Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tornado Warning by Tamara Hart Heiner

Less than six months from now, my book about the Joplin tornado will be out from Dancing Lemur Press.

This publishing company has been awesome to work with. They put together this book trailer that gives a quick snapshot into the devastation caused by the tornado.

Many people volunteered time and photos to make this book a reality, and I hope it will be successful. The book is a fundraiser for the city of Joplin, its survivors, and other cities devastated by natural disasters. I'm still looking for people interested in participating in a blogtour. Email me if you want to help spread the word!

Feel free to share the book trailer as well!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I've got ARCs!

The ARCs are in! And I need to give them away.

I've got several that I need to hand out, but I need something in return: hype and reviews. If you're willing, if you can do that for me, leave a comment, email me, PM me on Facebook or Twitter, whatever you want. Tell me how you're going to spread the word. And I'll look through and pick some people!

This book is a FUNDRAISER but the only way I will raise any funds is if I have phenomenal sales. And that will only happen if we create lots of hype! If you want to help, I'm also looking for bloggers and reviewers to talk it up in the weeks preceding the release in May!

Thank you!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Generous authors

The Bookmarked Bargains sales event is going to be unbelievable! 
Not only can you win a free Kindle you can find free and discounted books
 from some of your favorite authors. Here's a list of who's participating:

Andrea Pearson
Anna del C. Dye
Cami Checketts
Cheri Schmidt
Christine Kersey
Christy Dorrity
Cindy Hogan
Heather Justesen
Ilyan Lavanway
Jaleta Clegg
Jason Morgan
Jordan McCollum
Joyce DiPastena
Julie Bellon
Karey White
Maria Hoagland
Michelle Pennington
Mikey Brooks
Monique Bucheger
Rachael Andersen
Rachel Branton
Rachel Nunes
Rebecca Shelley
Rebecca Talley
Sandra Norton Flynn
Stephanie Fowers
Tamara Heiner
Teyla Branton
 Vickie Hall  

The deals run Wednesday, October 16th through Friday, October 18th. 
Click here to enter the Kindle drawing and find fabulous discounted books.

All authors have marked their books down significantly just so you can get them! Go check it out, get what you want, and try to win the newest Kindle Fire!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Writing for life

Hello, blog. 

It turns out is rather write than blog. And since my time right now is rather limited, I continually choose writing instead. 

I would like to thank the makers of iPhone for developing a "block caller" button in the latest OS update. Because people who call me from unknown numbers, don't leave messages, and have weird recordings when I call back are just wasting my time. And I don't have any time to waste. 

The result? You got it. Blocked calls. Ah, the freedoms. 

And in the meantime  I'm enjoying 80 degree weather with writer friends in beautiful Eureka Springs. 

Enjoy your day! (Or month, as blogging would have it.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Having Realistic Goals

I've been setting myself up for failure, and I just now realized it.

My life is full with wonderful pleasures, and there's hardly a spare moment to sit and breathe. My baby dinosaur (i.e., my baby girl who roars like a dinosaur) is happily roaring next to me as I type, her little feet and toes playing on my arm. I am content, happy, and fulfilled.

And every evening when the kids have gone to bed and I have an hour to myself, I write.

I'm currently working on the third book to the Perilous series (can I get a "yay!"?), a book I had set a goal to finish by the end of September. My plan was to write 3000 words every night.

And each night for the past week, I've written between 50-300.

I can't reach that goal of 3000, and I've been beating myself up for it. Instead of blaming myself, I've decided to blame the goal. It's too high. If I'm struggling to reach 500, how can I do 3000?

So I'm changing my goal to 500. That's lofty for me. It's not a lot, but it's more than what I've been doing. It's a reach. And I can do it. And I will reward myself generously for doing so.

The bottom line is, I think having a realistic goal will help me more in the long run than having one I consistently fail at. Who knows? I just might write more than that from time to time.

Self-esteem goes a long way, baby.

What are you working on? How do you feel about your goals?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Gift to You

Deliverer is finally available!

This book, a novella told from the point-of-view of the villain from Perilous, is my gift to you. If you are already a fan of the Perilous series, hopefully you will be delighted to learn the unexpected story behind The Hand. If you've never read any of the Perilous series, this should be a great introduction.

