Tag Archives: Books

Family Ties Available for Pre-order


If you haven’t seen the Facebook posts or the tweets, Family Ties is now available for Kindle pre-order here. It will release 6/26/15. A paperback version is forthcoming.


Sara Allison Parker spent the first fourteen years of her life living by strict rules and keeping her family’s secrets. Simon and Tibby, her parents, and her younger sister, Victoria, treat Sara as an outcast, leaving her lonely within the family. The elder Parkers maintain control over Sara’s life with rules, one of which is she is not allowed to make friends.

When Arissa Jericho moves in across the street and introduces herself to Sara, then Jason Waters befriends Sara at school, the carefully constructed world of the Parker household is threatened. As Simon and Tibby are forced to loosen their control to keep up appearances, Simon finds a way to assert a different type of power. Sara is convinced she will lose her friends if her secrets ever come to light because of her father. In a rare moment of daring, Sara stands up for herself. The next day, Simon’s recklessness reveals one of the secrets in an ugly, public display.

Sara learns the true meaning of family, bravery, and love when Arissa and Jason stand by her after witnessing Simon’s actions. Once Sara becomes comfortable, she lets her last secret slip out on accident, setting off a series of events that spins out of everyone’s control.

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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Skating On Review Ice

Books from the bookstore are great, but so are the ebooks by my friends.

Reviews and ratings are a tricksy thing. As writers, what do we expect from our friends in the public eye when we put our work out for the world to consume? Ego stroking? Reassurances? Love it or else? Honesty? Flattery? We want people to like our stories, but the truth is, not everyone will. I knew this before I gave my beta readers Family Ties. I knew there was a possibility that someone would tell me they hated it. While they stroked my ego with the praise in their notes, they were honest with what needed work and what they wanted to see. Did I use every piece of feedback? No, but I used the majority of it to make my story richer, which is what feedback is supposed to help writers do.

My initial experience with Goodreads when I started using it a year ago, was to rate books usually with a four or five star. Then I started reading books where the phrases were wrong, plots were thin, characters weren’t developed, and nothing was believable. I stopped and reassessed what I was doing because when all is said and done, if I’m rating/reviewing something high when the writer’s skill in that particular piece of work really isn’t that high then it reflects back on me. I consider the technical writing with plot, character development, continuity, and realistic behavior/situations when rating/reviewing. My emotional response factors in there, but not as much. I recently rated a novel by a well-known sci-fi author with three stars because it wasn’t his best.

When I see reviews (because I do all I can to avoid reading them) on Amazon or Goodreads that are four or five stars when the book is riddled with plot holes, inconsistencies, unrealistic behavior/situations, and/or typos it makes me wonder what everyone is thinking when they’re reading the same thing I’m reading. Reviews are completely subjective and we are all drawn into a story in different ways. But there are storytelling basics to be followed and if they aren’t, I question the ratings and reviews. Even before discovering Goodreads, I didn’t put much stock in book reviews as a reader. I never choose what book I’m going to buy/borrow based on reviews.

I tend to be honest and blunt because I don’t believe in sugar coating things, and working with teenage boys for a decade honed that tendency. It wasn’t helpful to them to be anything but forthright after all they had been through before I worked with them. We want people to be kind to our “baby” when we publish it. We want people to like it. We want our friends and family to support us because it’s invaluable, especially coming from our most trusted loved ones. But does that support include a review/rating that isn’t entirely truthful? Just like with the boys, it’s not helpful. It’s not true validation and it’s misleading to potential readers/fans who do read reviews before purchasing a book.

I want genuine feedback about my writing, especially from my friends. I want to know what I missed so I make sure to make it present in my next novel. I want to continually hone my skills and I can’t do that if reviews only pile on the praise.


Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


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What I’m Reading

Books from the bookstore are great, but so are the ebooks by my friends.

Books from the bookstore are great, but so are the ebooks by my friends.

One of the things I like about Twitter is making friends with other writers. I don’t mean we follow each other on Twitter, I mean we talk to each other, crack jokes, share inspiration, and encourage each other. This leads me to reading their books, but I hate writing reviews because I hate reading reviews. I never know where the reviewer is coming from and whether or not the review is reliable because each one is subjective. What they might like, I might not and vice versa.

So, I’m going to share with you what I’ve been reading and you can decide if you might like it or not. Each of these authors is a different genre.

Katie OliverPrada & Prejudice, Love & Liability, and Mansfield Park (aka The Dating Mr. Darcy series)

I made friends with Katie about two years ago through a mutual real life friend and somehow we still have not met. Okay, somehow is a stretch. She lives in another state and when I happened to be nearby with the mutual friend last year, shit happened and we couldn’t meet up. We swear it will happen though!

Katie has a gift for romantic comedy. This is from the person (me) who read the first two Bridget Jones books and Confessions of a Shopaholic in the genre before Katie’s books were published earlier this year (January, February, and March respectively). I was laughing so hard with Prada & Prejudice, I kept putting it down to tweet Katie to tell her how much I was laughing. Then there’s the basil joke we keep resurrecting for the heck of it. In Prada & Prejudice, Rhys Gordon is hired to help get the once popular department store, Dashwood & James out of the red and into the black. In doing so, he must keep Natalie Dashwood from spending money the family doesn’t have and get her invested in turning the company around. Enter Ian, husband of Natalie’s best friend and ambitions bigger than anyone knows. Love & Liability and Mansfield Lark each follow some characters in Prada & Prejudice. I devoured the next two books just as quickly as the first. Katie is currently working on the next set of books for the beloved characters of the Dating Mr. Darcy series.

Katie on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Bianca SloaneLive & Let Die, Sweet Little Lies, and (coming soon) Every Breath You Take

I met Bianca through Katie and if you watch tweets between us, we talk about General Hospital. Part of the fun with them is that as writers we will come up with wild scenarios about where a storyline could go for the hell of it, as well as make serious guesses based on what was said and done. Make fun if you like, but I call it exercising our writer brains.

Bianca has said she writes about the dark side of love. You know, the stories of what happens when love goes murderously wrong. I’ve read both Live & Let Die and Sweet Little Lies. Both of them were page turners for me. I couldn’t put either of them down. Live & Let Die follows Sondra’s quest to find the truth about  her sister’s murder a over year after her sister disappeared while out on a night jog and later found dead with her face bashed in.

Bianca on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Ian LittleTexting Orwell, Hell In The Kitchen, and Luckbox

I love giving Ian a hard time on Twitter. He’s a great bloke to take it and attempt to return it. But at the end of the day, he makes me laugh with nothing but his wit and his angry toddler avatar.

Ian’s books are available on Kindle and I had to ask Chaz if I could borrow his Kindle because I really wanted to read Ian’s books. So far, I’ve read Texting Orwell. I’m getting around to the other two in time. If you saw my “to be read” (TBR) pile of just my physical books, you might be floored. I told a friend last week that it could fit two bookshelves. This does not include my TBR for ebooks. Texting Orwell is a novella romantic comedy focused mostly on Daniel’s point of view as he decides today is the day to tell Debbie how he feels about her, but Debbie calls in to work sick. He must figure out a different way to tell her. Modern technology and an interfering mother become aids in his plan.

Ian on Amazon

William WoodwardThe Eight Walls of Rogar, The Stair of Time (Books 1 & 2 of the Lost Kindoms of Laotswend Trilogy)

I don’t even remember how I started following William, but we started chatting when I responded to one of his tweets. He’s an all-around nice guy with a fabulous imagination, which is required when you write fantasy. If you aren’t sure about investing in an unknown writer, he’s like me and post fiction on his website. His serial fiction series on the site is called Lost Town.

Fantasy and science fiction usually takes me a longer to read because of the time it takes to absorb the world the authors build for you. Unless you are a writer, you might think it easy to do. I have a lot of respect for sci-fi/fantasy authors because of the time it takes to create their worlds. The Eight Walls of Rogar follows Andaris as he sneaks off from home seeking adventure in Fingar Forest. He has never been away from home and during a storm he takes shelter in a cave then finds himself in another land. What I appreciated about The Eight Walls of Rogar was William’s ability to create the tension needed in action to feel for the characters in involved. At one point, I found I was holding my breath without realizing until I knew one of the characters had made it to his destination while being pursued. He also threw in something completely unexpected which gave me a giggle fit. I can’t tell you what it is or it would ruin the surprise.

William on Amazon

Amy Sumida – Godhunter

Amy has quite a few books under belt. More than I could list for you. Her Godhunter series contains twelve books so far. I’ve only read the first one. We met through a mutual Twitter friend who interviewed her for his blog. Amy is also an artist and is from Hawai`i. Yes, we will have to get together the next time I’m home for a visit. Maybe a rainbow will bless us that day.

Godhunter is about Vervain Lavine, a witch and a godhunter. The gods that we think of as gods are really Atlanteans who came to our world when they were displaced. They feed off our energy when we worship them, but find they don’t have enough when sacrifices become less and less. Vervain stumbles onto a plan to keep humans at war in order for the gods to continue feeding off our energy and has to work with other gods if she wants the plan to fail. I love a kickass heroine and spins/twists on traditional tales/legends. It didn’t hurt that some of the book took place in Hawai`i either.

Amy on Amazon

Currently reading:

Geoffrey WestRock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (The Jack Lockwood Mysteries)

I’m only a few pages in and can’t say much yet, but I will tell you Geoffrey is a real gentleman.

Geoffrey on Amazon


Zero Echo Shadow Prime by Peter Samet

First Contact (The Terran Chronicles) by James Jackson (Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

The Night Porter by Mark Barry

To be published soon & added to my TBR list:

When You Are Mine by Kennedy Ryan  (Amazon pre-order and Barnes & Noble pre-order)

Fifteen Weekends by Christy Pastore.

If you want to see what I’m reading at any given time, you can find me on Goodreads.

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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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