha! For the longest time, I read books by Stephen King, Tess Gerritsen and the like. Then a friend introduced me to Bella Andre and Jamie McGuire. From that moment on, I was addicted. I’ve read so many romance books now that I couldn’t honestly tell you my favorite read or author. There are just so many out there and so many that aren’t getting the reading love they should. Or at least I think anyway. *wink*

I started blogging before I began writing. It wasn’t until my husband dropped my notebooks in my lap and told me to do something with my OWN stories that my writing career began. From that moment forward, I have written 21 books. 19 books under PJ, 1 book under Réna Edward, and 1 book under Maree Alexander.

Life is ever changing and we have move with the punches or get knocked out. Because of these changes, my writing career has changed as well. This site is a stem of that.

I hope that you will continue to give me your feedback and support on my books. And maybe in return, I can give you some new reads and authors to find with my blog!

Much love to all you beautiful people out there!

PJ

 
Want to keep up with me? You can find me at all the following links…
 

Counting Down

It’s getting close now. In The Blood comes out July 1st. I’ve been working on this series for so long, and it’s down to the final few days before it comes to fruition.

I suppose I’m like a lot of authors, alternating between extreme excitement and panic attacks.

I go through all the “What Ifs” that plague every introverted creative person. What if no one likes it? What if there’s some horrible error I’ve overlooked? What if my best isn’t good enough? What if it isn’t perfect? What if on the morning after, I feel the way Victor Frankenstein did, looking on his creation not with love but with horror? That is the grown up voice of worry, born of a lifetime of self-doubt.

But then there is the excited childlike part of me that just wants to let it go with joy and wonder at having created something out of nothing, a world born of “what-if,” peopled with characters that leapt out of my brain fully formed. That child in me hopes other people will go along for the ride, suspend their disbelief and play the game of make-believe that I’ve created.

It’s the child in me that daydreamed of being a writer. That inner child is fueled by curiosity and enthusiasm and imagination along with a desire to share and find others who will join in for the love of story.

All my favorite stories were about imperfect people who stumbled and fell and lost their way on their journey. People who suffered and fought and loved hard and took risks, facing danger from overwhelming obstacles and foes. I sometimes felt sorry for the villain, even when I hated their actions. The best stories, for me, were ones that invoked empathy, that brought me to tears, caused me to shout in frustration, made me laugh out loud, and if I didn’t smile at the end, still I felt a sense of completion and satisfaction in the way the story reached completion. I didn’t need happily ever after as long as it brought a sense of closure to the experience.

That’s what books should be, after all. An experience.

There is a give and take between the writer and the reader. A shared collaboration between their imaginations.

When I read Jane Eyre, for example, though nearly two hundred years separate me from Charlotte Bronte, I’m still bringing my imagination to mesh with hers. I’m playing her game of make-believe. Letting her lead me into a world where a naive young governess and a lonely but rich gentleman who’s been disappointed by love and life can find an understanding between them, a kinship of spirit, that transcends the darkness they find in the world around them.

I don’t make any pretense to that sort of greatness. But the same basic rules of the game apply. I, as writer, create the story, while you, as reader, agree to believe the impossible and to care about people who never were.

I hope that I’ve made a good one. I hope you find it entertaining. I hope that when you finish In The Blood, you’ll want more. That’s the best that I can hope, and it’s certainly good enough for me. 15190222775_f14ef58a58_b

So to quiet the negative “what ifs,” I fill my mind with hope and with story, planning for the next adventure and trusting that you’ll follow where I lead.

That’s all any author can hope for.

Book Two, Out For Blood, is being edited with the plan of publishing this winter. Book Three, Trial By Blood, is partly written, and I intend to finish it sometime this summer so it can be published next year. I have several more outlined with ideas and possibilities for all these characters long into the future. But all of that depends on my book finding readers who are ready to join me on the ride.

I hope that you are one such person.


9781947181007-Perfect.inddIn The Blood

Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-947181-00-7

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-947181-01-4
Available for Pre-order from your favorite online outlet

Autographed Paperbacks can be ordered directly from Eagle Heights Press.


Want to be featured on this blog? Interested in a review or an interview? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

In The Blood – Acknowledgements

18891862_1374521462631701_8327685668608727844_oWhen my review copy of In The Blood arrived,  I was a little overwhelmed by holding it in my hand and seeing it in person, feeling the weight of it, breathing in the new book smell of paper and ink.

