The book that almost never was

TigerLily tease2

I’m about to tell you about the book that almost never was. Every year I write a book for National Novel Writing Month in November. This last year, however, I was stumped. I had just written Reclaim Your Creative Soul, and that book took a lot of energy out of me. I figured I would just skip it this year. But at the eleventh hour before the eleventh month, an idea came to me—why not just have fun with it this year? I know, a novel idea for a novel.

And so, I did. Having always been a fan of Peter Pan and Neverland, I began exploring the idea of writing about a character that only got a bit role in the original story: Tiger Lily. I began to develop who she was, where she came from, the values of her people, and her likes and dislikes. Just like Peter Pan is a coming of age story, Tiger Lily’s story was much the same. She became a princess held captive by rules she didn’t appreciate, and with hopes and desires that didn’t fit the mold of her people.

Throw in some pirates, a few Never beasts, the Lost Boys, and Peter Pan, and I suddenly had a story.

To up the ante, I not only wrote the story, I LIVE wrote it. Many of you followed along as I posted each chapter to Wattpad, allowing you to see the inside process of what it’s like for a novel to be written beginning to ending. While it was just a rough draft, I was pleased with how things worked out as I wrote. Many of you expressed interest as well, anxiously waiting for me to post the next chapter.

The story was never supposed to be published. It was just something to amuse myself and a few fans, and nothing more. However, the more I wrote, the more I realized that the story was taking on a life of its own. It was more than just an amusing tale, it was a story that needed to be told.

This story became Loving the Wind: The Story of Tiger Lily & Peter Pan, and it just published this morning!

For the next few days, I am keeping the Kindle version of this book at 99 cents so that there are no barriers for you to buy this book. This is my gift to you for sticking alongside me, cheering me on, and anticipating this very moment. Please don’t delay in buying this book now, as the price goes back up after the weekend.

Furthermore, I have a few contests on my Facebook page if you’d like a chance to win the print version of this book. Just look up #LTWgiveaways and you’ll find a bunch of contests that are going until Sunday.

Thank you for all your support, and happy reading!



Just published ~ Reclaim Your Creative Soul

3 years ago this month (March 16, 2013, to be exact), I published my very first book. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I had big visions of everything I would do with the millions I would be raking in.

Obviously, I am still working on reaching millionaire status. I did, however, accomplish my #1 goal in life—I wrote and published a book.

Today, I have published my 7th book. And I did it while holding a full-time job, raising a family, volunteering with my church and my writing group, and still having a life.

I’m not saying this to brag. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my accomplishments. But more than that, I am adamant that if I can write 7 books in 3 years while carrying on a full-time life, so can you.

Many people have asked how I am able to write books while living such a busy life. I keep hearing, “I hope I can do that someday.”

Why not make someday TODAY?

In Reclaim Your Creative Soul, I share the secrets to adding creativity back into your life, even if you feel more than busy. If you wish you had the time for your art, then know that I wrote this book for you. And because I don’t want anything to stand in your way of reading this book, I am offering a discounted price TODAY ONLY.

Kindle is 99 cents.

Print is $10.95.

Purchase your copy at

Thank you! And I’m so excited to hear about all the creative things you’re about to accomplish!

‘Come Here, Cupcake’ only 99 cents for a limited time 

Did you get a Kindle for Christmas? Come Here, Cupcake is only 99-cents for a limited time, and free to borrow for Amazon Prime members.

Morgan Truly moves back to the coastal town she grew up in to take care of her mother, leaving her job at the newspaper to work in a bakery. But it isn’t until she starts baking when it becomes apparent there’s an extra magical ingredient in her desserts. Every emotion Morgan feels as she bakes is infused into her baking, and passed on to whoever eats it. Sadness, happiness, embarrassment… And when a rugged sailor walks into the bakery and sweeps her off her feet… Let’s just say that her desserts make quite the impression. ❤️

Read more about this book at

10 rainy day musings

Happy December friends! I can’t believe we’re in our final month of 2014. What a crazy year it’s been! Here are 10 things I’m thinking of today as the year comes to a close.

1. It’s hard not to feel down when there is so much horrible stuff going on around the world, both close to home and far away. But it’s times like these that remind me of a Mr. Rogers quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Let’s make a stand to be the helpers. Here are some things you can do:
Smile more. Give loved ones your time. Step in when those around you need help. Say ‘I love you’ more. Hug. Use your phone as a talking tool, not just a texting tool. Be generous. Practice empathy. Stay positive.
One of my friends posted this to their Facebook page:

Let’s do more stuff like this. Let’s spread love in these troubled times. Are you with me?

