Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 The Year In Review

Well, 2013 is almost here! Time to reflect on the last year. I set goals every year on this blog. I can tell you without even looking that I accomplished almost none of the ones I set for myself in 2012. But I'm going to let myself slide this one time because 2012 was a wild and crazy ride, filled with incredibly high highs and terribly low lows.

We had several sudden and unexpected deaths in our family this year--some that are still really hard to accept. In my immediate family, we were faced with a health crisis that commanded pretty much all of our time and attention--something obscure and chronic. While things have improved one thousandfold thanks to some pretty incredible doctors, we must remain vigilant at all times. It has been challenging, to say the least. On that note, I just want to say: be kind to each other. You truly never know what people are struggling with behind closed doors. Even people who put on a sunny face to the rest of the world.

BUT . . . a lot of amazing things happened to me this past year--lifelong dreams were realized. I got married. Published a book. Met my bestie in person for the first time. Met several of my writing idols.

I also connected with many talented writers this year, and I got to see many of my writing buddies get published or get an agent.  It's been so exciting to be on this journey with others--sharing ups and downs.  What I want to say to all of you as we go into 2013 is this:


Thank you to all of you for stopping by, for reading, for leaving words of encouragement, for your unending support and for all of your help with my writing endeavors.  

I wish you all good health, good fortune and crazy success in the coming year!

In terms of goals, I will set the following for myself:

Exercise 2x a week
Finish a sparkling draft of Hold Still to send off to my agent
Read at least 5 books on the craft (of writing that is)

I still have a number of posts planned:  on 1/8/13 I'll be featuring Becca Ann's Reasons I Fell for The Funny Fat Friend; on 1/14/13 I'll be hosting the fabulously talented Libby Heily who is releasing her debut novel, Tough Girl on that day.  Do NOT miss that one!  On 1/21/12 I'll be hosting Elizabeth Seckman for her Healing Summer Blog Tour.  I'm trying to get Donna Huston Murray as well for a post in January or February.  I'll hopefully have a chance to do my Books I Lost Sleep Over in 2012 post and as I said before, I want to do at least one post on my post-release thoughts.  So if there's anything you want to know about after-the-book-is-out, please leave your questions below! 

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Are You Tired of Me Yet? (Also, winners and a new giveaway!)

So I've been all in your faces for the last two weeks online with my Finding Claire Fletcher blog tour.  You're probably all sick of seeing me and my book and wondering where the heck I've been in terms of commenting on your blogs.

So first I want to say THANK YOU to all my blog tour hosts.  You guys have been so supportive and encouraging and wonderful--I am so blessed and grateful for each one of you!  Also THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by along the tour and took the time to comment!  I really appreciate it.

Second, yes, I've been remiss in my blogging duties the last two weeks.  You'd think it's because I'm busy with FCF launch stuff but actually, a lot of other things are going on.  Unfortunately, my home has been ravaged by illness the last few weeks--round and round it goes--including 2 cold/flus, one surgical procedure and one pretty scary health concern with my child.  Not to mention me being forehead-deep in edits for my second book, preparing for the holidays and oh yeah, working full time to keep the roof over our sick heads!  So I sincerely apologize and hope to catch up on all your blogs in the next week!  If I didn't respond to an email or a comment or I haven't been by your blog recently, I promise I'm not being an a world class jerk.  I'm just a bit overwhelmed by situations out of my control.  Just please know I am so grateful for each and every one of you who stop by this blog, who hosted me and who stopped along the tour and I do promise to catch up!

Third, I'd like to announce the blog tour winners!

$25.00 Amazon gift card:  Brian Miller
Signed Paperback Copy of Finding Claire Fletcher:  Linda McMann
Ebook copy of Finding Claire Fletcher:  Peggy Edelman

Thank you to everyone who participated.

Stay tuned for a lengthy post on my post-release thoughts--if you have any questions you want me to address in this post, leave them below!  :)

Finally, awesome news!  This week only several of my publisher's titles (in ebook format) will be on sale for only $0.99!  Including Finding Claire Fletcher.  Also they'll be giving away an Ipad2! Once I get a link to enter the giveaway, I will post it!  So check this out, here are some details:

SSP's Merry Jubilee

From Christmas to New Year's, we're celebrating YOU with $0.99 books and a chance to win an iPad 2!

