The New Year is fast approaching and with it come new deadlines and projects for me to work through.
Something that I released over the holidays under the radar was a writing planner. I made this mostly for myself but it is available on Amazon for purchase.
Thought I'd give a sneak peek here of one of the pages.
I have been exploring new genres and the latest is contemporary romance. It definitely has a place in the rom-com subcategory. Currently, it is only available as an ebook on Amazon. You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited.
Winter might be coming to an end but for two unsuspecting people a chance winter storm may lead to something more...
Please enjoy a excerpt from "Snowed In: Chapter One"
“We have a guest room, and I promise no one will bother you if you want your space. I just don’t want to explain why a woman was found frozen in one of my cabins. It might not be good for my rating.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, I wouldn’t want to be an inconvenience.” He smiled. It struck her how serious he usually appeared. The smile suited him better. She grabbed her small suitcase and purse, slinging it around her shoulders. “Luckily I’m ready to go.”
He frowned, looking at her thin coat. “Don’t you at least have a hat or something?” It’s -10 degrees out there and at least a five-minute walk.”
She shook her head. He looked around the cabin and pulled the thick throw cover over her.
“Hey,” she said, a bit startled.
“Better than nothing. Come on.”
At the beginning of this year I wrote a post updating you all on my plans and what I was up to.
Between publishing and editing a new book I have also achieved some of those goals and thought I should update you all too. Thank you for your patience!
So far the books that have been edited and reformatted are:
So far the books that have been reformatted are:
You might have an older format or edition of the books so please update if they do not do so already.
I would be grateful if you told me if you find any discrepancies/errors. Feel free to leave a comment or send me a private message here or on Goodreads.
2017: Year of Change
It may have appeared that I have been taking a break but this is far from the truth.
Over the last month or so I have been planning out what my goals will be for 2017. My ultimate goal revolved around the overall quality of my books. This meant writing as well as formatting.
Until recently I have not had the funds to pay for the things I envisioned (i.e. an editor). On that note, I want to thank everyone who has read or purchased a copy of my books. Not only do I feel honored but now I also want to repay you by putting out better books.
Goal #1: Find an Editor
One of my biggest goal was to hire on an editor.
I know I needed one but as I mentioned above I needed to rely on friends and family to look my manuscripts over. One of the downsides of self-publishing is that you have to build up your team yourself. This may take time but it makes all the difference.
Finally, last December I found my editor. She is currently hard at work looking over all my manuscripts and I am plugging away at some rewrites as well. Stay tuned for more.
Goal #2: Reformatting
This one was simpler than finding an editor. I had to improve my skills with formatting ebooks (or find a suitable program to help me do it).
I have been working hard at reformatting all five of my books which I have found is a huge undertaking but my efforts have been rewarded.
Here is a sneak peak:
Goal #3: Print Books
I have not had much progress on this goal yet.
I hope to do a book giveaway before the end of the year and do a trial run of some prints.
Goal #4: Write More! (Self-explanatory)
After some trouble I have finally managed to post The Warrior Bride - just one hour late.
This is a free short story available to read on this website (you can click on the image to the left to go to it).
It is meant as a companion piece to my novel Fortuna's Queen but it can be read on its own too. The story is about Cynane, one of Alexander the Great's half-sisters.
Fortuna's Queen (Forgotten Women of History Book 2)
"We were a doomed race. With our bloodstained hands we conquered, we loved and we fell."
Thessaloniki lived in a time when Alexander the Great was racing across the known world conquering all in his path. She was his half-sister living the privileged life of a Macedonian Princess. Under the protective eye of Olympias she learned to see everyone as an enemy. Then a Thracian soldier opened her heart to a new world: love. She had always lived by a set of strict rules: never disobey, and trust no one. For him she had been willing to throw caution to the wind but there is no happily ever after in this cruel world. Then Alexander perishes.
Suddenly, she finds herself thrust forward onto the political stage as those around her struggle for power. In a world, where loyalty is for sale, and words are empty promises, she must find a way to survive - even if that means turning to her enemies. Navigating the narrow straits of desire and duty, her very life hangs in the balance as she tries to find the strength buried within her.
Fact and fiction weave together to create the story of a woman overshadowed by her father, brother and finally, her husband. This is the tragic tale of a forgotten Princess who becomes a Queen trapped on fortune's wheel - destined to rise and fall.