2. My birthday is this Sunday! Want to know a confession? I cry every year on the day before my birthday. How terrible is that? I never thought I’d be the person who would mourn getting older. And I can’t even promise it won’t happen again this year. However, I’m also starting to view each birthday as the start of something brand new. My 36th year held so many wonderful things. What are my intentions for my 37th? This is something I’ll be thinking on for the next week until my new year begins.

3. My most recent book, The Road to Hope, actually hit the Amazon Bestsellers List this week! It got as high as #64 in the Women’s Fiction category, which is really, really hard to do. This was due to everyone taking advantage of the book’s discounted pricing, shooting it up in the rankings, and making it much more visible to other readers who may not have seen it otherwise. I cannot thank you enough!
BTW, The Road to Hope is still less than $1 for a limited time if you haven’t downloaded it yet. Check it out here:

4. It’s raining on and off here in Northern California, a foreign phenomenon in our drought-riddled parts. I don’t think I’ve ever loved the sound and smell of rain more than I do right in this moment. So what do you do on a rainy day? Go on a hike! The Mr. and I took a trek over to Mt. Tam to check out the waterfalls right after the rain broke this weekend. We weren’t disappointed. I took a video of the waterfall and included it on my YouTube page so I could share the magic.

5. This year I vowed to read more books. I made a goal over at Goodreads to read 24 books, figuring that 2 books a month would be a lofty, but worthy, goal. As of this moment, I am currently reading my 29th book, The Hunt for Wolf Eyes, by Sonoma County writer Ty Strange. I read all 29 of these books on top of writing and publishing several books, and discovered a bunch of new authors this year. Who knows, maybe I’ll aim to read 3 books a month next year…
Here are a few of my favorite books I read this year:
Maybe Someday, by Colleen Hover
Going to Solace, by Amanda McTigue
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green
Kissing Midnight, by Laura Bradley Rede
I’m always looking for recommendations on new books, so if you have a suggestion, send me a note.

6. Speaking of written books, I conquered my 5th NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year! If you don’t remember, that’s when writers strive to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I managed to cross the finish line on day 20, and finished the novel’s rough draft just a few days later.

7. And on that note, this novel I just wrote will be book 2 in my upcoming “Dessert For Dinner” series, coming out in 2015. This series combines magic, desserts, and lighthearted romance with 4 delicious stories. The first novel coming out is called Come Here, Cupcake. The book focuses on Morgan Truly, a girl who discovers she has the power to infuse her baking with her feelings – but not before she affects the whole town. Stay tuned for information on when this book will be released!

8. This holiday season, I am utilizing the talents of some of my artistic friends to give some gorgeous gifts. If you know any crafty people, I encourage you to do the same. Not only will you be giving an original gift that no one else can replicate, but you’ll also be directly supporting local artists! It’s a tough world out there for creatives to make a living off their craft, and there is a lot of competition from bigger companies with deeper pockets. Your support would be more than appreciated.
BTW, if you know of local artisans with gift-worthy creations, let me know! I’d love to spread the word on my Facebook page so that other people can find them too! If visit my page now, you can already find a few indie gifts there.

9. Earlier this year, I published the book, Forever Thirteen, the sequel to A Symphony of Cicadas that was never supposed to be. I just found out that it received an Honorable Mention for Young Adult books in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards for 2014! This is like winning 2nd place among thousands of entries! And to think, if my friend hadn’t insisted a sequel was in order, Forever Thirteen wouldn’t exist. Goes to show how much power readers have. 🙂

10. I am so grateful for YOU. Here’s the proof. (P.S. Did you notice it’s snowing here? Love that about WordPress!)

Love you guys! And thank you for all your support!

Thank you.

happy endingOn November 1, 2011, I embarked on a writing adventure called NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. The goal was to reach 50,000 words by November 30th, and I was bound and determined to meet that goal.

The Road to HopeDuring those thirty days, I poured my heart out in a reckless rough draft that mingled real life with fiction, unleashing a few hurts and hardships I’d suffered in life—the death of a child, poverty, young pregnancy, heartbreak—and allowed my characters to suffer on my behalf while I healed. In doing so, I fell in love with my characters, Maddie and Jill, two women who suffered terrible loss and found strength in the rebuilding of their lives.

This book is The Road to Hope, and tomorrow I will finally be able to share it with all of you. In many ways, it’s a love letter to the darker times of my past. And it’s a letter of hope to those of you who may be in the thick of it.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Love, Crissi

Where to buy:

Kindle or Kindle app
Amazon Print

Note: This book is not available publicly for other e-readers. However, contact me if you read on a non-Kindle device and we can work something out.

Cover reveal of The Road to Hope

If you are part of my newsletter email list, you have already seen the cover of my upcoming book, The Road to Hope. If you’re not, shame on you. 😉 You can remedy that by clicking here.