Stuff your stocking with some of Sapphire Star's hottest books for just $0.99

Plus, DON'T miss your chance at winning an iPad 2, details below

The Mistaken by Nancy S. Thompson
Carter's Treasure by Amy Gregory
When We Collide by A.L. Jackson
The Restaurant @ The Mill by Linn B. Halton
Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells
Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot
Dangerous Embrace by Dana Mason
The Quintessential Gemini by Linn B. Halton
Murder In Silence by Gary Kassay

Official Giveaway Rules:
Giveaway Prize:  One (1) Apple® - iPad® 2 with Wi-Fi – 16 GB – White. No purchase necessary. This contest is void where prohibited by law. Entrants must follow Rafflecopter instructions. One (1) winner will be picked via Rafflecopter and will be notified by email within three days of end of contest. If a winner is unreachable after seven (7) days, or if that winner is unavailable for prize fulfillment, an alternate winner will be selected.  Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Contest entrants agree to abide by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of the contest commissioners, which are final on all matters pertaining to the contest. Entrants grant to Sapphire Star Publishing the right to use and publish their name online. All results posted are unofficial until winner responds to e-mail notification. Contest ends on January 2, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. PST. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's here! It's here! Release Day! Claire Fletcher is At Large!

Looking for the Finding Claire Fletcher Blog Tour Giveaway?

Click here.

Okay, so yeah, that's a little obnoxious but my plan is just to leave this post up till the end of the blog tour so if people meander over to my blog, they'll know where to go to enter the giveaway!

Anyway, today is the big day!  RELEASE DAY!  Today my first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher, my book baby, 8 years in the making, is being released into the world!

I can't quite believe it!

So let's see.  First, I want to thank all of you.  I've leaned heavily on this writing community during the last couple of years of my journey.  I've made some amazing friends and met some truly brilliant writers.  I've found commiseration and inspiration and above all, support and encouragement.  So thank you.  Thank you for stopping by and for all the kind words you've left.

Thanks to my hosts who have so graciously given up space on their blogs to talk about my book.  You guys are the best, and I am humbled by your enthusiasm and generosity!

Before I go any further, here are the purchase links. FYI the paperback is $16.99 and the ebook is $3.99.


And here is the schedule!  I won't be here the next 2 weeks, I'll be everywhere else!

Thursday, December 6, 2012:  Release Day!  Woo Hoo!  Guest Post on My Writing Process for Finding Claire Fletcher at Emily Unraveled!  I'll also be at the brilliant Nicky Wells' Hall of Fame talking about 10 Things You'd Be Surprised to Know About Me.  Also read an excerpt on Front Row Lit!

Friday, December 7, 2012:  Bards & Prophets (Guest post on Finding An Agent)

Saturday, December 8, 2012:  nobody blogs on Saturdays, right?  No posts!

Sunday, December 9, 2012:  Sundays are for catching up on the last week of blogs, right?  No posts!

Monday, December 10, 2012:  Interview on Nancy S. Thompson's blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012: Cassie Mae - Interview

Wednesday, December 12, 2012:  Interview on Melissa Maygrove's blog.

Thursday, December 13, 2012:  Libby Heily Guest Post with Excerpt - on writing a scene and talking about it/J.C. Martin Guest Post on Perseverance in Pursuing Goals

Friday, December 14, 2012:  Falling for Fiction and I'll be over at Use Your Words with the incomparable Elizabeth Seckman (Find out why Braveheart is one of my favorite Christmas movies).

Saturday, December 15, 2012:  Does anyone read blogs on weekends?

Sunday, December 16, 2012:  does anyone read blogs on weekends?

Monday, December 17, 2012:  I'll be over at So, You're a Writer telling secrets

Tuesday, December 18, 2012:  Julie Flanders at What Else is Possible - Guest Post "When Did You Know You Wanted to Be a Writer?"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012:  I'll be over at Writing With Hope.  I'll also be doing a Guest Post about my first writers conference at Leave it to Livia.

Thursday, December 20, 2012:  Guest Post on Why I Write at the Wizardry of Otin.  Details to follow. Also, guest post on Ten Things I Wish I'd Know Before I Sent My First Query at The Serial Killer Files - Jennifer Hillier

Friday, December 21, 2012:  Interview at The Doubting Writer with Jeff O'Handley

Finally, I want to draw your attention to my bestie and her amazing novel:  Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken.  It is one of the best thrillers I've ever read.  She is being promoted by Writers 4 Writers starting today so check out her book!

Also, if you head over to this blog post, you'll find some tweets about The Mistaken that you can copy and paste to help Nancy promote this awesome book!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Look Here! The Look Meme

The talented and intriguing L.G. Smith over at Bards and Prophets tagged me in this Look Meme awhile back.  Her post is here.  It's fabulous.

Apparently I'm supposed to find the first time I use the word look in my WIP and paste in the surrounding paragraph(s).  Then tag some people.  So I am going to go with my actual WIP, Hold Still, rather than my second novel, Aberration since that is in edits right now.  The overused word look actually appears in Hold Still's first chapter but I already posted that bad boy here, so I'm going to with the next place it's found, the second chapter.  FYI, Hold Still is about a female Philadelphia detective who is tasked with solving a bizarre series of sex crimes.  Yeah, I don't have the pitch worked out totally yet.  This chapter is about one of the soon-to-be victims.