The book is only available via Amazon for Kindle. There will be no print book. Deliverer is just for fun, just for your reading pleasure and to expound on the background of the series.

And for the next three days, it's free. So click on the cover to go directly to the download page, and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bathing your Cell Phone

It turns out, folks, that smart phones aren't meant to take a bath. I'm not sure how you're supposed to clean them behind the ears, but dumping water on them isn't the way to do it. As my children learned the hard way.

Luckily for the phone (and the children), the rice trick actually works. The sad, cracked phone that isn't up for an upgrade until November is functioning again. It rings. It dials. I hear people and they hear me. But it's got one weird little quirk: other than ringing, the sound doesn't work. No texting choo-choo. No Pandora. No Netflix (the children are saddest about this). No clickety-clack when typing.
(Those aren't my phones. I had a hard time taking a picture of my phone with my phone, so this is generic. I guess I could've used my husband's phone but I didn't think of it before he left for work.)

Weird, huh?

I'll take it.

Keep your phones dry... all it takes is a few drops and you'll have to watch Netflix with subtitles.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Of mushrooms and sushi

My whole life, I've hated mushrooms. No matter how they were prepared, I didn't like them. 

But anytime I put a food item in front of my child, I always make them taste it, even if they know they don't like it. Because you never know when that might change. 

Well I have to live what I preach, right? So I've always made myself try any mushroom dish that's put in front of me. I still never liked them. 

Until one day I did. 

I remember the day. My husband and I were out to lunch for our seventh anniversary. I was 30 years old. I ordered a chef salad and it came with raw mushrooms. I tried one, just like I always do. 

And to my surprise, I liked it. 

Now I can't get enough of those funny little fungi. 

My BFF couldn't stand sushi. But she kept at it. A year later, it's one of her favorite foods too. Yum!

The moral of the story is: just because you didn't like it once doesn't mean you will always dislike it. 

Do you have anything you like now that you didn't use to?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Better Late than Never

Wow, I can't believe it's been more than a month since my last blog post. Can we say, "dead blog"?

But I really dropped the ball on Friday. I was supposed to participate in a blog tour for Marlene Bateman's new book, Motive for Murder. And guess what? I forgot. So here it is.

It's a beautiful cover with an intriguing title. But what's it really about?

Meet Erica Coleman—a gifted and quirky private investigator with an OCD-like passion for neatness and symmetry, a penchant for cooking, (ten terrific recipes are included), and a weakness for chocolate.

Erica imagined that her trip to Florida would be a slice of heaven—a chance to get away from it all and catch up with her best friend, Wendy. But one day into her vacation, all hope of fun in the sun is dashed when she stumbles, literally, over a dead man on Wendy’s driveway. With police closing in on her friend as their main suspect, Erica must find the real killer before Wendy ends up behind bars.

With Erica’s skill, solving the mystery should be a piece of cake but then a second homicide-attempt hits close to home and generates a whole new list of suspects. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, a murderer is on the prowl, and no one is above suspicion.

As the plot thickens, it appears Erica may have bitten off more than she can chew, but she forges on, sifting through mounting evidence until she hones in on the killer who has a surprising motive for murder. With a dash of romance and some surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

Want it? Get it here! Or just go there to find more information about it!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I am actually on my computer blogging. Blogging from my computer. Folks, this is monumental. Don't expect it to last. I woke up late for a class today and had a spastic adrenaline rush that's carrying me right now. I'm sure I'll crash in about half an hour.

But there's been something on my mind for about two months (the amount of time I've been unable to write, thanks to the sweet time-consuming new addition in our household). And that's about prioritizing my author time.

I'm not talking about prioritizing between marketing and writing (though that's a great topic for another day). I'm talking about prioritizing my writing.

I have a fantastic idea for a new book series I want to write. And another idea for a book trilogy that I think would be awesome. I actually sat down and started to outline this series.

Then someone mentioned my books that are currently published and how they are hoping for more installments. And I realized, "This boat is sailing. If I want on it, I need to do it now."

