Christmas, Fantasy, & Cover Reveals!!

Baby it’s cold outside! Neighbors are putting up their decorations, shopping ensues, and carols are being sung. Can you believe it’s already December 1st? We are another day closer to the biggest celebration of the year. A time to remember the miraculous birth of Jesus and celebrate Him and the many blessings we’ve received by His coming.

Paperback & Kindle WQ2

Winter has always been my favorite time of year. Something so magical happens when December arrives. Among these warm and fuzzy feelings, for me, the best thing to do is curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Oh, how I love my books! 😉

But, at this time of year, part of the magic is how my inspiration soars! In case any of you were in doubt, Winter Queen was inspired in December.

I wanted to create a winter wonderland. A magical place where winter was fast approaching and the world becoming covered in a blanket of sparkly white was imminent. Where winter was not only beautiful, but important to the land. This built into a fantasy novel like no other I ever thought I’d write. I’ve always found winter to be such a lovely time, full of kindness, grace, and love.

AstraWriting Winter Queen was a magical experience. Writing Book 2 has been equally amazing. Coming back to all the characters I came to love in Book 1 is so satisfying, whenever I begin work on the second book of a series. The characters from my fantasy series in particular, however, are so special. I can take them anywhere; they can do anything. And it all happens during the fiercest winter their world has ever seen. If you’ve read the first book, then you already know when the first snow of Winter falls upon Nfaros. Anticipating book 2? I hope you are! Because I have been working very hard to see it completed. But the story won’t end there, so make sure you keep following my progress.

If you have read Winter Queen, I hope you’ll let me know! Reviews are very important to the survival of a book, and the reviews I have received for this new release of mine have been very encouraging. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know people have read and loved your story. Especially when you put it all out there in a book like a fantasy! I think thoseDamariare particularly frightening for a writer. The entire story comes from the author’s imagination. No historical facts. To create a world and the people in it entirely from my own imagination was scary! I didn’t know if it would sound ridiculous, or even make sense. Thankfully, it seems to have received the reaction I was looking for. 🙂

In case you were wondering, you still have a chance to win a free, signed copy of Winter Queen (The Winter Queen series #1) on Goodreads! Follow this link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/260480-winter-queen and enter for your chance to win!!

Speaking of fantasy novels … there are so many authors out there who love to write in this genre! So many who enjoy it, too, even if they don’t write it. Which brings me to the cover reveal mentioned in the title. I am very happy to help promote this debut novel from Laurie Lucking.

Laurie is such a sweet person! She was the first to respond to my request for endorsements for Winter Queen and she gave me a beautiful review! I am so very thankful to have met her and very excited to be a part of her cover reveal team for her upcoming release, Common. So–drumroll please–here is the cover and description for Laurie Lucking’s soon-to-be-released novel:

One person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.Common

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.

And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.

But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.

Harbored by a mysterious group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.

Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?

Now, how GORGEOUS is that cover? I absolutely love the glow surrounding the young woman who takes front and center! I already know Miss Laurie is a beautiful writer based on her endorsement for Winter Queen and am very much looking forward to reading Common.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope you all have a blessed and merry Christmas! Don’t forget, Winter Queen is available to purchase on Barnes & Noble and Amazon!

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It’s Here!

I am so happy to announce that Winter Queen has officially released! It is now available to order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Winter QueenIf you missed the Facebook launch party on the 17th, I wanted to let you all know it was super fun! Lots of people checked in and participated, but I think the big success of the evening was the Rafflecopter contest! We had two winners come out of that and I look forward to doing another one soon!

Here’s a little description of Book 1 of The Winter Queen Series now available to order:

She will bring a storm like none they’ve ever seen … and change the world forever.

It’s been five years since Roderick Kael murdered King Vihaan Sundragon, claiming the throne of Sunkai and all of Nfaros for himself. Five years since the Princesses Adlae, Mirae, and Brae were forced to give up everything they’ve ever known. Five years since the Creator of All allowed winter’s snow to fall. But now the wind stirs with a familiar chill. Winter is coming down from the Ice Mountains, brought by the only one who can wield the storm. The Winter Queen herself.

In a faraway wood, one who survived watches and waits for her chance to reclaim what is hers by blood and birthright. Within the walls of the city, another bears the burden of survival and the consequences that came with it. Across the sea, from the distant mountains, two strangers come in search of one who can save them from the ice of winter. 

Within the palace of Sunkai, evil stirs. Loyalties are tried; love tested. And amidst these strange events, the Winter Queen prepares her storm … and Nfaros is not ready for her rage.

The Sundragon Sisters2

I am super excited to share these characters with you! This story blossomed into something I never expected and the three Sundragon sisters are very dear to my heart now. When I wrote this book, I knew I wanted to create strong sibling bonds, as well as fierce female characters to inspire readers. I truly hope I accomplished that!

I hope you will enjoy this story and these characters as much as I enjoyed writing about them! Don’t forget, Winter Queen is now available to order!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

WINTER QUEEN Launch Party!

I am so excited about the release of my upcoming fantasy novel Winter Queen (The Winter Queen Series, #1). To celebrate, I have scheduled a special launch party for the release of the novel and I would like to invite all of you!

On October 17th, we will have our Facebook party where you will have the chance to win some prizes, learn more about the book, and just have some fun! This event is for everyone, even if you’re not super crazy about speculative fiction. 🙂

The link for the event is posted below. Hope you’ll stop by on the 17th!! 🙂

Winter Queen

Click Here for Event: Winter Queen Launch Party!

Cover Reveal!

I am so thrilled to reveal the cover for my upcoming release Winter Queen (The Winter Queen Series, #1)! When I was putting together my thoughts on how I wanted the cover for this first fantasy novel of mine, I knew it would be complicated. I worried that we wouldn’t be able to do exactly what I wanted.

Imagine how happy I was when the cover designer completely met my expectations and created a cover that is perfect! It’s what I asked for and far more beautiful than I thought it would be.

So, without further delay, here is the cover for Winter Queen!!!

Winter Queen

The Hard Part

I don’t think I could sum up in one blog post how much I’ve learned from becoming a published author. It’s impossible to do so. When my debut novel was published, I was in a daze for most of it. I was swept up in a whirlwind of agents, editors, publishers, other authors, and new readers (who terrified me! What if they didn’t like my book?!).

I wonder if a lot writers believe the hard part is writing the novel and finding someone to publish it. I know I did. All those years of writing, entering contests, getting rejected … I thought that was going to be the hard part. When I received my contract, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, ‘Yay! Hard part’s over!’

I was wrong.

The hard part had only just begun.

Because it doesn’t stop. From there, you have the editing, the formatting, choosing the cover design, the endorsements, the marketing and promotion …

There is no magical, invisible team that comes to your rescue in this. Even if you do have a team at your back to help you with all of this, you as the author are still responsible for spreading the word. For getting people interested in your work.

My point? Not to discourage, but to encourage. As a writer, prepare yourself for all of this by getting a head start. You’ll be happier, trust me! If you’re reserved like me, then it might be hard for you to get the word out there. But the more connections you make, the easier things will be.

I was so nervous last year when I had to search out endorsements from authors. I was told no by several, but yes by some. This year, it felt even harder for me to do this for my upcoming release! I’m still nervous about it. Because, as an author who also works five days out of the week at an outside job, I know how difficult it would be to put aside time to read a novel by someone I barely know and come up with a favorable endorsement for it. In the meantime, you’re working on edits with your publisher, waiting on your cover design choices to select from, and hoping beyond hope the word is getting out about your book so people will buy when it’s released!

So, when is the hard part over? When do things get easier?

I think the hard part is never over … but, in the end, it’s all worth it! Because, at the end of the day, your book is published! And people LIKE IT.

Be prepared. Set your goals. Get ready to work hard. Because while the entire process can be laced with stress, having the novel you’ve been working on for a long time published is the best feeling in the world. 🙂

Big Announcement!

Are you ready for a new book? Ready to curl up in your favorite blanket with a steaming cup of hot chocolate to read a tale of ice and magic?

Then you’re ready for my upcoming new release The Winter Queen! 🙂

The Winter Queen was something I wrote just for fun when I was in a writing slump. I never thought it would go anywhere beyond something I would look back on and enjoy for myself. Its journey has been incredible to watch! I never imagined it coming as far as it has. Which, of course, makes its publication all the more special!
Coming Soon WQ...3  The Winter Queen has been planned as a series of books about three young princesses attempting to take back their father’s throne in the midst of the coming winter storm. It follows not only their loyalty and love for one another, but the lives of all the people around them who love them in return. It is the first project I’ve worked on with SO many POVs, which makes it difficult to write.

Filled with magic, fairies, and mysterious dragon people, The Winter Queen series is probably the most intricate and complicated story I’ve ever written. Because when you’re dealing with so many different places and mystical cultures in one, long story, leaving the littlest detail out isn’t an option. Then, when you mix in magic … well, you discover it might also be the most fun you’ve had writing in a while. 😉

FrostlingsThe best part of this, was discovering everything this book could be. When The Winter Queen was one of three finalists in the ACFW First Impressions Contest in 2014, I was stunned. When it was offered a contract for publication, I was ecstatic. It made me realize this book could actually be something more than just some private entertainment for myself. It could actually make other people smile too and I wanted that more than anything.

So, who is the Winter Queen? Who are these three princesses of the land called Nfaros? What are Frostlings? Where do the dragon people dwell?

Interested yet? 😉

Check out the blurb for The Winter Queen on Goodreads, here. Oh, and don’t forget to add it to your to-read shelf!

Why Do Reviews Matter?

Good Morning everyone!

Can you believe April is almost over? A few more days and we’ll be entering May; almost halfway through the year already! This made me realize that my debut novel, The Lost Generation: A Novel of World War I is almost SIX MONTHS OLD!!!!

Yet I also realized how little feedback I’ve gotten from readers. The feedback I have gotten is wonderful! I’m pleased with how well-received my book has been so far. But it truly hit me how difficult it is to get reviews on your book when you’re a new author. Your name isn’t out there the way you want it to be; people have heard of you, but because you’re so new, they’re not in much of a rush to read your book. They don’t know you; have never read anything else by you because this is your first book baby.

So why do reviews matter? Why is it so important for you, as a reader, to write a review on a book you liked? Maybe even on a book that wasn’t exactly your cup of tea, but that you think someone else might enjoy?

One very important thing is exposure.

Authors, especially new authors, desperately need exposure. We’re not authors because it pays well. Usually–especially for self-published authors–it doesn’t. We’re authors because we love to write. Stories are a part of us, and we can’t rest until they’re on the page. Reviews can break an author’s heart sometimes, but the amount of reviews is what matters more sometimes.

One thing I discovered when I became an author was that if I received 50 reviews on Amazon, my book would be listed in their newsletter, as well as other promotions. I was so excited about that! Then I realized that actually getting 50 reviews was going to be the hard part. An author’s job doesn’t stop when the book is finished and in print. Even when we think we’ve run out of promotional ideas, we don’t give up. We want our books to be a success. We worked so hard to write this story so we could share it and its lessons with the world.

Another thing I learned about reviews is they don’t have to be long and elaborate. I think that’s a common misconception about reviews. A lot of readers think that if they really, really liked a book, they need to write a long review to let people know exactly what it is they liked about it. I know that this opinion has made me put off writing a review on books I liked because, at the moment, I didn’t have the time for it. But putting it off means that I’m probably going to forget about it.

Reviews don’t need to be long. They can be as short as ‘I liked it’. This helps! It’s the amount of reviews that matter most, not necessarily the content. It also makes an author a better writer. Even if you didn’t care for my book, if you write your honest opinion, it can make me a better writer. 🙂

A lot of you have probably seen my call for reviews on my novel The Lost Generation. A lot of you may have even found it annoying how often I ask. But there is a reason, and promoting my book is also very hard. I do my best with my limited resources. Did you know there is more I could do? But promoting the way I’d like to costs money. So, basically, it’s up to me to grab every opportunity that comes my way for interviews, social media posts, etc. that don’t cost me.

But one way I can get my book promoted is if you help me out! The more reviews I get, the more my book will start popping up on websites. The more it will be recommended and seen.

So now, I’m going to make another request … 😉

If you’ve read my book, liked it (or even didn’t like it all that much but think someone else might), I’d love to hear your opinion!

Goodreads

Amazon

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