Here's the paragraph(s):

Her mother’s footsteps sounded in the hall.  Anita always recognized the sound of her mama’s footsteps—distinct from those of her children.  At ten and fourteen, Anita’s children had heavy feet—they trudged and clomped; her mother’s step was lighter.
            “She’s smoking,” her mother told Sasha.  “Go get in there and do your homework.”
            Sasha plodded off.  Anita’s mother rattled the door knob.  Anita opened the door and confronted her mother.  Lila Grant seemed shorter, smaller than ever.  The skin over her cheeks had hollowed out, making her face look sunken.  The skin was shiny and taut where her collarbones met at the hollow of her throat, two unnaturally large knobs.  The cancer treatments were wasting her down to nothing. 
            “Mama,” Anita said, her voice softening at the sight of her mother.  “I’m thirty four years old.  If I want to smoke, I’ll smoke.”
            Lila raised an eyebrow and sniffed the air, leaning slightly into the bathroom.  “Long as it’s just Newports.”  She took in Anita’s clothes and make up and folded her arms across her middle, her eyebrow a perfect steeple.  “Where you goin?”
            Anita sighed and gathered the cosmetics she’d left on the counter.  She swept them into her purse.  “Out,” she said.  Lila blocked the doorway.  She stared at Anita hard, the look in her eyes popping the cork on Anita’s long-held, bottomless well of guilt.  Lila glanced down the hall where they could both hear Sasha talking to her brother, Terrence. 
            “Nita,” her mother whispered, the word something between a plea and a warning. 
            Anita looked at her feet, swallowed and looked back at her mother, steeling her resolve.  “It’s not what you think, Mama.”

Some other tidbits, my Finding Claire Fletcher launch is just around the corner which means you'll be seeing me and my book everywhere you turn--I apologize in advance for the blitz.  To make up for it, I'll be hosting a giveaway along with the tour.  I'll be giving away 3 prizes:  a $25.00 Amazon gift card; a signed paperback copy of FCF and an ebook version of FCF.  Stay tuned for details.  It kicks off on 12/6! Once again, thank you so much to all my gracious hosts for your kindness, enthusiasm and generosity!

Finally, I am going to tag the following people for the LOOK Meme.  Only two! 

Julie Flanders at What Else is Possible

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cover Reveal for Natasha Hanova's Edge of Truth

Hi guys!  I'm excited to be part of the reveal team for my SSP Pub sister, Natasha Hanova's upcoming novel, Edge of Truth.  The cover is pretty awesome so check it out!  Her and I will have releases on the same day!  June 6, 2013.  Exciting stuff!

Title: Edge of Truth
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing  

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Dystopian
Release Date: June 6, 2013
Book Description:
Long Synopsis

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Edge of Truth

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a safe, healthy, happy, abundant Thanksgiving, everyone!  If you go shopping, may you not get trampled.

I am grateful for each and everyone of you who stops by my blog and to all of you who have consistently shown me such incredible support along my writing journey!

I'm also grateful for (in no particular order) our troops, health insurance, an amazing family, great friends, the absolutely incomparable doctor who helped our family this year, having a job, sugary treats, readers and that my debut novel is being published this year!  Oh and 5 star reviews!

Here are some creations from my resident artist.  She's 5.

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Finding Claire Fletcher Book Trailer and Other Awesome Stuff

I'd like to thank Carrie A. Butler for her help with this.  I actually made my own trailer and then sent it to her for approval.  She worked her magic and this is the result!  So thank you, Carrie for saving my technologically challenged butt once again!


Some other awesome stuff:

The winner of my Something Amazing Giveaway, who will receive a signed copy of Finding Claire Fletcher is . . . Prosecutor's Discretion!  Yay!  I will be in touch!

If you didn't win, don't be discouraged.  I'm running a Goodreads giveaway and will be giving away more signed copies in the near future!

You should also check out the I Miss You Blogfest going on today, being hosted by super bloggers, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Matthew MacNish, and Andrew Leon!  It looks like a good one!

Also there is a cool new group that's been formed called Writers 4 Writers courtesy of Stephen Tremp, Mary Pax, C.M. Brown, and Christine Rains which is designed to:

• Help writers bring awareness of their book(s) to tens of thousands of new people
• Help writers reach Amazon Top 100 in at least one category (suspense, free, whatever)
• Increase sales of their book(s) after the promo is over
• Drive new traffic to their blog and increase following
• Create verbal and viral buzz.

Every month, one to three spotlighted authors will choose a social media avenue such as Twitter or Facebook (or both).  On the selected day, the authors will post pre-written Tweets on their blogs.  At your convenience, simply copy and paste Tweets into Twitter. Or go to #W4WS on Twitter and Retweet other Tweets.