Historical romance for pleasure,
And historical fiction for interest,
I write what I love.
I found myself debating if I should stay away from doing a historical romance novel or not. In the end, I chose to do both. I did not feel like limiting myself just because I was worried that people wouldn't take me seriously or judge my choices.
We are often told to not worry about what other people think but social stigmas are no less potent.
Over the last few months I was surprised to find how I had become apologetic for writing romance or even trying to start a writing career. It was as difficult as the time I had admitted to my friends that I enjoyed reading a regency romance novel - some of whom had turned up their nose at me for reading what they saw as "garbage". I have never been that brave person who stands up to people and fights to break social stigmas. However, I am not afraid to do what I want either. I am the passive rebel. I take the criticism with a smile and a shrug but keep doing what I love. Of course, the judgement still hurts and I will likely never learn to not let it affect me but I have learned to live with it.
Having written four novels now and hard at work on a fifth, I have not regretted my decision. The common thread between all my books is the exploration and building of relationships not just between two people but also between mothers and daughters etc. For example, in my novel Joan, I was curious to explore the relationship between a woman who by all accounts had a happy successful marriage but who would end up being betrayed by the man she loved. In The Stars Above, I looked at the powerful love between a child and her parents and how given the chance forgiveness can mend the heart.
My writing has included historical figures using the backdrop of real historical events and other times the characters and events were of my own creation. The romance is there. The hatred and drama is too. My goal has always been to write an entertaining story bringing history to life once more and not worry so much about what will impress others. Let them judge.
Someday in the future I may explore other genre's too but for now I will get back to what I know and love.
The story follows a young girl from the slums of Liverpool as she gets sent to Canada as a Home Child. Under the care of the Martin's she grows and learns to make her own way in the world. The full summary can be found on the books page.
Seeing as this has been an ongoing project for the last two years I did a lot of research on the topic in order to try to keep my story as authentic as possible. I thought I would share some of my findings here...
As I began to crack down and start writing on my novel I was surprised by the roller coaster of emotions I would go through. From being positive and optimistic to questioning what I was doing with my life.
Basically, I would start listening to the voices inside my head telling me that no one would ever read it or that I would never even finish it. Some days I would not be able to write a single word. After some introspection, I realized the only thing I could do was to tell myself to shut up…in the end forcing myself to keep going is what led to me finishing what I set out to do. Sometimes your doubts are valid perhaps you are on the wrong path but just as often they are keeping you from accomplishing your goals.
Solution: Push through your doubts (keep doing whatever it is your doing), eventually you will succeed and maybe gain some confidence along the way.
(2) You Should Go on an information diet
There are so many stories of both successes and failures in regards to self-publishing. You hear of people making millions and of others never selling more than a handful of books in X number of years.
The pitfalls of reading all of these is that you can become either over-confident or discouraged. Both are equally damaging. If you are unable to set realistic expectations then you will find yourself unable to proceed with your project.
I found myself spending several hours reading articles or blogs online worrying about what would where I would fall on the scale of complete success to complete failure. Of course, I had not even finished my story at this point. I should have been taking the time writing it rather than going over scenarios in my head.
Solution: Be careful what you are reading. Just because something worked or didn’t for someone does not mean that the same applies to you. Take everything with a grain of salt.
(3) Commit To Your Work
Maybe this is just a problem I encountered, but when I was halfway done my book I found myself seriously considering dropping it and starting from scratch. If I had been at the beginning of my story this may have made sense but halfway through something else was going on. I was finding the book hard to continue and was once again doubting my knowledge and skill. I took a break from writing but then returned with a new found energy. I quickly got over my writer’s block and I realized how much I would have regretted if I threw aside all my hard work.
Besides at this rate I would be setting a precedent of never finishing what I started.
When it came time to pricing my book I was once again on uneasy ground. I put a lot of time and effort into my work so I wanted to come up with a fair price. All of a sudden, those lingering doubts took center stage (once again). I simply had to put my foot down and say my work is worth this without feeling like I am ripping someone off. Committing to your work also means valuing it.
Solution: Stick with what you have started unless there is a legitimate reason you cannot continue. Take time to price your work carefully (your time is not worthless), ask around for opinions if you are unsure.
I would not have traded this experience for anything in the world. To be fair, self-publishing was a lot harder (and took longer) than I could have imagined when I started out writing. To all aspiring authors good luck! If anyone is interested below is a link to my recently published eBook.