In the New Year, resolve to read more! Redwood Writers and Copperfield’s Books is making it easy to get the inside scoop on the books of Sonoma County authors through their Redwood Writers Fiction program. Each month, read a new novel by a Sonoma County author, and then attend a Q&A program with the author at Copperfield’s Books in Montgomery Village. This is your chance to learn why each author wrote certain things, what inspired them, learn about their writing process, and anything else you ever wanted to know. How fun would it be to read a novel, and then chat with the person who wrote it?
I will be the featured author on April 25th, 2017 with my novel, The Road to Hope. Learn more about where you can purchase The Road to Hope by clicking HERE.
Life has been a bit busy this week, which is why I’ve been a bit quiet for the past few days. I’ve been working on a research paper that took up most of my time, giving me a glimpse of what it will be like to write for NaNoWriMo and do well in school at the same time. As NaNo gets closer, I am working on building up grace for myself. I hate to project a loss this year, but I am. This will be my first year since I started that I won’t write 50,000 words in a month. However, I will start my novel in November, so that’s exciting!
At any rate, my research paper isn’t actually due until Nov. 2. However, tomorrow we leave for Kauai!!!! I did not want to stress over this paper while on vacation, so I put my nose to the grindstone and worked it out here. There may still be a few tweaks needed for the intro, but other than that, it’s DONE. This is somewhat of a miracle since I have Kauai on the brain. Even now, I keep interrupting my blog writing to check out things near where I’m staying (Princeville, btw, if you have any suggestions!).
A few things I want you all to know:
My husband wrote a book! After 3 years of hard work and digging deep, he has finally finished his memoir, Beyond Recovery. The book tells about life before and after his father left his family, his struggle with alcohol addiction, his journey into recovery, and what life looks like after giving up alcohol. I loved being one of his first readers as his editor, book formatter, and cover designer. The book will be available Nov. 11. Follow him at shawnlangwell.com. …
One of my friends just got back from Mexico, and he took Loving the Wind: The Story of Tiger Lily & Peter Pan with him so he could finish it. He told me he couldn’t put it down, which is music to an author’s ears! I’m telling you this because I will be having a special sale on the Kindle version at the end of this week, and I don’t want any of you to miss it! Please sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out. If you have read it, I’d be so appreciative if you’d leave a review! …
While I’m in Kauai, I’ll be working on the outline for the next book after The Road to Hope. I am itching to work on this novel! It’s been a whole year since I’ve written any kind of book. I really needed the break to just recollect myself (and to also recover from the awesome experience of writing Loving the Wind). But now I’m ready to get back into the game.
That is all! The next time we talk, I’ll be in Hawaii! Aloha!
This week I was a guest on Culture Dept., a podcast that, in their words, “features interviews with artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights on building a sustainable, contemporary creative life.” Host Daedalus Howell and I discussed how to make creativity a huge part of one’s life, accomplishing creative goals even with a busy schedule and full-time life. These insights were from my latest book, Reclaim Your Creative Soul.
The podcast is only 20 minutes, perfect for your drive into work. I hope it inspires you! Also, I encourage you to subscribe to the Culture Dept. podcast. I’ve listened to almost every single episode, and each one is brilliant.
Here’s where you can find the Culture Dept. episode that I am featured on:
Second, did you know you could read my book, The Road to Hope, for FREE? If you have Kindle Unlimited, this book is available for borrowing. Since this book published two years ago, it’s continued to be my most popular novel I’ve written.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, that’s for sure! My new book, Come Here, Cupcake, was officially released on October 5! I celebrated the occasion with cupcakes and perks galore for all of you readers. I have loved all of the feedback I’ve been receiving on this book!
My next big news is that I’ve finished writing a book on how to increase the creative part of your life. The title is, Reclaiming Your Creative Soul: The secrets to organizing your full-time life to make room for your craft.
The book is expected to release in early 2016. Here are a few things this book will address:
Finding inspiration around you
Making the best use of your time
Maintaining a creative lifestyle even with a full-time job
How to take a soul retreat
Several life hacks: organization skills, meal planning, financial budgeting, etc.
Growing your creativity
I even include resources like a 30-day meal plan (complete with shopping lists!), and a budget sheet to organize your finances!