And for Facebook, the authors will also post an image of their book along with a short blurb and a link to Kindle on their blog. Visitors simply click the Facebook page then share the link with their FB friends and Writers Groups.

That’s an incredibly large new audiences the author could not reach on their own.  Imagine, a hundred bloggers over a few days Tweeting and sharing links for new books and reaching potentially tens of thousands of new people!

And their first featured writer is none other than my bestie, the amazingly talented Nancy S. Thompson!  Woo hoo!  I can't think of a more deserving writer to kick things off!

BTW you can get her book here.  You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Something Amazing

What is THAT?  Is that my dream come true?  Right there in that regular old box?  It IS!!!!!!

I recently received a shipment of my debut novel, Finding Claire Fletcher.  For the first time, I got to hold my own book in my hands.

I'm not even going to try to tone this down.  Besides the birth of my child, this is the best feeling ever.  Best. Feeling. Ever. Seriously.  Here, look at them again from a different angle:

I sat down to write THAT book in 2004.  For eight years, those words and those characters have been bouncing around in my head.  I toiled and labored over every single stinking word in there. My relationship with Claire Fletcher has (for now) outlasted every relationship I've ever had with a man.  (The hubs hopes to change that of course!  LOL).  I started querying for THAT book in 2006.  For six years I've fought hard to see it published. I've been told no so many times, it's a second language.  I've read it so many times I could practically recite it.  And now here it is!  Those are my words in there.  How ridiculously insanely crazy is that?  It's still so surreal I don't really know what to say about it other than if you're still working toward this--don't stop.  It's totally worth it.  I've been working toward this since I was 11 years old.  I've got 4 crappy young adult novels, one opus of a literary novel and countless other unfinished projects under my bed.  Finally, something I've written will now make it into the hands of readers!

If I can do it, you can do it.

If you need some extra umph, read my What if Something Amazing Happens post!  Which, by the way, has surpassed every other one of my blog posts to be the single most-read blog post I've ever written.  Which is kind of cool.  So in honor of my something amazing actually happening, I am going to give away a signed copy of the paperback to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is comment below and I'll pick a winner using and announce that person on 11/16/12 when the FCF trailer is released!

So comment away and tell me something amazing that happened to you recently--finish a draft?  Blazing through your Nano project?  Put yourself out there into the querying fray for the first time?  Receive positive feedback from someone for something you've written?  Get a request from an agent or a publisher?  Sign any contracts?  Publish anything?  Every step is important!!!!

Oh and finally, here's me and my book.  Can't believe it.  (And my husband thought I was joking when I said I was going to sleep with it!  Tee hee hee)

Keep pulling the rope, everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interview with Author, Katie Mettner

Today, I'm excited to welcome author Katie Mettner.  Her first novel, Sugar's Dance is available now.  You can get it here.  Her second novel, Sugar's Song was released on 11/9/12 and Katie graciously agreed to answer some of my questions.  Katie is a real sweetheart and she is super supportive of her fellow writers.  I'm very happy to have her here on my blog!

First, let me give you the low down on her new novel:

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  Psalm 56

Love is a many-splendored thing and no one who knows this better than Tula “Sugar” DuBois.  As the New Year breaks over her lodge on the frozen shores of Lake Superior, Sugar is wrapped in the arms of the man she loves, dancing in the New Year with her brother and his new wife. Enter the mysterious Lillie who comes to the lodge for Christmas break seeking safe haven. No one knows her secrets and she’s determined to keep it that way.  Having had secrets to keep Sugar is compelled to love and protect Lillie, determined to give her the strength to reveal what she’s hiding before it’s too late. When Lillie comes face-to-face with her past will she let revenge steal her future? Sugar calls upon all who love Lillie to dance a dangerous samba to save the young girl before she is delivered to the Father by evil... As the tulips sprout through the snow covered ground there is new love, new hope and new life, and together they will share Sugar’s Night...

Get it here.

And here is the interview:

1.      What was your inspiration for writing the first book in your series, Sugar’s Dance?

I was laying awake in my hospital bed on February 17, 2011 and said to myself “First day of the rest of your life what are you going to do with it?” Sugar had been in my mind's eye for many years, but she had no definition and no story yet and suddenly she did. As I laid there I saw her story. My inspiration was laced with my love for ballroom dancing, my feeling of loss when I couldn’t dance anymore and then that journey of learning to walk again and that glimmer of hope on the horizon that I could dance again after so many years. Add to that my love and dedication to organ donation and I knew that had to be a big part of Sugar. When I got done writing it felt like I had put everything I loved in a jar, shook it up and when it spilled out Sugar’s Dance was there.

2.      Had you always conceived of it as a series or did the idea for Sugar’s Song come after you had written the first book?