People are reading my published books, and they want more. They're involved with the characters, wrapped up in their lives, and are eager to gobble up more adventures with them. If I don't capitalize on this, I miss out. I lose interest and readers. So what I really need to do is write more books for my current publications before I move on to the other shiny, beautiful projects.

With that in mind, here's what you can expect from me in the future:
A novella from the Point of View of my antagonist from Perilous (very very soon)
A third book involving the characters from Perilous
Several more books about Jayne and her crazy lemon smell

I wish I could give you a better timeline but... you know.

Are your priorities straight? What are you working on?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Book to benefit tornado victims

Even though the Oklahoma tornado is all over the news right now, those who have been affected by previous disasters shouldn't be forgotten. And so I'm very   excited to share with you the cover to my nonfiction book about the Joplin tornado and its victims. 

Though the book doesn't come out for another year, this is my contribution to those affected by the tornado. they are still in recovery, two years later. This is a benefit book, a fundraiser. The profits will go to relief funds and those who contributed their stories. 

The more books I sell, the more Joplin will be helped. So now my job is to select the right charitable groups and start getting press attention. 

You can help too! Start spreading the word and remember that while our lives move on, those affected by the tragedies will bear the burden for years to come. Don't forget them!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blogging from the park

My life has been taken over by summer vacation and children under the age of 8. 

It's an invasion! And they're so stinking cute you don't even realize it until its too late. 

Oh and if my grammar's a little off, I blame it on the autocorrect function of my phone. 

I'm halfway through my writing goals for May. Perhaps I was too ambitious. :) well try again next month. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

High expectations


I will clean my own house again. 

I will blog from my computer, not my phone. 

My kids won't watch TV while I sleep all day. 

I won't sleep all day. 

I will write again. 

I might even put on make up again. 

And you? What aspirations do you have for yourself?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Maternity Leave

I have about two seconds before the baby decides she's done with her bouncy and wants to eat. AGAIN. I'm in that lovely two week period where baby spends 90% of her time clinging to me and nursing. In a moment I'll take up my new favorite position in the corner of the couch, surrounded by blankets and wraps and my water bottle.

The wonderful news is, our baby arrived. She's healthy and beautiful and has a great appetite. Everything works.

The bad news is, she's high maintenance. I don't know when you'll see me blogging again. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Until next time!

Friday, April 12, 2013

FREE Kindle book, today only!

Here it is, folks... for one day only, Inevitable is free to all Kindle users!

This is an awesome chance to snag your copy. It's a great chance for you to share the book with friends, too, if you've read it and enjoyed it!

Get your copy now! Click here for link.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm late, I'm late

For a very important date.

A due date, that is, which has come and gone.

I've never been late before, and it's very much driving me nuts. Logically, I realize a woman can't be pregnant forever. This baby must come out. But how can she still be sitting in there, so tight and cozy, when her date has come and gone? I feel like she's becoming an eternal part of me and will never leave.

Before everyone starts giving me advice for encouraging her exit, I've already heard and probably already tried it. Multiple times, because even if she wasn't ready three days ago, she might be now, right?

People keep saying wonderfully observant things like, "You're still pregnant!" Oh, is that what the problem is? I wasn't sure. Or this one: "Are you having contractions?" Yes, and I have been for three weeks. Would you like to know my sleep patterns as well? But this one's the worst: "How are you feeling?" Take a guess. Take a wild guess. I'm overweight with a painful contracting watermelon in my belly, I don't sleep well, my feet, hands, and face are swollen, I can't bend over, everything aches--how do you think I'm feeling?

About the only thing you can say to me is, "I'm so sorry." And then move on. Let's turn the conversation another direction.

I try to keep myself distracted by filling my calendar with events, but as each day approaches, I secretly hope I'll have to cancel because I have a new baby. As much as I love my writer's group, I'm not thrilled that I'll be making it to our meeting tonight. As close as the airport is, I'm not excited that I'm available to give my mom a ride. Even though I planned out our dinner menu for the week, I wish I wasn't cooking it. It's great to get these things accomplished, but I wish I couldn't.

For you on the outside looking in, you know with an even clearer head than I that it's only a matter of days. She will come. And I'll be glad I got so much done before she got here. So what's the big deal?

Well... if you've ever been late, I'm sure you know.

