Must Love Famine – Coming April 4, 2018!

Okay, so this is kind of a good-news, bad-news kind of post. Good news, Must Love Famine is almost here, yay!!! Bad news? It’s going to be a week later than anticipated. But only a week! 🙂

To get you excited about what you’re waiting for, I made a fun little video about the book. Life is all about the magic of learning new things, right? Hope you enjoy!

It’s also up for pre-order everywhere except for Amazon (but it will be available there too!) books2read.com/u/bOaDlA

News, Events, and Forging Ahead!

Hey out there! 🙂 So today, rather than a formal post, I have news to share with you. 

First up: remember the Goodreads Giveaway? Make sure you hurry over and enter, because it will be ending in just a few days! It’s your chance to win a signed print copy of Must Love Plague, and I want YOU to win, okay? 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/256579-must-love-plague

Next up: I’ve lowered the price on the paperback version. Fellow Canadians especially – this means it’s more affordable for us here in Canada! $12.47 sounds a heck of a lot more reasonable to me, and I hope you agree. 🙂 

Next: I have an author reading / launch party event tomorrow at my local library! I’m both extremely excited, and super nervous. If you happen to be in the Edmonton area and would like to attend, we’d love to have you. 🙂 No pre-registration required, and I’ll be doing a short reading, plus there’ll be snacks and prize draws for a paperback version plus ebook versions. 

Finally: I’ve started a reading group, The Brazen Librarians, over on Facebook. If you’d like to join, my intention is that group could be a fun place where we can talk books, get sneak peeks at my WIPs, maybe even help suggest things you’d like to see. Please hop and over and join (sorry, I tried to find a link for it…but can’t seem to figure that out. Just search “Brazen Librarians” on Facebook, and it comes up pretty quick. 🙂 

Thanks again for stopping by, and I’ll be back to normal / regular posts next week, I promise. Until then, happy reading, happy writing, and remember: there’s always magic in the world if you look hard enough.

On Tragedy

I’m supposed to be writing blog posts on…well, not entirely sure what, but something upbeat and positive, to hopefully get readers to come and notice my upcoming release. But today, after the horrific events of the weekend that just seem to keep acculmulating? It’s just not possible. 

I simply can’t understand how a person can either blithely ignore the suffering of others and blame all misfortune on those who are suffering, nor can I understand how someone could cause so much suffering, to think they have the right to snuff out the lives of others. My heart aches, for those who have lost so much, for those who continue to suffer, for the state of our civilization that this is somehow considered acceptable.

It would be easy to be angry, to blame someone or something else for what’s happened. Because anger and blame are easier to swallow, and it can feel like we’re accomplishing something by lashing out, finding a reason or person that can be squarely blamed for what’s happened. But really, that’s no better than the person who attacked others out of who-knows-what-reasons. Perhaps they blamed a country / city / culture / whatever for their suffering, and thought somehow by attacking them, it would ease the pain. 

But pain just spreads.

Maybe we need to look within ourselves to discover how our world has come to this. Why we choose the easy path of blaming someone else for our problems instead of taking the harder one, and realizing sometimes we are the cause of our problems. 

Today I want to hide somewhere safe, even while others have not been allowed that luxury. I wish I had an answer for why these things happened, because answers suggest solutions. All I know is that clearly, there isn’t enough love in the world. Self-love and selfishness? Oh, there seem to be plenty of those – but see? There I go blaming an outside force. Us vs them. There is only us. Human. We may look different on the outside, we may have different thoughts and beliefs. But just because we believe one thing over another doesn’t mean anyone else has to. Why can’t we remember better as adults some of the lessons we’re taught as children? Be kind to each other, respect each other, and no one has the right to be a bully. As humans, we’re flawed and broken, and perhaps we always will be–but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to improve, try to make ourselves better.

I don’t know how to ease your suffering today other than by saying remember to share your love. I ache too. Go hug your family and friends. Do kind things for others. Do your part to improve our species and our world, because if everyone was out there trying to bring about kindness, think how different our world could be? 

I truly believe there is magic in our world. Perhaps not always the werewolves and fairies and spells kind, but moments when life reminds us what a beautiful place we live in, how lucky we are to be alive, and the wonderful potential we as a species have. So please, look for those moments, create them. Be the magic in someone else’s world. Make this world a more loving and magical place.

Magical World

I write this post sitting in my living room using only the light of the windows since the power is out due to a snowstorm, and I can’t help but think: we live in a pretty magical world. And I don’t mean magic like witches and wizards and the paranormal (though those are definitely cool too!), but just this world. Nor do I mean to say we live in a perfect world. But even still, I think we can still take moments to remember that there is magic around us in so many amazing forms.