I love reading series and I really didn’t even plan to publish Sugar’s Dance to be honest, so there was no thought of a second one. I got to the end of Sugar’s Dance and did think, “Is this the end of her story?” I didn’t have an answer because I was already nervous about publishing the first one, but the fans of Sugar did and the answer was a resounding “NO!” So with demands for the rest of her story I knew the second one would be Sugar’s Song, she had her dance and now she would find her voice. When I announced on Twitter that I was writing Sugar’s Song a friend of mine decided to tweet my website, but he ran out of room, so he used “author of The Sugar Series” and with that one tweet the series was born! I was having trouble titling the final in the series (Due out in November 2013) and my youngest son looked at me and said “This is easy mom, Sugar’s Night, because Van is her knight in shining armor just like dad is yours.” And so Sugar’s Night it will be and we will learn the rest of the story about Julie and waltz with Sugar as she does the one thing she never thought she’d ever be able to do again, step out onto the floor as a competitor in ballroom dance.

3.      Did you always want to be a writer?  When did you start writing and why?

I always loved reading and with that writing. I loved how words went together to form sentences and the more of them you wrote the duller your pencil got. But what I loved the most was when I finished I had something that could make people happy or sad or all those other emotions we have as humans. I like to have them laughing one minute and crying the next, but finishing with the thought “yeah, that was worth reading.” I enjoyed writing speeches and short plays in high school for my forensics team and then forayed into writing flash fiction and children’s stories. After I got married and had three children my writing time was nil and I put it on the back burner for many years. It was in February 2011 that I finally felt like I had the time to sit down and really put my thoughts down and define Sugar’s world.

4.      Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

My writing process is pretty ADD! I’m all over the place and I would probably drive a lot of writers crazy. I don’t use a layout or any kind of chapter diagram. I write what is going to be the climatic scene first and build the rest of the book around that scene. In Sugar’s Dance I wrote the scene where she went over the bridge for the first time first in 10 years and then the rest of the story took shape around that. I always have the last line of the book before I have the first! In Sugar’s Song I wrote the scene in the woods with Sugar first (many of you who read it will wonder really?) because there is such a big event that happens in this book, but to me the woods scene was the defining moment that cemented their relationship and changed how they approached life as a new family. I’m sure that my unusual writing style causes me extra work with going back and changing things as I decide to rewrite scenes, but it’s just how it works for me.

5.      Who are your favorite writers or what are your favorite books?

I love any kind of romantic suspense/drama! I love the early works of Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. Janet Evanovich has been a favorite because I am a series writer and I’m hoping her next book due out shortly finally takes Stephanie in a new direction. Brian Freeman is another favorite of mine, he also writes a series that takes place in Duluth Minnesota and one of his books is even mentioned in Sugar’s Dance. Since publishing Sugar’s Dance I have found so many new authors that I love to read! I’m currently reading a new one called Finding Claire Fletcher and it’s got me hooked!

(Awww . . . thanks!  I'm so flattered!)

6.      What advice would you give to other writers?

Just keep writing and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Find a group of other local authors or a writers group that you can join and work with them to improve your writing. Bounce ideas of each other and get opinions from other people of all walks of life. Also, never ever proof your own work it’s a recipe for disaster!

(Hah hah hah . . . yes, sometimes we are too close to our own work to see the errors!)

Fast Five Facts Unrelated to Writing:

Favorite Song: Crazy Love Michael Buble (You’re asking ME this question? LOL)
Favorite Snack: Coffee (yes it can be a snack if you add milk)
Name of your childhood pet: Angel
Guilty Pleasure: Going back to bed after my kids and husband leave for school!
Movie theater—sit in the front or the back?  I hate movie theaters, but when I HAVE to go, back (so I can read a book and no one notices).

Thank you Katie!  

(P.S. Check back on 11/16/12 for the Finding Claire Fletcher book trailer!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cover Reveal: Aberration

Thanks to everyone who stopped by for the I'm Thankful for my Readers bloghop!  I'm thankful that you all stopped by and that you continue to stop by.  So I promised today I'd reveal the cover for my second novel, Aberration, which is due for release from Sapphire Star Publishing on June 6, 2013.


Okay, so I know that if you put it next to the cover for Finding Claire Fletcher, it almost looks like the same cover.  (But look closer, this dude in the hoodie has a knife!)  But in all seriousness, when people think of my work I want them to think:  dark, creepy, haunting.  I think this accomplishes that!  I'm okay with the similarity.  One of my family members said to me, all scrunchy-faced, "I hate to tell you this but it looks the same as your last cover," like they were giving me bad news.  It's all right. That was the idea.

Here is the synopsis to go with it:

FBI analyst Kassidy Bishop is assigned to the “For You” killer’s task force after a series of sadistic murders bearing the same signature arise in different parts of the country.

The homicides are both calculated and savage, occurring in different states, but bearing the same signature: the words “for you” scribbled at each crime scene. The case chills Kassidy, bringing back memories of her own encounter with a violent criminal five years earlier.  