Since I'm still pregnant, my goal today is to tally up the blog tour points and get those posted! Oh, and Inevitable goes free for ONE DAY ONLY tomorrow! I'll give you links tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blog Tours: Are they worth it?

I have NOT finished tallying things up from my blog tour in March... sorry, folks, I'm just really behind like that.

I'm also 40 weeks pregnant and wondering if I'm ever going to deliver or if I'll carry this watermelon around forever. But that's a story for someone else to write.

But while I get things documented from my blog tour, I wanted to share my personal results with people. When I launched Inevitable in February, I decided not to do a blog tour. I felt like I'd just done one with Altercation (though in reality, that one took place in July of 2012... so only in my head was it recent). I didn't want to overwhelm people or confuse people, so I opted not to do a blog tour. I had a few people post promo info on their blogs, did a Facebook launch party which went really well, and left it at that.

By the middle of February, I knew I had to do something more. People won't buy a book they've never heard of.

So I organized what I considered a quickie blog tour. Instead of my usual twenty people, I invited about ten to participate. I didn't require them to review the book, though I did send out review copies. I made up an html blog post and sent that to them so all they had to do was copy and paste. I tried to make it as easy as possible.

Even with that small amount of effort I put into it, the results were immediately obvious. Every single person who commented on a blog post was one more person who now knew about my book. My book was added to more than 500 people's "to read" list on Goodreads. A few more reviews were posted on both Goodreads and Amazon. (I could always use more!)
And while sales didn't go up astronomically, they did go up.

End result: A blog tour is not only worth it, but necessary. Next time I might try to recruit 50 people. The more, the merrier.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Winner and another awesome book!

So the winner of the ebook copy of Fairchild is Aaron and Emily! Congrats!!!

On the heels of the book giveaway, I just finished reading another awesome book. It's The Rules by Stacey Kade.

This book is about a hybrid alien/human who struggles to fit into society while keeping her identity a secret. If the government finds out about her, they'll take her into custody for examinations and experiments. Unfortunately, she's not so good at hiding.

The book didn't start out bad, but it started slow. It took me several chapters before it fully captured me. Nothing so bad that I didn't want to continue, but suddenly it hooked me and I couldn't put it down. There's romance and mean girls and the MC is very real and believable. I very much enjoyed it and look forward to the next one.

It's a pre-release on Amazon (I was lucky to get an ARC), so if you're looking for a new book and don't know what to get, the pre-order price is a steal. Can't go wrong. Grab it here.

And my blog tour is over!!! Thanks to everyone who participated! I promise I'm going to try and get winners chosen this week, so watch for announcements!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fair Finds

There are SO MANY books out there. So many I want to read, and so many I've never even heard of. Every time I'm at the library, I check out more than I can possibly read before my time is up. (My apologies, Bella Vista Library. Yes, I still have those books.)

At writer's conferences, I buy huge amounts of books. Not only to support my fellow authors, but to see what they've written!

I've been lucky at bookstores moving locations or going out of business to score massive amounts of books for mere dollars each.

And of course, every time I see a good deal on Amazon, I load up my Kindle.

Occasionally someone will recommend a book to me, and it will get added to my "I'm interested" list. But it usually takes several recommendations before the book actually ends up in my possession.

Well, I have two purposes to this blog post: First, to introduce you to a great book that fell into my possession, and second, to give you the first recommendation you need to purchase this book.

The book is Fairchild by Jaima Fixsen.

This is one of those books that I started out completely not knowing what to expect. Well, here's what I got: A Jane Austen-esque book with vibrant, vivid writing, multi-faceted characters, intriguing plot, and a realistic resolution.

Written in the style of  Regency novels, so many of today's conventions don't apply to the book. From the very beginning I was hooked. It's a story to feast upon and enjoy the plot while relishing the fine writing. 

Very, very rarely does a debut novel impress me so much. I'd rather not give away much of the plot, but it is, of course, a historical romance. Lovers without a hope must find a way to ignore conventions and be together while still finding an honorable place in society. 

If you like this genre, you will like the book. Get it and see.

Still not convinced? I'll give away one Kindle copy of the book to one lucky commenter. Give away runs through Friday, March 29, so comment away! And those comments DO double count toward this give away and the one I'm doing for my book launch!

Here are some more blogs you can comment on for more chances to win! C.K. Bryant, Taffy's Writings, and Lydia Kang

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Getting Updates

Did you know I have a newsletter?

The sign up is right there on the right-hand sidebar over there. The reason I mention it is, all the time I get emails from people asking where I'm going to be doing a book signing next, or what I'm working on, or how they can find out when my next book comes out.

There are two ways: Constantly stalk me on Facebook and Blogger, or sign up for my newsletter.

My newsletter goes out about three times a year, whenever something exciting like a book release or book contract happens. I mean, really. How many exciting things do you think I have to talk about?

But here's the thing, folks. If you don't want my newsletter, DON'T SIGN UP FOR IT. Because I can track how many people open that email. I can even track WHO opens (or doesn't open) that email. And it makes me really sad to make this beautiful newsletter with earth-shattering news (to me, anyway), send it out and... only 47% open it.

I just tell myself it's not me, it's everyone's spam box. Right???

In the meantime, my book launch/blog tour continues in full force! Show some love to these blogs to get more chances for prizes: Jennifer Shirk, Marsha Ward, Shannon O'Donnell, Christy Dorrity.

Thanks everyone for your continued support! Keep adding up your sharing points for a chance to win that $50 Amazon gift card!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Squatter in my Attic

There's a squatter in our attic.

Luckily it's not of the weapon-bearing, trench-coat variety. It's more of the wood-pecking, nesting variety. Because apparently when we bought this grand wood house, we also bought all the tenants. Including this sweet little guy.
The upside is he (she?) isn't waking us up in the morning with her pecking anymore. I don't look out the window and watch as she pulls pieces of insulation from the hole she bore in our siding. The downside is, there is a cooing, chirping, fluttering nest of little woodpeckers in our attic now.

I have to admit they sound so cute. And I'm not opposed to the idea of having them. It's just... well, obviously they can't stay in our attic.

So I bought them a birdhouse. Sure, they'll be downsizing. But I've hired someone to put the birdhouse up next to the hole in the siding and move them into the house. And then we'll be filling in the hole. Hopefully, they won't notice a difference and will be content in their new house.


Now I've got to do something proactive before the woodpeckers on the east and west side of the house manage to get inside as well...

For a chance to win more free ebooks, check out SA Larsen's blogpost from yesterday and leave a comment!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Highly anticipated book released!

Well, for some of you, anyway, it's been highly anticipated!

For others of you, you're probably going, "Wait, she had another book come out?" (That's was my mother-in-law's response last night. Apparently I haven't talked it up enough!)

But, yes, Inevitable is out! You can get the paperback online here for only $13.95!

Pretty exciting, right? At least I think so. I've held the book in my hands and it's... it's "well cool," as Aaron would say. (Sorry, you'll have to read the book to get it!)

My book launch giveaway is still going on! Get your share of the prizes here!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sleep Like a Baby

Who coined this term, anyway?

Do they even know what babies sleep like?

We're one month out from delivering our fourth child, and I'm fully remembering what babies sleep like. Like every half hour needing food... or not sleeping at all.

I remember bringing home my first child, with him all wrapped up in blankets like a little burrito. We laid him in his cradle and smiled at him while he looked up at us, sucking on his pacifier. Then we turned out the light and climbed into bed. Why? Because we actually thought we'd sleep? Well, yeah... no one ever told us otherwise!

All night long. I was up ALL NIGHT LONG caring for that newborn infant who suddenly must've realized he wasn't swimming in his body-temperature little bubble anymore.

At least by my second, I was prepared for it. I set out movies and my laptop and books and made a fun night of it.

The worst is when people ask, "Is the baby sleeping through the night?" Um, hello? Have you ever been around a three-week old baby? Or they ask, "How's the baby sleeping?" Well... like a baby. Duh.

Maybe they meant to say, "Sleep like a toddler." But no. My toddler spends most nights climbing into bed with us and singing to herself while she counts her fingers.

It really should be, "Sleep like a tired mother." I can tell you all about that. And how well my 4-year-old babysits above-mentioned toddler when I'm sleeping. (Very, very well.)

Sleepless nights, here I come.

Don't forget to comment for a chance to enter my Inevitable giveaway! (For more ways to enter, click here!)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Inevitable Delays

It's inevitable, right? Books don't make their first release date...

So Inevitable has been pushed back by one week for the paperback release. We're now very excited to have the book come out on March 8!!!

Until the book comes out, the ebook is FREE. I wanted to make it free on all venues, but Amazon and Barnes and Noble won't accept it as free UNLESS they are price matching. SO, you can get it free here: Smashwords or Kobo. Or you can try to price-match it on Amazon.com.

Whatever you do, you can't lose! I want to give away as many as I can so spread the word to your friends!

I'll post information about the blog tour soon!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Inevitable Launches and Giveaways

Announcing the release of Inevitable, the newest young adult suspense novel by Tamara Hart Heiner!

Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her boyfriend die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne finds herself caught up in a dangerous world of intrigue and suspense.

As it turns out, she is not the only one doing the stalking. The killer is on to her, and all of her visions of the dying don't reveal how her life will end. Somehow, she must stop the murderer before he arranges Jayne's own inevitable death.

First page
Available on Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Kobo.com!

After an awesome ebook launch on Facebook, Tamara's trying hard to top that with the paperback. So here's the plan:

1) For the entire month of March, every comment on Tamara's blog gets entered into a drawing to win a HARD COPY of one of her books. (You get to choose which one!)

2) Leave a comment on THIS BLOG for a chance to win ALL of her young adult ebooks!

3) Enter the Goodreads Giveaway for another chance to win Inevitable.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Inevitable by Tamara Hart Heiner


by Tamara Hart Heiner

Giveaway ends April 02, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
4) If you SPREAD THE NEWS, whether it's on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, or just plain word of mouth, you'll be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble gift card. Email Tamara at tamarahartheiner dot com and tell her how many times you did it, and you'll be entered into the drawing that many times!

Are we ready??? Get set! Go!

About the author: I live in Arkansas with my husband and three children, two crazy boys and one pretty little princess. I used to spend a lot of time writing until I had a baby and discovered Facebook. Now you'll often find me on there pretending to have a social life.

I am the author of three young adult suspense novels, PERILOUS, ALTERCATION, and INEVITABLE. You can find out more about what I'm writing and catch deleted scenes from my books on my blog at http://tamarahartheiner.blogspot.com.

Monday, February 25, 2013

What to do in Vegas (if you don't gamble, drink, and are 8 months pregnant)


Walk around and look at all the beautiful, expensive shops.

Eat some more.                                                                                                 Walk around and admire the ostentatious architecture.

Eat again.

Go swimming.

Have a snack.

Marvel at the man at the slot machine who lost $20 in five minutes.

Get a smoothie.

See lots of shows.

Try another outrageously expensive restaurant.

Take a nap.

 Buy over-priced gelato.    
Get a photograph with your child's favorite movie character.

Get in one last buffet before the vacation is over.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Contract in the mail

It's official! I signed a contract with Dancing Lemur Press for my nonfiction book, Tornado Warning! I'm so excited! It's scheduled to come out in April 2014!!

photo by Michelle Short

A big thank you to all who helped me write the book, donated pictures, and aided in my research. I am grateful for the opportunity to help those in return who were affected by the tornado. 50% of the proceeds will be donated to a relief effort in Joplin. I'll keep you posted on information as it comes available!

Monday, February 11, 2013

When Dreams Are Reality

There are many times when I reflect on how discouraging life can be, or how frustrating it is to be an author, or what a pathetic mother I feel like.

It thus only seems appropriate, when I've been blessed and am overwhelmed with gratitude, that I should publicly say so.

The scripture in Malachi 3:10 is often on my mind: "...if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

I feel this so literally in my life that I am overwhelmed, I have goosebumps just to imagine all the wonderful things the Lord has done for me. My children are amazing, and every moment that the little one in my belly wiggles just reminds me of the miracle of creation, and I'm awed that I get to be a part of it. My husband loves us with a devotion that pushes him onward and drives him to constantly work harder because he wants the very best for our lives. We have a house. A beautiful, large house that will comfortably hold us (and perhaps more of us!) for years to come. We have food in the pantry, in the cupboards, in the refrigerator, enough that I can play with recipes and serve my family all the strangely exotic dishes I want. My books are doing well, and there's more on the horizon. And most of all, we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives to keep us grounded and knit our hearts together.