My book designer and close friend, Liz Carrasco, has worked her magic to create yet another gorgeous cover for one of my books. Some of you may remember the beautiful cover she created for Forever Thirteen. So when she offered her talents to The Road to Hope, I didn’t hesitate. And I’m so glad, because look what she created:

Click on image to pre-orderDon’t you just love it???

I especially love the vineyard on the front cover of the book. It was taken in Sonoma County (where I live) by local author and photographer, Kent Sorensen. You can check out his photography at

And now for surprise #2. The Road to Hope is available for pre-order for Kindle readers RIGHT NOW! I am keeping the price at $2.99 through the book’s first week so that all of you can get it at a lower price. After that, the price goes back up. So be sure to order it soon to secure the lower price.

CLICK HERE to pre-order.

And now for a little bit of news for those of you who read on eBooks that are not Kindles. I have decided to sell the eBook version of The Road to Hope on Amazon only, at least for the next three months. If you read books on a Nook, Kobo, etc., contact me and we can work out a way for you to still be able to read it.

For print readers, never fear. The Road to Hope will be available across the web in book form, beginning October 15th, and eventually at Copperfield’s in Sonoma County.

Thanks for reading!

Back on the grid

You must have thought I disappeared off the face of the planet. Or maybe you didn’t notice I was gone. In either way, I’ve been missing in action from my blog, my newsletter, and offering only random updates on social media.

I blame it on several things. The first and foremost, my computer died a terrible death. The video card went out on my dinosaur of a laptop, leaving a white screen of death to stare me in the face. Thankfully it also gave me a few hints before it went out altogether, allowing me to backup all my files (my novels!!!) and photos before it was gone. I’m not entirely without a computer (as you can see from this blog post) – I have my husband’s laptop to work from as is necessary. But you know how it is when you use someone else’s computer for your stuff – it’s just….different. It’s like staying in someone else’s house. It’s nice, but it’s not YOURS. None of my bookmarks are here, my programs, the familiar feel of the keyboard….

But until I have finished saving my pennies for the new computer (and I’m halfway there!), this one will do just fine.

The next is project overload. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I love all the things I’ve involved myself in. I am the new newsletter editor of my writing group, Redwood Writers – the one responsible for gathering all the info for the monthly newsletter and putting it together. I just sent out my first one yesterday, and then realized I am days away from announcing the looming deadline for the next one. Next, I am one of the coordinators for a summer camp I’ve been involved with since childhood. We’re down to the wire as summertime comes upon us, and the work is starting to build up. Third, my son’s baseball season has begun, and his team is frickin’ awesome! They’ve won 4 out of 4 games so far, but that’s not the best part. The best part is that they quickly learned how to work as a team, utilizing each other’s strengths and developing a real sense of camaraderie. I watch my son, and sometimes it feels like I’m watching someone else’s kid. When the heck did my son get so tall, so talented, so close to his adult years at only 13? It’s incredible, and a little scary.

And finally, the book.

Forever Thirteen published in March after months and months of preparation. When it finally published, let’s just say I was exhausted and kind of went off the grid. This was a total mistake, since the book isn’t going to market itself. The months beforehand I was sending out weekly newsletters, blogging like crazy, reminding my Facebook peeps, and just getting the word out there that the long awaited sequel to A Symphony of Cicadas was coming. When the publishing date finally arrived, I let the world know. And then….I stopped letting world know.

Here’s where I get transparent – I was afraid of being too annoying. It’s hard to know where the fine line is between announcing the news of a newly published novel, and spamming all your friends, family, and fans. Instead of focusing on all I needed to do to get this book off the ground, I dug into my hole to begin working on the next novel (which I’m halfway through writing now). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s a story that needs to be written. But it was also my way of avoiding the part I hate the most – marketing my book.

I’m too busy writing to be a marketer. That’s like saying I enjoy writing to no one, since no one is going to read my book.

Want me to get even more transparent? Forever Thirteen is out and only a dozen people have purchased it. And it’s all my fault.

At any rate, it’s about time for me to get my head on straight and formulate some sort of schedule. I am a firm believer in the almighty calendar, and it’s time I got back to using it. I am entering the busiest season of my year, but it’s still possible to fit in everything I need/want to do. I don’t want to leave this blog for more than a month at time. I don’t want to leave my newsletter peeps hanging. I don’t want only a dozen people to have read one of the most amazing books I’ve ever written. And I don’t want to feel like a chicken with its head cut off.

So here are my rules, written mostly for myself.

1. Say NO to any new projects.
2. Create a realistic schedule and stick to it.
3. Be kind to myself. I’m only one person.
4. Look into easy, frugal ways to market.
5. Just keep writing, a word at a time.

Before I go, I have a few other pieces of news.

First, A Symphony of Cicadas is being published a chapter at a time over at Wattpad. If you’re not familiar with Wattpad, this is a free platform for readers and writers. There you will find a ton of stories to read for free: some good, some not so good, and many fan-fics about the band, One Direction. Mine is sadly not about the band. But it is the first book in my current series, and a pretty incredible story. And it’s been getting good feedback from readers over there.

Second, while I am posting this story over at Wattpad, I have decreased the price of the Kindle version of this book to only 99 cents. I wanted to make it easy for Wattpad readers to download the entire story for cheap so they could read the whole story. Now you know too. So if you haven’t read this book yet, take advantage of my next-to-nothing pricing to grab your own copy —->

That’s all for today. I’ll try not to be so absent in the future!

Are you one of the lucky 7%?

Only about 7% of NaNoWriMo participants crossed the finish line with 50,000 or more words this year*. If you were one of the lucky few, you deserve a pat on the back and a million publishers** clamoring to get you to sign with them.

(*Note: According to NaNoWriMo, 300,000 people signed up, and only 41,940 stuck it out till the end.)

(**I wish I could send them your way…)

And if you didn’t cross the finish line, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not an easy task, and perhaps this year wasn’t your year. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. Look back over your work-in-progress (WIP). Somewhere in that scribbled down text are a few nuggets of gold that deserve expanding on. You can save these nuggets for next year’s NaNo.  Or… can pick up where you left off NOW, and make yourself a book.

I’d go with the second one, if I were you.

This year, I managed to cross the 50,000 mark on Nov. 22. And at 5 p.m. on Nov. 30, I was able to type the words THE END, making my grand word count total 71,593.

Am I bragging? Heck yes, I’m bragging. As a person who tends to try and stay out of the spotlight when it comes to my own accomplishments, this is one area where I want to shout it out loud. I write more than 70,000 words in 30 days! That’s huge. And if I don’t crow about it, who will?

Needless to say, a novel written that fast is going to be filled with details and scenarios that need a ton of grooming before it can be presented to the public. But all that is going to have to wait. I’m not even going to read what I wrote for a little while, because my focus now is on Forever Thirteen – the book I’m editing that will be published in the spring.

But I’m going to remain in celebration mode for the next several weeks as I come back down from the NaNoWriMo high. And I hope you all will celebrate your feats with me, too. Hope to see the published version of your NaNo novels soon!

P.S. Cyber Monday sales alert! I’ve significantly reduced the price of my poetry book, Everything I Am Not Saying, taking a full 25% off the original price at To do this, I had to take it off expanded distribution, meaning it’s temporarily not available at other book stores, like Barnes & Noble. But it’s worth it, so I can keep the price as low as it can go. And when I say low, I mean I’m only making $1 off each sale. But I’m doing this for you, because I think this book is something everyone should read, and be able to give as a gift.

There’s more, too. If you type in BOOKDEAL for the promotion code at Amazon, they’ll take off another 30%. And if you purchase a print copy, you can get an eBook for free. That means you can give a book, and keep one for yourself!

So consider supporting a local author and giving the gift of words to someone on your gift list. It’s a great way to spread the love all around. 🙂

Well that’s embarassing…

I woke up this morning, wondering how many free downloads “Golf Balls, Eight Year Olds & Dual Paned Windows” had racked up in the six hours since the promotion began. It was probably in the thousands, maybe even the millions at this point. I checked the numbers….


Wait, what? That can’t be right. I went to the book page on Amazon, and it was just as I suspected – It wasn’t for free; there was a price attached to my book! So then I went to my promotion page to see what gives, and there it was.

I chose the wrong date. The actual start date is MONDAY, July 29, and not today.

So embarrassing.

So hang in there, that’s only a few hours away. And in the meantime, go over to Goodreads and add this book to your “To Read” list, mkay? —>

Thanks, and I’m sorry!

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FREE eBook – A Symphony of Cicadas

FREE promo(If text reads too small, click image to see it larger)

Today (5/31) and tomorrow (6/1), A Symphony of Cicadas is FREE for Kindle users at Amazon.

Download it here:

Don’t have a Kindle?  You don’t even need one!  If you have a smart phone, you can download the Kindle app and read it from there.  Or you can check out the Cloud Reader and read it from there:

This may be your last chance to ever get this free, so don’t miss out!  After June 1st, the price of A Symphony of Cicadas goes back up to $2.99.

P.S. Is your eBook about to be offered for free?  I found an awesome blog that lists 72 places to promote your free days HERE.


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