Kassidy’s mentor, legendary agent Talia “The Confessor” Crossen knows the task force assignment is Kassidy’s chance to prove to her colleagues that she belongs in the Behavior Analysis Unit. For five years, other FBI agents and profilers scoffed at Kassidy’s appointment to the BAU, believing she was only offered the position in exchange for her silence about the brutal assault that almost killed her. 

The stakes rise when the task force links the killer’s signature to Kassidy. As more and more bodies turn up, Kassidy must delve into her past and the mysterious death of her twin sister, which holds the key to uncovering the killer’s identity. 

The closer Kassidy comes to finding the killer, the closer she comes to a deadly confrontation that could cost her everything—including her own life.

That's it!  Have a great weekend, everybody and thanks for stopping by!  Come again on 11/12/12 to meet author of Sugar's Dance and Sugar's Song, Katie Mettner.  Also, on 11/16/12 I'll be revealing the trailer for Finding Claire Fletcher.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The I'm Thankful For My Readers Bloghop

Today I'm participating in the I'm Thankful for . . . My Readers Bloghop which is hosted by Tara Tyler and Vikki and takes place between 11/5 and 11/8/12.

To find out all the details, go here.

Basically this is my chance to say thank you to some very important people.

But before I do that, although I'm quite late, I want to send a big CONGRATULATIONS out to Julie Flanders at What Else is Possible? whose novel, Polar Night was picked up by Ink Smith Publishing and is due out in 2013.  YAY!  I'd also like to thank Julie for her willingness to receive and review an ARC of my first novel!  Much appreciated.

Also, big CONGRATULATIONS to the ridiculously talented Libby Heily whose novel, Tough Girl will be out in January 14, 2013.  I'd like to thank her as well for receiving and reviewing and ARC of my first novel.  I'd also like to thank her for inspiring the hell out of me.  You'll want to read Tough Girl.  It will blow your mind.

I'd also like to thank J.C. Martin and David Kessler for the wonderful blurbs they provided for my debut novel.

Now I'd like to thank two very talented writers who also happen to be amazing people whose support and encouragement kept me going through the submissions process.  Literally it was their words at critical times that kept me from throwing in the towel altogether.  They were there for me on a daily basis--as fellow writers, critique partners, beta readers and friends.  They picked me up, held me together, lent me their virtual shoulders to cry on and pushed me across the finish line. Also, they are both hugely talented.

Nancy S. Thompson and Michael Infinito, Jr.

Nancy's thriller, The Mistaken is out now.  Michael's first novel, In Blog We Trust comes out in January and his second novel, 12:19 comes out in March.  Support these writers.  They deserve it.

Next I'd like to thank the fabulous Carrie A. Butler over at So You're a Writer.  She too, is amazingly talented and she is my go-to person whenever I have some sort of idea (usually revolving around technical stuff) and can't get from idea to execution.  She helped me with my trailer for Finding Claire Fletcher (will be released on 11/16/12).  She also handles all things that revolve around me venting and ranting.  Carrie's first novel, Strength is due out 3/7/13 and it is crazy good.

I'd also like to thank Jeff O at the Doubting Writer for all of his encouragement and for checking in with me now and then.  When I'm getting totally overwhelmed, a hey-how's-it-going email from another writer goes a long way.  Jeff, I promise to finish my WIP so you can finish critiquing it!  Also Jeff is such an incredible writer, he inspires me and makes me want to get better.

I'd also like to thank my main readers-who-are-not writers, my close friends: Melissia McKittrick, who has read every word I've ever written since I was 11 years old and Laura Aiello who introduced me to my husband.

And while I'm at it . . . finally, I'd like to thank all the wonderful writers/bloggers who have agreed to host me for my Finding Claire Fletcher blog tour.  I've created a separate tab for it here on my blog so you can see all their names.  Thank you so much for volunteering your time and your internet space to help me get my book off the ground!

Also stay tuned . . . on 11/9/12 the cover for my second novel, Aberration will be revealed!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Interview With Author of The Mistaken, Nancy S. Thompson

Welcome to this stop on Nancy S. Thompson's blog tour for her debut novel, The Mistaken!

I am thrilled to have Nancy here today.  If you haven't already seen her new book around the blogosphere, just know that it is an incredible, pulse-pounding read!  Here's the short synopsis:

Obsessed with revenge following the violent death of his pregnant wife, Tyler Karras pledges the woman responsible to sex-traffickers in San Francisco’s Russian Mafia.  In exchange, they’ll finally let his brother, Nick, leave the business for good—with his debt wiped clean and his heart still beating.  But when Tyler mistakenly targets the wrong woman, he’s forced to protect her from the very enemy he's unleashed, and the Russians are holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal.  Caught in a no-win situation, Ty must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian Mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.  