I'm an author. I'm a wife. I'm a mother. I'm a baker. I living my dream. I tremble sometimes to think of all the wonderful things in my life. I could not feel more fulfilled. I am so grateful.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

At First Glance

For those wanting a peek at the first page to Inevitable, here it is! (If you want more, the first ten chapters are up on Wattpad!)

The smell always hits me first.
I noticed it right when I opened the office door, and I paused. It was a lemony smell, like walking through a citrus grove. Growing up in New Jersey, I didn't know much about citrus groves, but I was sure that's what it would smell like. Every time I smelled the lemons, I knew death was in the air.
Mr. Harris looked up and gave me a smile over his dark brown glasses. I made eye-contact with his forehead, a survival technique I mastered years ago. The aroma rolled off him in waves, overpowering the scent of his black leather chair. "Ms.—" he glanced down at my resume on the mahogany desk. "Lockwood. Please come in."

I swallowed and stepped inside, the wooden door behind me closing with a swish. Just don't look into his eyes. My palms felt sweaty, and I was glad I wore a black blazer over my white button-up shirt. Clutching my spiral notebook to my chest, I sat in the chair across from him. My eyes dropped to my polished black heels. I spent a lot of my time studying shoes. Looking at the ground was safer than looking at faces.

"Thank you for showing interest in our internship position, Ms. Lockwood." Mr. Harris's voice was kind, and I knew he thought I was nervous. Little did he know that if I met his eyes, I would See his death. Lucky me. "I notice from your resume that you write the sports column at your high school. You go to Lacey Township High?"

I gave a nod. "That's right." How could I escape this? There was no point in continuing. My interest in the internship position at Lacey Patch, the online news column for Lacey Township, had vanished. I examined his desk, determined to avoid eye contact. My gaze landed on a picture of Stephen, wearing his navy blue and white lacrosse jersey. My stomach plummeted even further. Harris. I'd forgotten about his promotion to editor-in-chief. I clenched my fingers. Great. Not only was a vision of this man's death taunting me just out of eye contact, but he was the father of my ex.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Best Book I've Read in 2013

Yeah, so the year is hardly underway. But this book rocked. I didn't want to sleep or eat, I just wanted to read. And it's not even out yet!

It's a dystopian with a twist on the "I Am Legend" idea. Feels very familiar. We've had lots of books on this subject. But this one's different. How? Well, if I told you, I'd ruin it for you. Let's just say the main character is infected... I'll leave it at that.

The action slowed down a bit toward the end of the book, which was okay because it gave me a chance to put the book down and get some sleep. Also, I'm about sick of present tense books. It doesn't read right to me, and my brain spends the whole time trying to catch up. That was two books in a row for me, and I almost took a break from reading just for that reason.

But it must be only me, because they are all the rage right now.

Since the book isn't out until April, Amazon has a killer deal on the HARDCOVER right now. Just $10. Yeah, that's an ebook price, but it's for the hardcover. So if you think you'll like this book (and I think you will), just go ahead and get it now.

Oh, and it's a complete novel. No trilogy, no sequel, nada. (Not to say they couldn't make one, but it's not necessary.) So you're off the hook when you're done! Read it, I'd love to know what you think!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Party Begins!

It's started! I'll be doing random giveaways and trivia throughout the day via the online launch party.

The first one is up now! The first ten people to IM me via Facebook get a free ecopy of Inevitable!

Event #3! This is for the writers out there! I will do a 3-chapter in-depth critique/copy edit for one person! All you have to do to enter: Leave a comment with one line from your WIP!
Event #4: a repeat of #2! It requires a little more leg work but there is a $15 Amazon gift card at stake! Pick your favorite line from ALTERCATION and IM it to me. If you don't own the book, use Amazon's sample or online First Look to pick a line. Don't post in the comments!

One person will win the card!

Starts at 8pm CST and runs until midnight! Last event of the day!
 Launch is over! Winners announced soon!

on Smashwords
on Amazon
For Nook 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Get Ready, Get Set

Tomorrow launches the ebook of Inevitable!

