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Magic, Miniatures, News and author-stuff

Some March Magic

One of the ways that I find joy – and the magic I wanted to share this month – is in my craft room. Specifically with my miniatures. I love miniatures – looking at them, making them, dreaming of new ones, talking too much about them… I work in two scales. 1/12 scale, which means every 1″ in the dollhouse = 1 foot in the “real” world. And in 1/4 scale, where every 1/4″ = 1 foot, making the projects a whole lot smaller. I discovered 3D design about two years ago, and I enjoy using that and basically whatever I have at hand to create my minis. Recently I’ve started what I’ve only belatedly realized is a small town. Not exactly sure how big it will get, but it is fun getting to create little shops and imagine the unusual people and creatures who might be living there. If you’re interested, I’m happy to share more photos as I continue progress and eventually get more of my minis up on a section of my website as well.

Where do you find your joy and magic these days? Or any suggestions for my mini-town? I’m sharing photos of what will be the green grocers (La Bonne Pomme) attached to the post office, and I already have the building started for the Toy Store.

My laughs this month have come from and with my mom and my aunt. My mom and I go at least once a week into the city to visit my aunt. My aunt is a Craft Goddess (seriously…very deserving of the capitalization.) My mom and I – and most people – see something one day and think, gee, that’d be fun to make someday. My aunt, meanwhile, has gone home and already made three! And probably fine-tuned her design. Since all of us have crafting in common, we decided on our visits to start playing with crepe paper flowers, following various YouTube videos. Well, halfway through the visit, my aunt basically had hers done. I was done one of my two flowers…and my poor mom was still just cutting hers out! Mom and I joked that we’d bring wine next time, a lot of wine, to slow my aunt down…and then send her in the kitchen so we could pull our completed project out of our bags so we’d have some chance of keeping up. 😉 We were all laughing so hard – and have to say, that definitely slowed my aunt down so I could catch up. 😉

Anyway, before I go, I have one more thing to tell you about. I have another giveaway opportunity to share with you.

If you love fairy tales like I do, enter to win this ultimate prize pack. Follow some amazing authors across the web and enter to win Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen, A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, and House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland, plus a double-sided Circe bookmark, a Medusa enamel pin, Raven book sleeve, Atlantis candle, and an Athena laptop sticker! Click this link to enter. https://clcannon.net/2022/02/16/mythsandlegends 

I loved Norse Mythology so much, I have it both as audiobook and paperback. So good, and a fun read too. Plus, here’s your chance to discover some great new-to-you authors. Total win. 🙂

That’s it for me this month. As always, I love hearing from you, so just reply to this email if you have anything to say. Otherwise, wishing you a great month ahead, and always the ability to find the joy and magic in your life.

Magic

February Magic!

You know what I find magical? Birthdays! My Dad always gave me grief as a kid for decorating for my birthday about a month ahead, LOL! While I don’t enjoy them quite as much now (they’re just not as fun as a grown up!) we have an almost double-birthday this month. My eldest daughter and my dad’s birthdays are just four days apart (my daughter was supposed to have been born on his birthday…but apparently she had her own ideas.) I find it fascinating some of the similarities between them as Aquarius babies. Do you think the day that you’re born is part of what determines who and what you’ll be?

Years ago, by chance, my husband and I came upon this book, The Element Encyclopedia of Birthdays. Looking up the birthdays of those we knew, we were rather surprised to find some of the personality similarities in those we knew listed according to their birthday! I think my husband was the most surprised, since he’s definitely a skeptic when it comes to things like horoscopes and predictions.

Each of the birthdays is also given a name, a greatest challenge, a dark side and what that person is at their best. Mine is “the birthday of expectation” and even I was surprised and laughed a little to find that my greatest challenge is listed as “knowing how to relax.” Why is this amusing? Because I forgot about the reminder – but definitely didn’t forget that it’s still a challenge, LOL! There are a lot of other elements though that definitely fit who I am.

What about you? Do you think that the day you’re born has any influence on your personality or who you are?