I've invited Nancy here today to answer some questions about her new book, so here goes:

Thanks for having me aboard, Lisa!  Let’s dive right into your questions.

What prompted you to write The Mistaken?
It was new song on my iPod—30 Seconds To Mars’ Hurricane—that prompted me.  I was struck by the lyrics:  “Tell me, would you kill to save a life?  Would you kill to prove you’re right?”  It made me wonder what would drive a man, especially a good man, toward violence, to do something completely against his character.  And from there, The Mistaken was borne.

Where did the idea for this book come from?
That song planted a seed I just couldn’t seem to let go.  I truly don’t know what made me decide to write at all, let alone an entire novel.  It was like I was possessed—truly compelled.  The whole time I was writing, it felt like someone was standing over my shoulder, whispering in my ear, telling me exactly what to write.  It took me about three months total to get the first complete draft written.  Then another eighteen months to revise and polish it.

Your main characters go through a lot in this novel.  Why put them through such hell?
Good question!  The one comment I seem to get from everyone who reads it is, “Just when I think they’ve been through enough, you do something even worse to them.”  That makes me laugh.  But as far as why, I guess it’s because of where the male protagonist starts out.  Sure, he’s a great guy, very nice, kind of square.  But he’s also rather judgmental.  He believes he’s always right just because he follows the letter of the law.  He thinks everyone else should be held to the same standard, that there’s never a reason to bend the rules.  He accepts no excuses.  So perhaps everything he goes through is a lesson that life is not all black and white, that every situation, and every person’s reaction to it, is based on their own life experience.  He learns that there are consequences to not listening to others and not taking their side and perspective into consideration. 

Where did you get the idea to incorporate the Russian mafia into this book?
Well, this hits a bit close to home, actually.  Twenty years ago, I had a friend of Russian descent.  Her family lived in the Outer Richmond District in San Francisco, a predominantly Russian neighborhood, and where part of my book is set.  My friend was getting married and invited me to her bachelorette party being held at a suites-style hotel where she unwisely partook in some of the evening’s “entertainment.”  I guess her betrothed heard some rumors afterwards because during their wedding reception, he and a couple of his large “friends” cornered me in the ladies’ room and encouraged me to tell them what I knew.  I played dumb, of course, which they completely saw through.  And after some unnerving threats, they left me with a warning.  Later, I found out they were all connected to the Russian Mafia.  So yeah, pretty darn scary in retrospect.  

What was the toughest part on your road to publication?
I think every part is tough, especially when you’re a novice like I was.  But if I had to pick, I’d say querying is the most difficult, from writing the darn query itself, to researching the agents, to sending them out, and bouncing back from the inevitable rejection.  It’s so true what they say:  writers must develop very thick skin to survive.

What advice would you give to writers who are just starting out on their road to publication?
I have so much advice, it wouldn’t fit here in one post, but if I had to sum it all up, it’d be this:  Write what you love.  Get the story down first before worrying about how to revise it.  Get yourself a team of die-hard critique partners, the more brutal the better.  Listen to them, but follow your heart.  And lastly, but most importantly, never, ever quit.  I think it was here on this blog where I first read “The biggest difference between the published writer and the unpublished one is perseverance.”  And damn if that ain’t the truth!

Visit Nancy’s blog, follow, and leave a comment during her book tour for a chance to win an ARC of The Mistaken.  Plus, 5 runner-up winners will each receive an ebook. 

You can also find her on her publisher’s website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook

You can buy it here:

You can find her at on the remainder of her blog tour at all of these places:

The Mistaken Blog tour:
10/23:  Julie Musil
10/25:  Matthew MacNish
10/26:  LG Smith
10/27: Aimee Jodoin
10/30:  Lisa Regan
10/31:  Jennifer Hillier
11/1:    Angela Peart & Livia Peterson
11/19:  Arlee Bird

And here is what other authors are saying about this incredible book:

Early praise for The Mistaken:
“A deliciously slow burn that builds to a ferocious crescendo, Nancy S. Thompson's THE MISTAKEN kept me riveted until the very last page. Tyler Karras is a complex and flawed protagonist, and his redemptive journey makes him the perfect anti-hero. This psychological suspense is a standout, and I can't wait for Thompson's next book.”
~ Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and FREAK

“Nancy S. Thompson's debut novel, The Mistaken, is a first-rate thriller full of hair-raising twists and turns.  Pursued by the police and the Russian mafia in San Francisco, brothers Tyler and Nick Karras are fascinating, fully-drawn, desperate characters.  The action is non-stop.  Thompson's taut, intriguing tale of revenge, mistaken identity, kidnapping and murder will keep you enthralled and entertained.” 
~Kevin O’BrienNew York Times Bestselling Author of DISTURBED and TERRIFIED

“Fast-paced and emotionally gripping - once the ride begins, you won't stop reading until it ends."  ~Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTAR

Friday, October 26, 2012

Claire's Public Service Announcement


Below you'll see a video that rocked the city of Philadelphia over the summer.  It is distressing and disturbing footage of a grown man trying to abduct a 10 year old girl on a city street in broad daylight.  Luckily, this girl was brave enough to put up such a fight that the abductor ultimately decided it was not worth it and he fled.  He was later caught.