Instead of doing a blog tour (because didn't I like just do one of those?), I'm having an online launch party on Facebook! We'll kick off the day with a huge book giveaway, and I'll keep on doing giveaways all day long, including ebooks, paper copies of my current books, Amazon gift cards, editing gift cards, etc.

Did I mention it will be HUGE? And participation will be super easy! Everyone's invited, so come join the party here!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Planning a Writer's Retreat

Last week I had the most awesome experience of attending a writer's retreat. This was not only my first one to ever attend, but it was also my first to organize!

Granted, if I had attended a writer's retreat before hand, I'm sure I would have been a better organizer. As it was, though, I thought things went incredibly well. Here are some of the things to consider when planning your retreat:

1) Location. While we'd all love a writer's retreat to some exotic island, who can really get there for a few days? The furthest anyone had to go for our retreat was four hours, and that's pretty far. But when you live in hill country (like we do), then making the drive to be with other writers is totally worth it. For others, who live surrounded by writers, more than thirty minutes might be too much.

2) Time of year. Even though I picked a touristy town with tons of things to do during the high season, in the dead of winter, the town was also, well, dead. Not to mention freezing. There really wasn't any temptation to leave the comfort of our cozy resort.

3) Number of days. While we'd all love to take two weeks off from everything and just write (sigh), the reality is, most of us are parents with commitments and jobs. Some people are going to prefer a retreat that includes the weekend so they don't have to lose so many business days. The people I organized it with were happy to have an end of the week, so we did a Wednesday through Saturday retreat.

4) Price. This is a clincher for many people. The more economical you can get it, the better. If you have an "in" somewhere, with friends or a vacation club or whatever, use it. I used an extra week available through our timeshare company.

5) Number of people. For me, this was a simple matter of mathematics: how many people could we fit in the condo? We filled every sleeping area comfortably. No one slept on the floor and no one slept in la-z-boys. We all had access to bathrooms and storage for our clothing. This made us happy. Some people might be fine with camping out all over the place. It just depends on your group!

6) Meal plan. Figure this out before the retreat starts. Is everyone on their own for each meal? Will the retreat provide each meal? A combination of both? I handed out meal assignments, and each person was responsible for one meal. Everyone brought their own snacks. On the last meal, we went out to celebrate our hard work. However, we also ended up with lots of food leftover. In the future, I don't think I'll hand out a breakfast assignment, but rather a brunch.

7) Agenda. Is everyone just going to sit and write for hours on end? Will you have time for socializing? Games? Goals? We took the time to set our goals for the week when we arrived. On the last day, we talked about if we'd accomplished our goals. I thought this would help everyone have a focus and feel like the retreat was worth their time. I know it helped me. I also gave out assignments for writing exercises and inspirational thoughts.

8) Payment. Everything worked out quite simply for my writer's retreat, but in the future, if I have to reserve a larger unit and we have more people coming, I plan to require a non-refundable deposit. We did have people drop out at the last minute and while everything went fine this time, if I have more money on the line, I want a guarantee that I'll at least get something.

The end result? We had a great time. I reached my goals. Everyone wants to do it again next year. And I'm always open to more tips for making it better! Share your ideas, if you have some!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Inevitable News

There are some very exciting happenings going on in my life. Some I will gladly share, others I'm going to sit on until all the details fully unravel.

But one thing I'm very excited about is the release of my new Young Adult novel, INEVITABLE!

Short synopsis:When Jayne Sees a murder through the victim’s eyes, she becomes obsessed with finding the killer. And then she discovers he's just as obsessed with finding her.

I'm so excited! The expected release date on ebook is Feb. 1. I love the book cover, I love the suspense and the romance in this book! I will, of course, keep you updated on what happens!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Read all about it!

I'm tired of being late.

I'm always reading books that came out last year or the year before. This year, I want to read books as they come off the presses. But I'm a bit behind. I have no idea what's coming out.

So tell me! Do you have a book coming out this year? I want to read it! Is your favorite author releasing a book this year? I want to read it!

At the end of this year, when people ask what my favorite book of 2013 was, I won't mention something that came out in 2011. :)
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