News and author-stuff, Writing

Finding Joy Amidst the January Blahs

We are well into the January and mid-winter “Blechs,” aren’t we?

I think this year it’s feeling worse for probably almost all of us since there’s the usual dull-dark of January – especially if, like me, you live in the northern hemisphere with snow and generally less light and sun at this time of year – but this year brings us still more special stresses, doesn’t it? With Omnicron and the news, etc, etc.

It’s started to feel like there’s a lot of “etc, etc” isn’t there? As in, just when we start to feel more positive about things, there’s something else. Granted, I think the media generally latches onto that “something else” as newsworthy, so perhaps it gets more attention, but nonetheless… there it is.

I hope whatever you’re doing, you’re doing something that’s helping you find some joy and light in these dark days. You deserve it.

Me? I’ve been writing, or in some cases, writing about writing. 😉 I’ve been working on Shade to Measure, the second full-length Shades of Beckwell book. This one is about Ash and Jessie, princes and female-owned-and-led construction firms. And, as I’ve recently discovered, music and sound. I often wish that I’d figure out some of these strange extra details BEFORE finding myself well into the book and sometimes a bit lost… but sometimes the draft just doesn’t work out that way.

I’ve also been crafting, mostly making miniatures still for my craft of choice. After finishing Santa’s House in December, I’ve been working on a grocer’s and connected post office, all still in quarter scale. I’ve decided to start making what will amount to a little town, which I think is kind of the direction I’ve been thinking since the start – as in, all of these buildings / structures while not obviously connected, are part of the same magical world. Kind of like my writing is, I suppose. It’s been interesting, and I’m getting a little closer every day to more assembly.

Next up (and a 3D file from a company called Infinite Dimensions) is a full, five story medieval hotel! I’ve been drooling over that building for awhile, and while some people might say 3D printing is cheating, I’d compare it more to getting a kit. Yes, the walls and floors are attached, and each floor is broken into 4 pieces. It still needs to be prepared with sanding / primer, etc before it’s painted and then fully decorated and furnished. That’s how most 3D printed objects are, both the ones you purchase and the ones I design: while yes, the 3D printer helps manufacture the actual object, it’s just another tool that helps bring it into being – BUT the work isn’t just done at that point. I adore my little 3D printer and I’ve come to enjoy learning 3D design too (on a simplistic scale at this point, but still.) It feels a bit like something between sculpting and drawing, so I really enjoy it. Therefore, I’m a bit defensive when it comes to anyone calling it “cheating” or “simplistic.” I challenge them to actually try to do all of those things and experience what it’s actually like. But, I’ll get off my soapbox before I really get into it. 🙂

The other light I’ve been finding in the dark is reading.

I read a great book called The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. Officially classified as horror, it’s twisty, mysterious, at times creepy…but ends on such a hopeful, optimistic note, that in itself was quite a feat. Plus, this is the first book I’ve really felt sucked into for a long time, so if you have a chance to read it, I highly recommend you give it a try. The paperback edition is on its way (I read the big old hardcover that I was lucky enough to get for Christmas.) 🙂

Anyway, that’s pretty much been the sum of my January. Writing, reading, and crafting are my light in the dark. I hope you’ve been able to find light and hope for you, too.

Take care, and as always, I wish you the joy and ability to find the magic in our everyday world.

Sincerely, Shelly

News and author-stuff, Writing

We made it!

Well, we made it to December and the end of the year – hooray!! While this year may not have had quite the sticker-shock that 2020 did, I still wouldn’t give it a five star rating, would you? Sometimes that’s made it a lot harder to see the magic and humor in our world. But it’s still there, whether we’re able to see it or not.

And now here we are, barrelling into the holiday season (which I always picture somewhat like a trip in a barrel down Niagra Falls. Just me? 😉 ) Now that I have kids, I find this month more stressful than ever, what with the school’s never-ending list of “fun activities for parents to discover 15 minutes before the bus arrives.” 😉 But I also do it to myself, applying pressure to somehow keep a work and production schedule as though this were just any other month that didn’t include extra social activities, baking, everything-else-ing. And honestly, I love the holidays. It was one of my grandma’s favorite holidays too, and that’s where the magic is.