Those of you who know me and have followed me for a while know that I was devastated last fall by the loss of my former teacher, Nicki Alexopoulos. I had already intended to mention her in the dedication to one of my novels, but I knew it had to be this one after the events of last year. I hope to present a signed copy to her daughter, and I do hope that she would be proud to see the work I’ve put in to make this book happen.

I started writing the book back in 2012, and in the spring of 2013, I made a first attempt to self publish it. After meeting with an editor at the World Horror Convention, however, I was convinced to take it down and do some major revision. He was right. The book was pretty good, but it wasn’t fully ready to be out there yet. Over the four years since then, I reworked the manuscript and spent time learning about the business side of being an author. I took some online classes, went to some writer’s retreats, and even took a course in forensics so I could bring that knowledge to bear in the novel as well. I also quit my job as a library supervisor and adjunct English professor in order to focus on my writing full time.

Though I could have gone the traditional route with an agent, there are very few who are willing to take a risk on a first time author who approaches them with a series rather than a standalone novel. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever be interested in submitting a manuscript that way, but for this series, starting my own publishing house and doing the work myself was a better choice.

Book Two, Out for Blood, will come out sometime next winter. The book is written and is in the process of being edited. Book Three, Trial by Blood will come out in 2018. I don’t want to make people wait too long for sequels. Those three books finish a story-arch. However, I have ideas and outlines for several more books beyond that, so if this series takes off, then I’ll definitely be working on those stories for a long time to come.

There isn’t room in the book to list everyone who’s helped me along on my journey. I’d like to list a few of them here, though the list is by no means complete.

  • My coworkers at Smiley Library – Cindy, Leasa, Carrie, Crystal, and John – who put up with six years of me talking about what I wanted to do and who were supportive throughout the process. They were inspiring, helpful, encouraging, and understanding, and they never made me feel that I was making a mistake when I decided to go pursue my dream. Thank you.
  • Crystal appears as a character in my novel, and I mention her in the afterward of the book. She asked to be in the book, and after I made the character and gave her life, it turned out she has some pretty tragic things happen to her. Sorry Crystal! I swear, the characters made me! And I promise, this won’t be the only time she’s mentioned. What happens to her will have a ripple effect in later books.
  • The students who became like my children were also a great inspiration and encouragement. John, Stazhia, Cameron, Denise, DaSean, Kelsey, Brenna, Cortney, Thomas, Jordan, Kayla, Jessica, Geofrey, Lindsey, Kelly Jo, Eldar, Megan, Tyler, Bailey, Cecilia, Mariah, Roger, Aubrey, Ginney, Wynter, Dani, Danielle, Shamika, Marco, Vin, Drew, Angelica, Darrell, Jane, Adam, as well as my fabulous student intern assistant Miranda….THANK YOU! I love you all dearly.
  • Keith Abernathy taught my forensics course and never failed to come by my desk just to chat and invite me to things. He passed away last month, and I miss him very much. He was so encouraging and helpful and such an inspiration to all his students. I intend to dedicate Book Two to him. I will be forever grateful for the things I learned from him.
  • My online friends are completely amazing. Those I met because of True Blood or through writing amazing characters together are truly some of the best people in the world. Thank you to Julie, Jenny, Louise, Emily, Susy, Shanda, Melissa, Mayra, Shawna, Shyanne, Suzanne, Cassy, Sharon, Joie, Jyoti, Michaela, Elizabeth, Sha, Latoya, Catherine, Tammy, Geena, Anitra, Kristie, Frank, Missy, Kim, Cyndi, Dawndela, Holly, Maxine, Misty, Rima, Rachael, Mimi, Sara, Tiffany, Renee, Dawn, Kira, Sarah, CeCe, Jennie, and especially Wendy and Andrea who are gone far too soon and I miss horribly. These are only a few. There are many more on Twitter, but I think they know I adore them. I try to tell them as often as I can.
  • My muse and favorite writing partner Bekah who makes me shine and feel inspired all the time, thank you for putting up with me, for supporting me, and for being so completely amazing. You make me look forward to every day.
  • My writing friends through conferences, retreats, and FB and Twitter groups, I thank you. You’ve taught me about craft, and you’ve been a constant source of help, inspiration, and encouragement. My writing buddies from Room 217, THANK YOU. I love you guys. You are all completely amazing. And thank you to the Horror Writers Association for being such a great organization. I’ve learned so much from all of you, and I couldn’t have finished this project without the connections I’ve made there.
  • My friends Erin and Anthony at Vamped and The Vampirologist, who have known me now for over five years, have been fantastically supportive throughout this journey. Thank you for the laughs, the research material, the help, and the friendship.
  • To the friends and family who have known me in the years before the internet and who have backed me up as I tried new things, THANK YOU! Your support means everything.
  • And to my parents for whom there are not enough words of thanks. I have been truly lucky in my life to have parents who understood and believed in my dreams. Thank you.

And with that, I’d like to thank you. If you’re reading this, you’re part of my journey too. Even if your name doesn’t appear above, I am no less grateful for you.

THANK YOU!

Signed copies of In The Blood are available from Eagle Heights Press.

Trade paperbacks can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or you can request an order from your favorite local bookstore.

Ebooks are available for Pre-order from your favorite online outlet.

If you’re reading it, I’d love to know! Find me on Goodreads!


Want to be interviewed on this blog? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

Preorder Links for In The Blood (Release Date: July 1)

File Jun 02, 6 45 51 PMI am very excited to announce that July 1 is the release date of my upcoming novel, In the Blood: Book One of The Blood Royal Saga!

The ebook is now available for presale at several online retailers.

Paperbacks are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When others become available, I will post those as well.

Mixed Bag

Since In the Blood is at the printers, and a large part of what I have to do involves waiting, I thought I’d do a sort of cornucopia of things I’m doing or that I find interesting.

Editing

I’ve got some editing work lined up for a book by another author which I’m planning to publish later this year. It’s a sci fi novel, which is nothing like anything I would write myself, but it’s FANTASTIC, and I’m very excited to help this writer bring his story to readers.

Once we’ve done a contract and things are finalized between us, you’ll hear about that since I’ll be working with him very closely throughout the process. All I can say right now is that I’m thrilled, and I can’t wait to make it happen.

Family

My mom had knee replacement surgery three and a half weeks ago, so I’ve been caught up with helping her with her recovery from that. Things were difficult at first, but before the end of the week, home health will be discharging her, and she can begin outpatient physical therapy. By this time next year, I expect her to be much more active, and you will probably hear about some of our adventures together camping and traveling in our tent. She’s really looking forward to getting back to that level of independence, and it’s not far away now.

wordcloud

Word Cloud

I thought it would be fun to do a word cloud to show the most common words I use on this blog. Turns out, the biggest word is “writing,” which shouldn’t be surprising at all. “Work,” “book,” “write,” “story,” and “books” seem to feature prominently as well, along with “time”  and “can.” These all seem both appropriate and positive and exactly what I would expect from a writer.

Bullet Journaling

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I don’t know if you’ve heard about bullet journaling. I hadn’t until this past April, but man, now that I’ve started, I am obsessed with it.

18268357_1344017369015444_6365018956346299644_nIt’s revived my love of doodling and calligraphy, which I love, and I really do feel like it’s made me more productive and organized. Plus, it’s just plain fun. So much more so than keeping a regular planner would be. It’s like planner meets scrapbook meets coloring book meets journal, all in one. I bought myself a bunch of supplies for decorating it, and it’s really made it a much more entertaining and interesting hobby. Best of all, the bullet journal is literally whatever you decide to make it. You have total creative freedom to organize and create it in whatever way works best for you.

If it looks like something you’re interested in, googling “bullet journal” or looking it up on Instagram or Pinterest will give you a ton of cool ideas to try. I also bought some books on cool lettering techniques, and I’m still experimenting with them.

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Gardening

18519716_1356602831090231_572987840373548907_nI’ve become an avid hobbist gardener, and this year we decided to dedicate our garden specifically to food that we could use in a salad. We planted two kinds of lettuce, curly kale, spinach, radishes, carrots, peppers, and cherry tomatoes. In addition, we’re also growing peas and yellow squash.

The raised bed made of concrete blocks sits up high enough we can sit on the edge to weed or harvest without having to strain to reach things.

In the past, I’ve used upcycled wooden pallets, but now that we have the raised bed garden, it’s unnecessary. We are fast approaching a time when it’ll be too hot for the lettuce, so we’ll have to find something else to plant in its place.

