Monday, December 31, 2012

Moving into 2013

I don't normally get into the New Year hype, but I figured, this blog is about holding myself accountable, so why not? I didn't really set any goals for 2012 outside of the usual (write more, publish more) but it ended up being a pretty awesome year. Let's recap, shall we?

*Published The Sour Orange Derby, Dungeon, and two Helping Hands books. This was a great year for publishing, and everything that came with it, including meeting some awesome indie authors and joining their group. Raine Thomas, Tiffany King, Sarah Ross, and C.A. Kunz, I'm looking at you!

*Completed two novels - The Never and the next Helping Hands novel. These are written but still in the editing phases, which means they will be released in the coming year.

*Broadened my marketing horizons. I think the FIHA Powwow in the beginning of the year was my favorite, getting to connect with my culture, sell books, and spend time with people who celebrate Native American traditions.

*Started teaching creative writing classes at my Alma matter. Never in my life did I ever think I'd be a teacher, let alone an actual professor, but who could turn down such an opportunity? I've discovered that I actually love teaching, and that I'm pretty good at it too.

*Fulfilled my lifelong dream of being an editor. As a kid I dreamed of working for a publishing house as an editor, but let's face it. I'm not cut out for NYC. That dream took a back burner for a while, but with the help of my writing buddies, the dream has become reality.

So, with all that said, what's on tap for 2013? I figure, 2012 gave me the momentum I needed to really get things going and keep them moving forward. I refuse to let myself go backwards. I've set my goals as follows:

*Publish at least three novels. This will include The Never and the fourth Helping Hands book, as well as the third installment in The Whisper Legacy, Into the Shadow Realm.

*Write my first-ever children's book. I think this will be fun, and certainly different for me!

*Complete the fifth Helping Hands novel and start the fourth and final installment in The Whisper Legacy. That's a lot of writing!

*Build my editing portfolio. Long term, I'd like to just be an author and editor. Gotta start somewhere, so let 2013 be the year of building that business.

*Be healthier. In non-writing-related goals, it's time to be healthy. This means to exercise regularly and eat better. Of course, I won't be giving up my Doritos, but I will try to swap them out for some fruit every so often. Maybe.

*Teach more. I'm hoping to get more classes this summer and fall, and become more of a fixture at the school. I also want to research grants and try to get a writing center going at my university.

Looking at this list overwhelms me a bit. It's a lot to do, and only a year in which to do it. Tomorrow kicks off Day One, so let the adventure begin!

In the meantime, here's a cute picture of Ferguson, the star of my children's book:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Introducing 'The Iron Fist: Legacy of the Helping Hands''

The time has come for The Iron Fist: Legacy of the Helping Hands! I'm excited to announce its release, and even more excited to let everyone know that I am currently working on the next book in the series, which has never before been printed!

Below is the synopsis for The Iron Fist as well as a sample chapter (the prologue).  Apologies for the inconsistent formatting. Blogger is not cooperating with me at the moment.

The Iron Fist follows rough-and-tough Melanie O'Conner as she struggles to get her life back on track, all while being pulled back into her old life by a child in need. Check it out on Amazon and CreateSpace! E-book versions are coming soon.

When one of their own was murdered, everyone feared it would be the end to the Helping Hands. But as they are now learning, the real difficulty lies not in mourning the loss of a friend, but in protecting the project that took his life.
Kelly Mitchell is dedicated to just one thing - protecting her little sister from their stepfather’s wrath. When her family moves to San Francisco, she struggles to keep her home life a secret, avoiding the charms of her neighbor, Robbie Anderson. But when her stepfather sets her up and sends her to a juvenile detention camp, Kelly will attain her own protection in the service of Melanie O’Conner.
Forcing herself back into society as a reformed rebel, Melanie finds herself surrounded by a life filled with friends, security, and family. But the illusion of a life without disaster is shattered upon the discovery of a new, unplanned gang of Helping Hands, and two cops threatening to put her back in prison.
When faced with the copycat gang that brings the FBI to her front door, when Kelly and her sister plead for an escape from the iron fist of their abusive stepfather, when Tyler lands in the hospital and faces death, Melanie must decide which is more important - having a normal life away from the burdens of her past, or protecting the project that granted her that life.
Whatever choice she makes, someone must suffer the consequences.

Sample Chapter

          The crowd rose at the sound of the pianist’s harmony, a beautiful woman wearing a flowing ivory dress stepping into view. Her hands clutched a small bouquet of lilies, fingers gripping the flowers nervously. The afternoon sun shone down from a clear blue sky, shimmering amongst the diamond earrings and matching diamond engagement ring that would soon be joined by a sparkling band. Wisps of cool autumn wind gently blew back her thick blonde hair and lifted the veil slightly, but not so much as to uncover her radiant face.

            She never moved her dark brown eyes from the man waiting for her at the end of the aisle. The man, the tall, strong, handsome groom she would soon be calling her husband, her perfect match in every way, clasped his hands in front of him, his breath taken away by her beauty, his face a depiction of excitement and anticipation.

            An older woman sitting in the first row of seats wiped her eyes with an already-damp cloth as she watched her daughter make her way closer towards her groom. Never had she seen her only little girl so gorgeous, and she was thankful that now her child would have the wedding she was meant to have, the wedding she deserved.

            It should have been this way the first time, the mother thought, a wedding with roses and music and white gowns and tears of happiness. But her daughter was stubborn, as she always had been, eloping with that half-witted slob who cheated and lied and dared to call himself a man. But she was happy with the man her daughter was marrying today, a kind man with a promising career and a steady income who would care for her daughter and grandchildren.

            Two little girls, the bridesmaids of the wedding, exchanged nervous glances with one another when their mother began to say her vows. The older of the two gripped her flowers tightly and swallowed heavily, while the younger looked over at her big sister with apprehension. They didn’t smile when the bride and groom placed the rings upon each others’ fingers. They didn’t clap when the minister declared them husband and wife, or cheer when the adults kissed and sealed their bond for a lifetime.


            But they did have a reaction to the moment. As the kiss ended and the bride turned, ready to walk back down the aisle after giving her two beautiful daughters a tearfully happy smile, the groom glanced down. He smiled at them, giving the girls a small, deliberate grin, his eyes darkening for only a second, containing all the disturbing and sinful secrets of his soul.

            The little girls could do nothing but step back in fear.