Last week, in my own neighborhood, mere blocks from my home there was an abduction attempt of an 8 year old girl (or so Fox News has reported).  Again, luckily for that young girl and her family, she got away.  That same perpetrator is reported to have been attempting to lure other children at or near at least two of our local schools. I understand this person was caught but was not charged and is thus able to continue to troll our streets for children.

Just over the bridge in New Jersey this past week, 12 year old Autumn Pasquale went for a bike ride and never returned home.  She was lured into a home by two teenage boys and killed.

On the other side of the country, in Colorado on or about October 5th, 10 year old Jessica Ridgeway was abducted on her way to school, savagely killed and dismembered.  Again, by a teenage boy.

If you do not think that these things happen in your neighborhood or on your street or in your quiet, idyllic community, I'm here to tell you that they happen everywhere and they can happen anywhere at any time.

These few cases I've mentioned above?  Tip of the iceberg.

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that this subject matter has been an obsession of mine ever since Jacob Wetterling and Jaycee Lee Dugard went missing when I was a child.  My first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher is about a girl who was abducted by a sick psychopath and spent 10 years in captivity.  Because it is fiction, I was able to return her to her family.  There have been real life cases of this--you'll recognize the names Jaycee Lee Dugard, Shawn Hornbeck and Elizabeth Smart.  But it usually doesn't end like that.

I've been sick to my stomach the last few weeks, thinking of these kids and their families.  I would ask that you say a prayer for them and for all children and families who have fallen victim to sexual predators and murderers.

I would also ask that you spend some time talking to your own kids, if you have them and they are still minors, about how best to protect themselves.  Have the Stranger Danger, Good Secret/Bad Secret, Good Touch/Bad Touch talks with them.  Enroll them in a self-defense course or martial arts.  Not sure how to start these conversations?  Here is one of the very best resources available, which I have referenced myself in starting these kinds of dialogues with my own daughter:

The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center

May all of our children stay safe and unharmed!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Release Day, Nancy S. Thompson!

I'm way excited today!  Today is the release of The Mistaken which is Nancy S. Thompson's first novel.  As you probably know by now, Nancy is my bestie and my writing soul mate.  (She is also kind, warm and hilariously funny.  She's always there with supportive words when I'm a mess--she's an all round wonderful person and I'm thrilled that her dream is finally coming true!)


I feel about as excited about this release as I do about my own.  I had the pleasure and privilege of being along the journey with Nancy from her very early drafts to the mind-blowing finished product of The Mistaken.  I've seen how hard she's worked and toiled to make this book as amazing as it is and to find a home for it.  This is a great day!

Nancy will be back here for an interview on October 30th but I'd encourage you to hop around in the coming weeks and visit her on her blog tour.  You can find her at all of these places:

The Mistaken Blog tour:
10/23:  Julie Musil
10/25:  Matthew MacNish
10/26:  LG Smith
10/27: Aimee Jodoin
10/30:  Lisa Regan
11/19:  Arlee Bird

To whet your appetite until then, here is a short synopsis:

Obsessed with revenge following the violent death of his pregnant wife, Tyler Karras pledges the woman responsible to sex-traffickers in San Francisco’s Russian Mafia.  In exchange, they’ll finally let his brother, Nick, leave the business for good—with his debt wiped clean and his heart still beating.  But when Tyler mistakenly targets the wrong woman, he’s forced to protect her from the very enemy he's unleashed, and the Russians are holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal.  Caught in a no-win situation, Ty must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian Mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.    

And here is what other authors are saying about this incredible book:

Early praise for The Mistaken:
“A deliciously slow burn that builds to a ferocious crescendo, Nancy S. Thompson's THE MISTAKEN kept me riveted until the very last page. Tyler Karras is a complex and flawed protagonist, and his redemptive journey makes him the perfect anti-hero. This psychological suspense is a standout, and I can't wait for Thompson's next book.”
~ Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and FREAK

“Nancy S. Thompson's debut novel, The Mistaken, is a first-rate thriller full of hair-raising twists and turns.  Pursued by the police and the Russian mafia in San Francisco, brothers Tyler and Nick Karras are fascinating, fully-drawn, desperate characters.  The action is non-stop.  Thompson's taut, intriguing tale of revenge, mistaken identity, kidnapping and murder will keep you enthralled and entertained.” 
~Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of DISTURBED and TERRIFIED

“Fast-paced and emotionally gripping - once the ride begins, you won't stop reading until it ends."  ~Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTAR

You can buy it here: