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Limited Time Pre-order Price – Puss without Boots

 

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Limited Time Pre-order Price

$0.99

The book will go up to 2.99 on the release day.

Click here to view the book on Amazon

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Available September 16, 2016

Finding your happily ever after is complicated when your matchmaker is a cat…

Etta’s happy with her simple life in the mill, but when her aunt passes and leaves her a very peculiar cat, everything goes awry. Now, determined to find her place in the world, Etta’s learning to hunt, having audiences with a king, and falling for a man who’s keeping something from her.

Beau’s happy at sea until his father passes and leaves him with an odd last request. Now he’s setting up shop in a small town, searching for ogres, and, inconveniently, falling for the miller’s sister—who just happens to be taken with someone else.

It soon becomes clear that if Etta and Beau want to get anywhere, they’ll need not only each other’s help, but the cat’s as well. But putting your trust in a feline is difficult, especially when you’re not exactly sure what it is he has planned…

A romantic retelling based on the original beloved fairy tale, Puss in Boots.

August Update

We started school last week. Our district begins early, and we like to loosely follow their schedule so we have days off with cousins, but it seemed so early this year (even though it was a week later than last year). Oddly enough, the weather seemed to follow the school schedule as well. Autumn is in the air. The mornings have been cooler, most of the wildflowers have finished blooming, and the trees have that early fall look about them. Everything is still green, but you can tell it’s all winding down.

School’s off to a good start, though I haven’t had as much time to write. We’re starting to settle into a schedule. Once we figure out this year’s routine, I’ll be good. It seems to change every year. The kids have been naturally starting earlier, getting things done faster, and we’ve had more time for extracurricular activities that we weren’t able to fit in last year.

A few days ago, I planned out a dinner menu for the rest of August and all of September. I had been using an app, but the food was getting a little too unique for our tastes, so I went back to doing it myself. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping it will help us eat at home more often because we’re terrible about that. I just don’t like to cook like I used to.

As for writing updates, here are the highlights (in bullet points because you know I love them):

  • I finished the first draft of Shine and Shimmer last week as I was hoping. I’ve been working on a release schedule, and I plan on publishing it in early March.
  • I finally have an idea that I’m excited about for the second Cabin. Coffee. Love. book. As you know, it’s been plaguing me. I’m not going to even tell you what it is. I plan to let it percolate a little and see where it goes. Hopefully, this one doesn’t fizzle out. I’ve never had as much trouble with a book as I’m having with this one. I know there are a lot of you patiently waiting. I just want to let you know I haven’t forgotten about it. I promise.
  • I’m halfway finished writing the short retelling of Rumplestilzchen for the multi-author fairy tale anthology I’m going to be a part of. I don’t have a lot of news on this yet, but I’ll fill you in as it gets closer.
  • Beauty in the Red Hood: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling has been temporarily put on hold due to the deadline for Rumplestilzchen. I should start working on it again next week.
  • Puss without Boots: A Puss in Boots Retelling is going into its final stages of production. In the next few weeks, it will be formatted and sent to the proofreaders.
  • I have decided to write the adult fantasy series I’m in the first stages of outlining under the pen name S. L. Cook. It’s easier to keep the young adult works separate. I’ll begin writing the first story as soon as I’m finished with Beauty.

And…I think that’s all for now. Have a great weekend, all!

 

The Liebster Award

Thank you so much to DODGRGRL for nominating me! Make sure you stop by her blog! She has a sweet heart, and her posts always make me smile. Not only does she run a lovely blog, but she does it while in school, which is quite an accomplishment!

About Me: Let’s do this as a list, shall we? Here it goes!

    • I write young adult fiction, both light fantasy and contemporary romance.
    • I’ve been married to my husband for twelve years, and we have two incredibly awesome, creative children.
    • I have a Saint Bernard, Gunther (he’s my lazy, drooly, mopey, lovebug).
    • I’ve lived in Western Colorado all my life, and it will always be home. As a family, we love to hike, camp, geocache, fish, and we’ve just started nature journaling.

1. What made you decide to start a blog? I wanted a way to connect with my readers, have a home base where people can go to find information on upcoming projects and so on. I admit I don’t blog as often as I should, but I do enjoy it very much.

2. If you could live for a day in another time period, what would it be? Hmm… Based on the fashion of the titled alone, I would have to say I would like to visit France in the early Baroque period (think Three Musketeers).

3. Have you traveled to another country? If so, where? Not yet.

4. What is your ideal place to live? Actually, I would like to be a modern-day gypsy (the Starbucks drinking, off-roading, can’t-give-up-my-daily-luxuries kind). Colorado will always have my heart, but, right now, I just want to go. Eventually, I’m quite sure we’ll settle down (even if it’s only in the summers) in Ouray, Cedaredge, or Carbondale.

5. What is your biggest goal in life? My children are both my greatest blessing and my greatest responsibility, and raising them to be thoughtful, strong, godly people is my biggest goal. “Train up a child in the way they should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22.6

6. If you could trade places with a historical person for a day, who would it be? I should have an awesome answer for this one, but, honestly, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and who I am.

7. What would be one piece of advice you have for new bloggers out there? Make it your own. Someone out there is bound to be interested in what you have to say, so just keep writing (even if it seems like, at first, no one cares).

8. Any favorite movies? Princess Bride!

9. How about favorite musicals? SO HARD. I practically lived on the stage in high school, and a lot come to mind. But my favorite??? I’m going to go with Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Others I like: Once Upon a Mattress, Grease, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.

10. Can you well imitate an accent besides your own? Yeah. Yeah, I can…and I might randomly do it when I’m bored.

11. Who is your biggest role model, and given the chance to speak with them, what would you say? Goodness, this is a hard question. I admire a great many people: my dad for his giving nature, my mom for her tenaciousness, my in-laws for their steadfast loyalty, Aunt Laurie and Uncle Jim for their faith, and Aunt Angie and Uncle Rick for their marriage. And of course, and most importantly, Jesus. Fortunately, I can speak with him every day.

This was fun! Once again, thank you DODGRGRL!

So, in the rules, I am to nominate as many people as I can who have less than 1000 followers, so consider this an open invitation. If you qualify, and you would like to participate, I hereby nominate YOU. Let me know if you do a post in the comments. I’d love to read what you have to say!

If you got nominated, here are the rules: Thank the person who nominated you. Answer the questions given (Questions will be the same). Nominate as many people as you can with under 1000 followers.

Writing Despite the Distractions

There’s one question I hear over and over again: When do you find time to write? But I think a more accurate way to phrase the question would be: How do you write despite the distractions?

Our lives are busy, aren’t they? One day we find ourselves in the middle of them, rushing from one thing to another, crossing just one more item off our lists. It’s hard to make time for anything, much less something as time-consuming as writing.

But it’s not impossible. Today, I’m going to tell you how I write despite the everyday chaos.

As some of you know, I homeschool my two children. It’s been an amazing blessing to me, and it’s something that I’ve guarded rather tenaciously. There have been times, especially when money was tight and we nearly lost everything several years ago, that people simply could not understand why I didn’t put them in daycare and get a normal job. But I’ll tell  you why–because it’s not what I was called to do. I knew it then; I know it now.

And I will be honest, there are days it’s harder now than it was even then because I love to write. Uninterrupted hours would be bliss. I can’t even imagine the joy of it. And yet, we still homeschool. Because my husband and I have decided this small chunk of time we have with our children, this opportunity we have to teach them and be with them, is too important to exchange for anything. So how do I get anything done? I write when they’re doing individual work, during our midday break, before dinner, and after they go to bed. Oh, yeah. And during the summer. The blissful, blissful summer.

Like everyone else, I also have the day in, day out sort of stuff–cooking, cleaning, dentist appointments, yard stuff, grocery shopping, bill paying, telephones ringing, doorbells ringing…it goes on and on.

So keeping that in mind, here’s how I write despite the distractions:

  • First, and most importantly, I try to write at least 1000 words a day, which really isn’t much. But by the end of the year, that’s 365,000 words. My YA books range from 60,000 – 80,000 words. So, at the minimum, that’s an average of six books a year–or maybe four books and a few novellas or novelettes. Now, I said try. There are days I simply don’t get any writing in, and there are days I get closer to 5,000 words. So it all averages out. I usually finish a novel in about a month and a half.
  • I have learned to block out the television. You know what keeps the kids happy in the evening before dinner? That’s right, a movie. Luckily, my kids are on an animal documentary kick (thank you Netflix!), so I don’t even feel guilty because they’re learning as they watch.
  • Music. At some point in the last few months, I have learned to write while listening to music, even the stuff with words. It really helps to block out the background noise, like sprinklers and lawn mowers and neighborhood kids playing. I’m super sensitive to all of that, and there are days it makes writing nearly impossible. Pandora and Spotify have helped, but I’ll tell you, I might have to subscribe because the commercials will jar me right out of a good writing session.
  •  Sometimes I write in the middle of the night. Yeah, I know it’s not healthy. But, wow, it’s quiet. Why do I do this? Well, my dog has this really annoying habit of waking up at about two or three in the morning and needing to go out. I have the hardest time going back to sleep, and sometimes it’s easier just to write it out and then crash at four or five instead of staring at the ceiling for hours.
  • Sometimes, on days I have a tight deadline or if I’m totally stressing out, I don’t answer my phone or the door. I figure a lot of people can’t take personal calls when they’re at work, why should I?
  • I rarely watch television. We don’t even have cable or satellite. When I do feel like watching something, it’s on Netflix. Think about how much time you spend in front of the TV. Now think how much writing you could get done if you stopped that.
  • I have learned to accept the fact that we don’t have a pretty yard. We have weeds, people. *Gasp.* Long, long ago, I used to have a vegetable garden. I used to have flowers. Now I have a few scraggly zinnias in some neglected-looking pots along the driveway. It’s sad and a little depressing, but I can’t do everything. We are very seriously looking into buying a condo where all the yard work is done for us. Or taking off in an RV and living like gypsies. I’m not joking.
  • Not everything is homemade. It used to be, at one point. Boxes of food? I think not. Frozen meals? Nope! But now…well. Yeah. I don’t even remember the last time I made homemade rolls. Oh, yes I do. It was for Thanksgiving.

But every day is not perfect. Here are the distractions that can completely derail a good writing session (which sometimes means I give up, and we go to Starbucks):

  • The kids are grouchy/fighting/tired/hungry/bored/extra needy–I just can’t. I’m not going to get any good writing in, and I’ll just end up snarling at them like a mama tiger.
  • The days the dog needs out fifty billion times. And then he needs in. And then he needs out. Honestly, I love the monster, but there are times I really miss the dog door.
  • Group text messages. These are EVIL. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will destroy my focus faster than a string of these. And I can’t take myself out of the conversation because, if I do, I’ll get a whole bunch of individual texts asking if I’m mad. Honestly. Honestly.
  • The Internet…I don’t know what to do about this beast. Some days, it just gets me. Facebook, Twitter, email, stat pages, writing forums–there’s no escaping the allure of wasting hours doing absolutely nothing. It’s horrifying. Some days it’s better for me to just walk away.

So there you go, that’s how I find time to write. I just make it a priority, and I do my best to block everything else out while I’m working. No day is perfect, and some days are worse than others. But, so far, I think it’s going pretty well.

 

Free For a Limited Time – Pippa of Lauramore

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Hey guys! To celebrate the release of Audette of Brookraven, the final book in The Eldentimber Series, the Kindle edition of Pippa of Lauramore is free for a limited time.

Be sure to pick it up before it goes back to its normal price!

Click here to download Pippa of Lauramore on Amazon

Release Day! Audette of Brookraven

Release Day is finally here! The Kindle edition of Audette of Brookraven, the final book in The Eldentimber Series is now available on Amazon.

I loved writing this series, and it’s bittersweet to have finally come to an end. I truly hope you enjoy it.

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 The Final Chapter in The Eldentimber Series

When Audette pictured her wedding day, she never imagined leaving her intended at the altar. And though Irving, a prince with a reputation for trouble, never cared to picture the grand event (and had rather hoped he could somehow avoid it altogether), he certainly wouldn’t have imagined being abandoned.

But when Audette receives a cry for help from the mysterious, secret order she leads, the princess doesn’t think twice about jilting Irving. With her brother and closest friend at her side, and her loyal order of knights anxiously awaiting her arrival, Audette travels to the distant island kingdom of Ptarma, not once expecting Irving to follow her.

But that’s exactly what he does.

Now, trapped together until the ships sail again in spring, Audette must learn to get along with the infuriating prince if she’s to track down the darkness that’s wreaking havoc in the night. For in the shadows, the dark beast of legend looms, and only together will they have a chance of defeating it…

Cover Reveal – Puss without Boots: A Puss in Boots Retelling

 

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Click here to pre-order

Finding your happily ever after is complicated when your matchmaker is a cat…

Etta’s happy with her simple life in the mill, but when her aunt passes and leaves her a very peculiar cat, everything goes awry. Now, determined to find her place in the world, Etta’s learning to hunt, having audiences with a king, and falling for a man who’s keeping something from her.

Beau’s happy at sea until his father passes and leaves him with an odd last request. Now he’s setting up shop in a small town, searching for ogres, and, inconveniently, falling for the miller’s sister—who just happens to be taken with someone else.

It soon becomes clear that if Etta and Beau want to get anywhere, they’ll need not only each other’s help, but the cat’s as well. But putting your trust in a feline is difficult, especially when you’re not exactly sure what it is he has planned…

A romantic retelling based on the original beloved fairy tale, Puss in Boots.

View the book on Amazon.com

Camping Pictures

As promised, here are some pictures from this weekend’s camping trip! You can check out more on Cruisin’ on Down the Bunny Trail, a new blog that my husband and I are putting together. We’re nearing our goal of becoming a full-time RV family (it’s looking like just a couple more years!), and we’ve decided to not only blog about our travels, but also write Kindle campground guides for each of Colorado’s counties.

It’s a big undertaking, but it’s mostly Jake’s baby. Don’t worry, my fiction publishing schedule will remain the same! In fact, I’m off to write! Have a great week, everyone.

Camping Craziness

You know what’s fun? Camping.

You know what’s not fun? Packing up to go camping.

We leave tomorrow for a four-day weekend. I’ve been at this since Monday, and my brain just hurts. I’m a list maker, and I have so many unchecked things that I can’t cross off until we leave in the morning, it’s making me twitchy. I like to cross things off. I like the way the list looks when there are all those neat little lines through everything.

Also, I’m not positive we’re going to fit everything in my little Jeep. For most families, this probably wouldn’t be a problem. But I’m thinking most families don’t have this:

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He’s a sweetheart, isn’t he? He’s also a giganotosaurus. He truly takes up the entire back. We can fit our cooler in with him, but that’s about it, which means we need to strap some things to the top…which makes Jake crazy. Crazy. He says we’ll look like a bunch of goobers. And I keep telling him I don’t care. Anyway.

Wish us luck. I’ll try to post some pictures when we get back!