When I bring out all the Christmas decorations that seem to accumulate with a life of their own, I don’t just see the little shiny red ornament. I remember that red apple the year Grandma decorated her whole tree exclusively in them. I remember the excitement of Christmas when I was a kid, whether that was the weeks leading up to it – yes, probably enjoying those school activities. Or, eating waxy cheap advent calendar chocolates that tasted extra good with each growing number. I hold onto the wonder and memories of Christmas Eve, out with my family and visiting my great-aunt, often with both sides of the family there, a crazy fun evening of food and laughter and drinks. Every ornament, every holiday brings back those ghosts of the past, hanging around and over us for better or for worse. There’s something magical in those echoes of past laughter and memories, as though they’re all gathered around us, helping us celebrate the current holiday simultaneous with the past.

That’s the kind of magic I want to bring my girls every holiday season. That’s why I’ll plan our advent calendar full of activities like decorating stockings for the new kitties, or going out to see the lights, or wrapping gifts. These are the memories that I hope bring them that sense of magic and wonder in the years to come, maybe many years from now, as they still do for me.

Of course, the holidays can also bring back the not-so-good memories too. The stress, the anxiety, the depression that many fall into, some of it having to do with the holidays, some of it with the ending of the year. Which is why I think being able to see that humor and magic becomes both harder and more essential. I have two things for you that I hope might help.

First, an early gift for you! Here’s a printable adult coloring book (click here to download yours) that I made with images and quotes related to Shade for Love. If you color any of them, please share – I’d love to see them! I also hope that in even a small way, they give you that moment of quiet and peace you deserve.

I’m also sharing a picture of our own personal “tree-cat” in hopes he offers you a smile. Cats and decorations can be a fairly catastophic combo, can’t they? This year I suspected that would be the case, especially with three kittens, so I stuck strictly with plastic ornaments. I hadn’t expected that a) one of the kittens would literally knock the ornaments out of my hands and off the branch as I tried to hang it, LOL! or b) that another of the kittens would attempt to curl up and sleep IN the tree. That’s Loki, and yes, he is VERY aptly named. 😉 If the tree goes down, you know who’s name I’m probably shouting. 😉

Anyway, as we end this year, I just wanted to thank you so much for joining me here. I wish you and yours all the best this holiday season, whichever holidays you may celebrate, and here’s to a very wonderful year ahead in 2022! See you then.

News and author-stuff, Writing

Can you believe it’s November??

Can you believe that it’s almost December? I’m having a hard time even considering it – or that the year is almost over. Yet on Monday we received a big reminder of what time of year it is: SNOW! And yes, it deserves excess capitals because there was a lot of it!

For the most part, I confess I’m not the biggest fan of the white stuff. But there is something magic about it, especially that hushed quiet of the first real snowstorm of the year, as everything is blanketed in white, tucked in until, in many cases, spring arrives.

I’m trying to focus on the magic part of it, and not the having to drive in it part (although did that yesterday too – whoo-boy, that wasn’t fun!) I’m trying to see it the way my girls do, so excited that today was the first Snow Day of the year since buses were cancelled. Or maybe to look at it with wonder the way that our young kittens, who’ve never seen a winter before, look in wonder at the white fluffiness coming down from the sky. I wonder what they see – or what they think it is.

Maybe that’s where the magic of it lies. In looking at it with different eyes that are less jaded by having driven or been stuck in it one too many times. Instead, seeing it as this magical unknown delight, like a kitten or very young child would. Or like my girls are looking it: all about the possibility of getting out and playing in it. Maybe for most of our experiences that’s where the magic is.

What do you think?