Does this sound like something you might be interested in? To continue the discussion that starts in Reclaiming Your Creative Soul, I’ve organized a Facebook Group for other artists and creatives to come together and learn from each other. Join the discussion at bit.ly/CreativeFacebookGroup.
Finally, I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo! And for the first time in all the years I’ve participated, I have no idea what I’m writing! Originally I was going to work on the sequel for Come Here, Cupcake. However, it feels like too much pressure to work on that book. So I’m tabling the sequel writing until January, and planning to work on something totally new.
I just need to figure out what that is…
How about you? Anything new? And who’s starting NaNo on Nov. 1?
This week, Stephenie Meyer, the author of best-selling vampire series, ‘Twilight,’ both delighted and disappointed fans when she announced the release of her new book, “Life and Death.” Fans, who had been expecting Meyer to release her once-promised novel, “Midnight Sun,” a story from the point of view of vampire Edward Cullen, were instead offered a story that re-tells the original “Twilight” tale, but with every character as the opposite gender.
Belle became Beau. Edward became Edythe. And every other character (save for the Beau/Bella’s parents) have swapped genders in “Life and Death.”
Fans are mixed on this re-imagining of Twilight, according to the comments by fans.
“My head started to hurt trying to match everyone up with who they should be, and I put it down,” one commenter said.
“I couldn’t finish the first couple of pages. She should have just finished Midnight Sun,” said another.
“I’m only half way through, but I’m loving this. The high school me would have died of excitement for this,” another commenter said.
And finally, “…because I have read Twilight so many times and every sentence feels familiar, I’m getting a kick out of noticing all the little details that Stephenie Meyer changed for this version.”
Because I was so intrigued with what Meyer did with her popular book, I couldn’t help but wonder what other popular books might look like if the genders were swapped. Here are a few book you may have read, but with a gender-bending twist. Can you think of any others? Share them in the comments!
Kevin Everdeen of District 12 volunteers as tribute for the 74th annual Hunger games, taking the places of his little brother, Preston, to fight alongside Paige Mellark. They are mentored by Hailey Abernath, a past winner from District 12 who now lives a solitary life consoled by her 13 cats and her never-ending supply of alcohol.
During a television interview before the games, Paige reveals her schoolgirl crush on Kevin to an audience of millions. This is a surprise revelation for Kevin, especially since he harbors feelings for his lifelong friend and confidante, Gail Hawthorne, the girl next door who enjoys hunting with him on the outskirts of the district.
However, mentor Hailey sees the opportunity in Paige’s public confession and advises Kevin to string her along. If she succeeds in this ruse, she may inspire wealthy sponsors to help the two competitors during the games. But as Kevin fights for his and Paige’s life against their bloodthirsty opponents, he realizes his feelings for Paige may actually be sincere.
Henrietta Potter and the Sorceress’ Stone
For ten years, Henrietta Potter has lived with the Dursleys, not knowing that she is a witch, or even that she is famous in the wizarding world for surviving the attacks of Voldemina, a terrifying sorceress whose name no one dares to speak. When Henrietta receives a letter inviting her to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, her family tries to hide it from her. That is, until Rubina Hagrid, a big-boned half giant, rescues Henrietta on her massive pink Harley.
Henrietta is introduced to a world of magic, sorted into the Hogwarts house of Gryffindor. There, she makes lifelong friends with Ramona Weasley, a red-haired girl from a large, pure-blood, wizarding family, and Horace Granger, an intelligent wizard born to non-magical parents.
While training to become witches and wizards, Henrietta, Ramona and Horace find themselves facing down a three-headed dog guarding the Sorceress’ stone, a magical object that grant immortality to its user. After several other bouts of danger, it becomes apparent that the discovery of the stone holds significance. The trio face numerous challenges to recover the stone, only to come face to face with an enemy they never knew they had.
Brotherhood of the Traveling Jordans
Len Kaligaris, Tim Rollins, Brock Vreeland and Carson Lowell have been best friends since birth, since their fathers were fishing buddies that met in college. The summer before the foursome began their junior year of high school, Carson finds an old pair of Air Jordans that fits each of the friends perfectly, despite their differing shoe sizes, and allows each boy to jump higher, run faster, and perform well at every sport. They come to the conclusion that the Jordans are magical. The boys end up sharing the “traveling Jordans” amongst themselves over the summer as they all go in different directions.