This week, I’ll be picking all of the spinach and kale that remains so it can be blanched and then frozen for use in eggs later on.

Other Writing

Here’s a roundup of my writing plans for the near future:

  • In the Blood comes out July 1st.
  • Book Two, Out for Blood, is currently being edited, and I plan to have it ready to be published this winter.
  • Book Three, Trial by Blood, is well begun with about a third of the novel already written. It will be released in 2018.

But The Blood Royal Saga books are not the only thing I have plans to write.

  • I’m working on a hard cover coffee table book with my mother about our trip to Newfoundland. It’ll have photographs as well as our retelling of events. I’m hoping to have that book published this winter as well.
  • I have a YA novel I want to write that is Viking related. I don’t want to say too much and spoil things, but I’m very excited about the story.
  • A friend of mine and I are planning a collaboration that’s got to do with pirates and werewolves.
  • She and I are also discussing a collaborative vampire novel, and I’m extremely excited about this possibility.
  • I’ve got several urban fantasy/supernatural/horror short stories in the works. Some will be sent off to journals and anthology publishers, but others will be published by me.

Various and Sundry

For a summary of everything I’ve talked/posted about over the last week, here’s my Paper.li page with all the stuff in it.


Would you like to be interviewed on this blog? Have a book you’d like me to review? Let me know!

Time for a Different Hat

inthebloodmarketingAll last winter and this spring, I’ve been finishing my manuscript, and then setting up my business in order to get the ball rolling with publishing In the Blood: Book One of The Blood Royal Saga, the first novel in my vampire series. Now that the manuscript is out of my hands and July 1st is set as the publication date, it’s time for me to shift gears from doing behind the scenes work to doing things out in public.

Being an author is a very private undertaking. Most of the time, I write in my office alone (other than my dogs, of course). But gearing up to sell the book means putting on my publicist hat, and that’s a whole different mindset.

Stepping out of my hermit-like surroundings, I will be going out into the world and meeting with people face-to-face. I’ll be sending out emails and posting on social media.  I’ll be contacting reviewers and scheduling some events. I’ll be setting up book signings and attending any conventions or book events that I think will help me connect with readers who like the sort of book I have written. I’ll pay for some advertising. I will likely do a few podcasts related to the book. I’ll go to meet with bookstore owners and managers to ask them to stock copies of the book on their shelves, particularly those in my home state where I would be listed as a local author.

I’m also planning a big party to celebrate my hard work. Though I’ll have books on hand for those who want a signed copy, that isn’t the purpose of the party. I think it’s important to stop for a moment and recognize my accomplishment. Not because I want to be patted on the back by others, but because I think it’s important to acknowledge all that hard work for myself and to celebrate its completion.

I joked with my cousin today that I feel like I’ve just given birth, and it has been the longest labor ever. That deserves a party.

When the book is finally printed and in my hands, I hope that it’s a beautiful baby. But if it has flaws, I’m going to remember that it’s my first, not the only, book I’ll ever write. It may not be the best book I will ever write either, but it’s the best book I am capable of producing right now. There will be lessons I will learn from the process, and I’ll take that knowledge with me when I work on the ones that follow. I have done the very best I know how to do, and while it may not be perfect, that’s okay. It’s perfectly mine, and that’s enough for me. If I waited for perfection, I’d never finish a thing.

I hope that readers enjoy the story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. It’s been a joy and a struggle, and I hope that as a result of this book, people will be willing to go on future adventures with me as well.

In light of all that, here is the trailer for the novel.

That said, I’m also going to try to make sure that I’m not beating the drum too much. Nothing turns me off more than constant advertisement, so I won’t be doing that myself either. I plan to go on being myself and posting about things I care about. Sometimes that will be my books, but most of the time, it’ll be a lot of other stuff too.

Ways you can help me, if you’re so inclined:

There are a few things people can do to help me get the word out. I’m not going to beg for it. But if you are willing, these are things that can assist me in getting my feet off the ground.

  • Go to your local bookstore and request my book. If enough people do that, their computer system will see a demand and start stocking it on their shelves.
  • Tell a friend about the book if you think he or she would like to read it.
  • Write an Amazon review.

That’s it. It may not sound like much, but it’ll make a huge difference to me.