Other than (occasionally) staring out the window at the snow, I’ve been working on book two in the Shades series, Shade to Measure. So I’ve been thinking about sirens, and gender-reversal fun, and a women-owned-and-run construction company. Fortunately, my husband has been in construction for some time now, so I have a ready source of information should I need it. 🙂

I’ve also been getting ready for the holidays, which seem to be sneaking up quicker than anything, and this year I’d like to just enjoy it instead of only seeing the stressful part. There’s so much holiday magic too, with memories and gatherings and rituals… but I think I’ll save that for next month’s post.

And if you’re looking for a book set during the winter to shiver along with (the furnace never seems to kick in enough when temperatures are still supposedly “mild” in fall / shoulder seasons!), check out Must Love Death. I know, it sounds kind of dark – and parts of it definitely are – but it is at its core hopeful and full of both love and loss, since I was experiencing them both while writing it. There’s also plenty of humor, as this Death has an attitude and isn’t afraid to use it. 😉

As always, I love hearing from you – please comment or drop me a message. 🙂 Until next time, may your toes stay warm, and may you too be able to find the magic in your everyday world.

News and author-stuff, Writing

Welcome Shade for Love!

Yay! I can finally say that the Shades are really out in the world. 🙂

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This series has been a long time coming. If you’ve been around for awhile, you might have seen promises of the Shades of Beckwell back in 2019. Which was when it would have appeared, except… life. I am definitely a “planner” – I love checking off boxes and scheduling things. But with a combination of factors, 2019  – and the of course, 2020 as many people experienced – became swallowed by a void of “well that didn’t go to plan!”

Here, long at last, we have Shade for Love. Plus, since I felt I owed readers for having to wait for so long, two novellas as well! That’s the plan for this series, to alternate longer books – like Shade for Love – with shorter pieces, like Alchemy and Trolled. It means you get more content more frequently, and I’ve found that I love the variety of getting to play with these shorter stories. Plus, more stories! The shorter pieces focus (so far at least) on characters that might be a bit outside the central story line, kind of a “what else is happening while the world is ending?” kind of pieces, and some alternative perspectives. It also allows me to flesh out and play in the world of Beckwell, and I hope you enjoy them as well.

Click here to find the buy links for Shade for Love.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? You can sign up here. That’s how you get a hold of Alchemy. 🙂

Did you know that I also love hearing from readers? You can always reach me here, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the books, the characters – and maybe who you think MUST get their own story. Trust me, there are lots in the works!

Thank you for celebrating with me today. Here’s the full cover for Shade for Love, and I look forward to touching base with you here again soon. Until then, wishing you a wonderful week and the ability to find the everyday magic in your world.

Sincerely, Shelly

News and author-stuff, Writing

The Shades Series is finally here!

With the release of the novella Trolled today, the Shades of Beckwell series has finally entered the world!

Just why is this so exciting you ask? Well (and here, picturing me looking a bit sheepish), the series was supposed to come out back in 2019. But, for lots of reasons (among them burnout) that didn’t happen. Then there was those little speed bumps otherwise known as the pandemic and 2020… (insert *eyeroll*)

BUT, we are finally there!

Where did this idea come from?

I always knew that the magical town of Beckwell was bigger than what I could explore in just the Sisters series. The Seniors Center in particular became a place that amused me and many readers.

Then three things in particular happened that created THIS series.

First: at an author reading for my very first published book, Must Love Plague, there was a lovely gentleman who I don’t think had intended to be there for the reading at the library… but since there was an event and a small audience, felt almost obligated to attend (he said he’d give the book that he then also bought, sweet man, to his daughter.) But he also said something about how he’d seen someone and commented to his wife “look at that guy. He’s just so old.” And his wife reminded him they were pretty much the same age, and he’d thought how strange it is to look in the mirror one day and realize you’re not as young as you feel anymore… yet you’re still you.

Second: when visiting my great-uncle in Minnedosa, Manitoba (that’s two provinces east here in Canada), he took us to meet his men’s supper club, the AOTS, a church group who did good things for their community, like hold pancake breakfasts, support activities at the local school. Women were rarely allowed at these dinners, where they’d take turns cooking the dinner and cleaning up, then enjoy the evening together, teasing each other and making comments as only a group of friends who’ve known and cared for each other for a long way can. Most of them were retired, but still very active in caring for their community.

And finally, then I lost my own beloved grandfather, a man who I saw at least once a week every week, pretty much all my life. Grandpa was a man with a twinkle in his eye when he’d tell a story that inevitably had a joke or a twist. He was always there to play, actively be part of our lives, even getting down on the ground to play with my own children, no matter how difficult it was for him to do so. He’d hold the baby dolls, listen to the stories, let my youngest hold his hand to make sure she didn’t fall. There is rarely a day that I don’t miss him.

And from all of this, the Shades were born.

I wanted to ask the question: what does it mean to age, especially when so often, as we get older somehow it’s like we’re no longer the same capable people we always were? When our bodies can betray us… yet our minds and our soul are still fully present, want to still be the same person we’ve always been?

I wanted to recreate those friendships and bonds, that gentle teasing between men who have known each other so long, they’ve been through good times and bad. But they are still there for each other, still determined to make a difference.

And I wanted to honor Grandpa. A man with a twinkle in his eye, a plan, and sometimes a plot. 🙂 Who never let his age stop him from helping in ways he felt necessary, who was sometimes frustrated by the limitations age attempted to place on him… but who loved well and loved hard, and always made a difference.

I hope you enjoy this series and this world as much as I have returning to it.

And I hope I always portray the men who make up my Shades with the dignity and love that inspired them.

Thanks for reading, please do tell me who inspires you to make a difference, and as always, I hope you find the magic in your day today.

News and author-stuff, The Journey to Publication, Writing

Cages

A pig face looking frankly at you and telling you that you don’t belong in a cage!

How often have you experienced the kind of overwhelm that comes from feeling that there are so many things you “should” be doing, and that list is so long, you end up paralyzed and end up doing nothing?

I recently finished reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. She talks about how the cages that society creates for us leave us trapped and stifled, often trying to live definitions of ourselves that come from outside of ourselves. (This is definitely paraphrasing. Go read the book yourself to see what I’m trying to get at. )

Anyway, today after reading something from a friend who’s definitely feeling that overwhelm, it made me think: how many of those cages, especially as writers, are we creating for ourselves?

I mean, yes, there are definitely things that we have to do as writers – write books or write something for other people to read being, likely, the number one thing. But other than that, it feels like so many of the definitions of things we “must” and “should” do is a proscribed list that if we actually obeyed it, we’d have no time whatsoever for a life outside of work… and probably no time to write either.

I do wonder if this is perhaps worse among female author-preneurs, or if it’s prevalent everywhere, but if you’re a writer looking to publish and sell your books, you’ve probably heard of some of the things I mean.

  • You have to be on every social media account that has and will ever be (come on, aren’t you signed up yet for the one that won’t exist until 2023??)
  • You should be active on all of those social media accounts too (but be fresh! Just be you! Keep it real… as you force yourself to follow all of this advice.)
  • You must be constantly building relationships with every person out there (forget actual relationships … or, like, family. Nope. No time for that if you’re doing what you “should” be doing.)
  • Make sure you’re making ads for all of those social media accounts, sell, sell, sell, … but gentle sell, not spam sell.
  • Plus make sure you’ve got ads running on all the platforms (because if you’re making less than $2k a month, you’re a failure!)
  • Have you spent thousands of dollars on classes that promise you THIS is the right answer to make you a millionaire and selling millions of a books a day? (Come on, you didn’t think you actually had time to do things, like, write, did you? And wave to your family through your office doors… if you still have one.)

On and on it goes, and you know what? I’m going to stop, because it’s stressing me out.

And it’s driving me nuts. All of it. And I know it’s driving lots of other authors nuts too.

You want to know the real secret?

There is NO secret.

Nope. Sad, isn’t it? Yep, I was looking for it too… along with possibly the drafting or editing fairies that help get books done when things aren’t going well. But, they don’t exist any more than the perfect formula to sell all those books – no matter how much that workshop costs. Game the system? Sure, you can follow those examples, buy up case loads of your own book and “buy” your way onto the lists. You CAN do a lot of things. But what works for Lizzy P. Author may not work the same for you.

You’re not her.

You’re YOU.

And yes, let me pause and insert here that not all advice is bad advice. Do I take workshops, try to keep learning, try to keep improving in both my writing craft and the business side of my career? Absolutely. Is there lots of great advice and information out there? Yep. That too. Are there many things we can do to tweak our marketing / get better at the business / get better at our craft? Yes, indeed, and there are a few specific ones on my list all the time.

My objection comes when all that advice, when all the things you “should do” stretch into the bars of a cage. When you’re so hemmed in by all those “shoulds” that you feel like you can’t breathe, let alone write the next word, the next sentence, or hardest of all, the next book.

I’ve been there. I fall into that cage every so often. Was there yesterday, as a matter a fact, when all my emails seemed to be screaming at me to “just do this to double your sales” or “just keep up this to guarantee search engine results” and so on. These were legit blogs I follow too, because I usually appreciate their advice. It got me so depressed, I did the bare minimum of words, but tried nothing else, too exhausted by all the “shoulds” that I had to focus on the “could.”

That’s what I usually come back to. What could or CAN I do? What do I WANT to do? And what do I really NEED?

Yesterday, I needed to recharge so I don’t get burned out. I needed to remember there is more to my life than writing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: sometimes we get terrific advice, but we need to be wise enough to recognize when it isn’t the right advice for us. Perhaps it won’t ever be right, perhaps it just isn’t right because of where we are financially / personally / emotionally / whatever. But it’s up to you to stand up for YOU. To recognize that feeling when your chest tightens, your shoulders tense, and the whole world is demanding more and more, or something is telling you that it just isn’t right for you… just tell that advice “no.” (You’re welcome to use stronger language and swears. Swears are fun. 🙂 I’m just trying to be polite.) 😉

Sometimes maybe you’ll need to sit with that feeling for a little while, think about where that resistance to the advice or next “should” is coming from. Maybe it’s child-you deep inside that’s stubbornly insisting “No, I don’t wanna!” And sometimes you need to tell child-you inside that it’s okay, we can still do scary things that will just make us stronger. So sometimes you try some of those things. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

But you pick and choose which of those things you try. Ignore the others. Cut down on the blogs and other input you take in that feeds into that stress and fills your head with Shoulds. Connect with people in your field and outside of it, people who care about you, that can help pull you back from the madness of trying to do all the things all the time. You don’t let the Should-Army flatten you down and stop you from doing what you need to do.

And if you’re a writer, you need to write.

You’ll do that too at your own pace, in your own way. You’ll find ways to reclaim and hold tight to the joy of pure creation that is the work, that is writing, because there are days when it won’t feel that way. But you, you will write.

Because you are a writer. And you are free.

News and author-stuff, The Paranormal

New Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance!

Look, it’s only a week later, and I’m back!! (Yes, I’m impressed too, lol!) Anyway, I have good reason to be back, because I get to tell you about an exciting new book that’s out Oct. 22, 2019. It’s another fun read, an urban fantasy romance, and I’m super excited to read it too!

Without further ado, here’s the blurb and info so you can go one-click it yourself:

Hell has come to collect, but Gisele Walker has no plans to pay the debt.

Being a paranormal bounty hunter in Baltimore is flirting with death, even for a half-demon like Gisele. An orphan with no memories of her childhood, she’s spent the last decade working for the foster father who saved her from the city’s streets. But when he partners her with Shade, an infuriatingly handsome demon who’s keeping secrets, all of her jobs start mysteriously going sideways.

Determined to ditch Shade, Gisele takes a contract to steal a magical curio and accidentally opens a portal to Hell. As a nightmarish ghoul hunts her for the curio, and parts of Baltimore burn to the ground, she finds that joining forces with Shade may be the only way to undo the mess she’s unleashed.

But just as a white-hot attraction between them ignites, Shade’s secret is exposed. The contract is nothing more than a ploy to lure Gisele to Hell’s royal court, where her devilish brother and aunt lie in wait. It’s a family reunion that has her wishing she’d remained an orphan with missing memories.

To save herself and Shade, Gisele must face her past and venture into the twisted, dark heart of the demon court where she nearly lost her life so long ago.

Fans of Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh wont want to miss this spellbinding urban fantasy debut by Writers Guild of America nominee and RWA Golden Heart finalist Megan Starks!

“Starks doesn’t waste a moment launching readers into the heady, paranormal world of her action-packed debut. The complex mythology and feisty characters will hold readers’ attention. This is an enjoyable fantasy from an author with a lot of promise.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“Haunting. Original. Addictive.” —Emily Colin, New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Thief

“House is a smoldering, sexy thrill ride from start to finish.” —Angela Ku, Goodreads reviewer

 

Doesn’t it sound amazing? I definitely look forward to this one. 🙂

Here’s the buy links so you can check it out yourself:

News and author-stuff, Writing

Update for September 2019 (aka: not dead!)

What a title, huh? Same goes for the pig. I like his face, and I otherwise have no idea what to include – this is somewhat indicative of my current state of mind, lol!

So, yes, I seemed to have fallen off the proverbial blogging cart again. But I have lots of reasons, fantastic ones, actually!

  1. It has been a very busy year thus far. June and July were kind of bonkers with my hubby being away on the other side of the world, plus RWA National Conference in NY, plus, you know, family life and actually trying to write books and such. I am super, super behind, which means bad news: the first Beckwell Shades book (about the Beckwell seniors who protect the town, the Shades, who are off to play matchmaker and find their own replacements) will be delayed from coming out Fall 2019…and likely won’t be out until early 2020. 🙁 But I am so excited about that series and I can’t wait to be able to share it with you.
  2. Other big news: I now officially have an agent!! I am super excited to announce that I am officially represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Lit, who has been my dream agent for some time (we’re talking years.) Anyway, this is the start of some new and exciting things, as I want to continue my indie-pub stuff (like the Beckwell series) but I’d also like to become a hybrid author and be traditionally published as well. In light of this, my space opera is getting a face-lift and becoming a sci-fi with romantic elements (rather than sci-fi romance.)
  3. I’ve been revising that space opera and making it all shiny and be-yoo-ti-ful. (And yes, it’s 2am and I’m currently avoiding said revisions, so I totally get to make up words.)
  4. I have revised what was my Golden Heart book, the Regency paranormal romance, which has now become “the Keepers series” about Regency paranormal detectives. It’s definitely not ready for you to see yet, but ooh, it’s a fun world! That revision still needs lots of work, and I need to get back to it after, you know, I finish revising the space opera and get the Shades books ready.
  5. I will be working on a short story in the Shades series just especially for you – and it’ll be free! At least, that’s the plan. More soon. 🙂
  6. I have been trying to get down to the craft room as often as possible and just play, since it’s good for my creativity, and, you know, sanity. 😉 I continue to work on the fantasy dollhouse which now also has a name (you can see more about that by visiting my other blog, Craft Room Chronicles) or just catching up with me on Facebook, where I tend to post quite a few pics of my miniatures.
  7. I am looking at creating a wiki on this website for my books and series. I’ve recently started using one for my writing, and it’s been amazing, especially keeping things organized. Of course, I can’t show you that one (too many spoilers, who’s actually who / what they’re up to / they’re eventual fates), BUT I am looking at creating one for the current series that is spoiler-free and hopefully some fun for us to share. What do you think? Does it sound like something you’d like to see?

Okay, so that’s generally what I’ve been up to recently. What about you? What has you excited and fired up lately? (Or in avoidance mode…ahem, better get back to those revisions.) 😉 Plus, what do you think of the wiki idea? Is that something you’d take a peek at? As always, love to hear from you.

Wishing you a great week ahead, and as always, the ability to see the magic in your life.