However, the summer doesn’t go exactly as planned. Each teen must overcome challenging circumstances they weren’t prepared for. Just as things seem to be at their worst, they are given the Air Jordans, and discover a new way to overcome adversity. The Jordans serve as a substitute pal in this coming of age novel of boys growing into men.
I am so excited to announce the release of my latest novel, Come Here, Cupcake. This book has been years in the making, and has been a true labor of love in its creation. I am so proud of this story and hope to share it with as many readers as possible.
This is why I am offering the eBook version of Come Here, Cupcake at 99 cents – TODAY ONLY.
There are a couple of advantages to buying the eBook version of Come Here, Cupcake. First, it’s less expensive than the print version. Second, only the eBook version has a recipe to Limoncello Cupcakes inside (one of the desserts made by main character, Morgan Truly). And third, you can start reading the story immediately!
My marvelous and amazing friend Crissi Langwell is an author, with a few books under her belt already, and for her latest, she decided that what she really wanted was for me to do the cover art. She hooked me up with the manuscript so I could get the feel for the story and i was immersed in a lovely tale of a young woman living in the fog-shrouded town of Bodega Bay, and her adventures with baking, and love, and magic and…well, I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but the story is as sweet as the title would lead you to expect, spiced with mystery and garnished with passion. I loved it and *I* got to do the cover illustration for it!
So, after chatting with Crissi about what she had in mind, I went out to Bodega Bay to take some location shots for reference. Even though I’ve been there 100 times or more, and I could find photos online, this way I could find the view I was imagining and get the feel down, and it’s only a short drive away so it seemed silly not to. Plus, an excuse to go out to the ocean, am I right?
P.S. Come Here, Cupcake is publishing on Monday, Oct. 5. That’s this upcoming Monday! And ebook readers won’t want to wait. Monday will feature special one-day pricing to celebrate release day! Want a reminder? Sign up for my newsletter.
I almost forgot to mention that this Sunday (Sept. 13) I will be the featured speaker at the Redwood Writers meeting to discuss NaNoWriMo, and my tips on reaching the finish line of 50,000 words. For those of you who know me, you know that I HATE public speaking of any kind. However, this topic is such a huge deal for me because it’s how I got my start as a novelist, and it’s helped me to improve the speed of my writing process and crank out books at a faster speed than I ever thought possible. Because I’m so passionate about NaNoWriMo, and because I have real tips to offer other people who want to learn to write fast, I’m actually really excited to give this talk on Sunday! Yes, I’m also a little nervous. But I’m more excited than nervous.
If you’re in the Santa Rosa area on Sept. 13 at 2:30 (note, the meeting will be in the COURTYARD rooms, not the Empire room as the flyer suggests) and would like to learn how to write a novel in 30 days, head on over to the Flamingo Resort and join me! More information at redwoodwriters.org, and on the flyer below.
Yup. I won NaNoWriMo! Yesterday I crammed in 5500 words to cross the 50K finish line. Today, I wrote another 4000 words. And this weekend I plan to wrap up the novel altogether with the last two chapters of Love Truffle No. 9, thus completing the (very) rough draft of my second book in the upcoming “Dessert for Dinner” series. This is my 5th NaNoWriMo I’ve officially “won.” To say I feel accomplished is an understatement.
Of course, writing 50K+ words in 20 days doesn’t come without a price. The editing process is going to be a long and windy road as I clean up all the muck and grime. However, underneath the messy parts, I am really pleased with how this novel turned out. I can’t wait until I can start releasing this series. I promise you, it will be well worth the wait!
In other news, I am gearing up for a massive discount on my latest novel, The Road to Hope. From November 28th (Black Friday!) to Dec. 2, the eBook will be on sale for only 99 cents. Of course, if you have Amazon Prime you can get it now for free. I do hope you’ll take advantage of this sale. Here’s the link —-> bit.ly/road2hopebook
And third, I am hosting a Facebook event titled “Book Lovers Holiday Bonanza.” I am still sorting out the details, but I can share a few of them with you now. The event is on Dec. 12 and will feature 5 authors who will be giving away their books throughout the day. There will be multiple chances to win, and I promise there will be some really cool prizes. Stay tuned for more details to come. For now, you are more than welcome to RSVP for the event here —-> facebook.com/events/1529396500651035
By the way, I’m still looking for authors to feature. To learn more on how you can get involved, click here.