I’m inside my house, and though the heat is out and it’s just below freezing outside, I’m safe and warm. I mean, technically if the power’s out for any longer, I can light a fire like our ancestors used to have to, but it’s still an option here. Although I live in the country, I can still easily and quickly travel into nearby cities for whatever I need in relative speed and comfort. A tiny device like my phone or tablet can hold entire libraries worth of books and resources, at my fingertips. Although my phoneline is technically down, I can still contact the outside world using my cell.

Heck, thanks to this modern world, we’re being introduced to new ways to publish, share, and make our mark on the world. I no longer have to slave over handwriting versions of a very limited book, nor do I have to seek out a printer, nor a publisher. You don’t have to know me to buy my book, to find out about it. It exists in a nebulous realm of the electronic world where you can push a button, it will be printed, and someone will get it to you, not even at great expense. Think of all those options we have, how much easier our lives have been made with these conveniences and modern marvels, because while we might barely give them any thought, they really are marvels.

I’m using the last of the juice left on my tablet (already used up my laptop’s very sad battery), and I’m writing something that could be seen by someone miles away, in different countries, just minutes after I post it. Before the invention of the telegraph, the fact that you had to physically get something in front of someone for them to see / hear about it was just the way life was. Now, think how much the world has changed even since the prevalance of smart phone has changed our lives and society forever? News can be shared the moment it happens. People I’ve never actually met can hear about me, my little book, my little life so easily via things like social networking, and then there’s the entire world of possibilities that the internet opens up. 

Indeed, yes, there is a darkside to the speed and connectedness our modern society has and the world we live in. But just right now, I want you to imagine the magic. I want you to look for it. Yes, there are terrible things happening in our world all the time, and sadly, there probably always will be. And we need to try to alleviate suffering and do our best to make that world better. But I also believe that means we need to sometimes step back and look for the magic, look for the joy this world has to offer. Because it’s there too, if you remember to look for it. 

So I’m asking you now: what magic can you see in the world around you right now? I love comments. 🙂 

Thanks for reading. And hey, want more magic? I’m starting a newsletter where each month I’ll share 5 magical things I see in my world, and I invite you to share those too. Come visit me at shellychalmers.com to chat, sign up for the blog or my newsletter, or just share some of the magic of the world.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember: there’s always magic in the world if you look hard enough. 

The Stressed Writer

You know the feeling: you’ve got deadline sneaking up on you, a billion things to get done, none of them done (or it sure doesn’t feel that way), or, and usually, anything you do either takes ten times longer than necessary, or you mess it up the first time around…and it still takes ten times longer. And then you’re asked to be creative, get words down on that latest project.

*Cue crazed-writer laughter here.*

How are those words going to go? If you’re like me – and many other writers I know – not well. Yes, I’m certain there are people who thrive on those last-minute, to-the-wall deadlines. I am not one of them. I can handle stress, but I don’t like it. My mind is going a million directions, but curiously, none of those directions seems to be remotely pointed at my latest WIP. 

Clearly, this is a problem. What to do about it? Since this, ahem, *might* be an issue I’m dealing with right now, let’s look at some potential solutions as well, shall we? 

  1. Can you reduce your stress-load? Are you carrying some stress that’s unnecessary? Worrying about the what-ifs and would-haves that really, you can’t do anything about anyway? Drop ’em. Are you stressing more about what you’re not accomplishing? That’s *probably* not helping. 😉 
  2. Have some fun. Oh, don’t worry, I hear your shouts and screams – “I have a million things to do, I’m already behind, I don’t have time for the luxury of fun!” And here’s where I say: sounds like you need to have some fun! As adults, often we underestimate the value and importance of fun, but when it comes to our creativity, it’s not just an option – it’s a necessity. We need to take care of that inner child who’s also often pretty important when it comes to our creativity. So have some fun. By all means, don’t take too much time, but make sure you have some. 
  3. Drop some of the expectations. There are expectations all around us – and the hardest of them are often those we have for ourselves. You’re not too old, not too slow, not too anything. Maybe you haven’t accomplished everything you wanted to in the amount of time you wanted to. Maybe your to-do list keeps getting longer, while the to-do list looks pretty short and sad in comparison. That’s okay. Celebrate those successes, and then do what you can, do your best, and just keep moving forward. All the rest is not helping you, so let it go. 
  4. Rid yourself of the guilt. Didn’t get the words written you were supposed to this weekend? Behind on your schedule? Word count looking low? Okay. So either accept it and move forward, or just leave it alone. Letting it stress you out is likely to only push you further behind schedule. So let it go. 
  5. Leave room for the story. All of this other noise? That’s what can drown out the story. So listen to your characters. Take them out to play, maybe in a scene or short-story that might never see the light of day. The point is to start hearing the seductive whisper of your story again. Then let that whisper drown out everything else. 
  6. Sit down, write, do your best – and revise in the morning. You can’t edit the blank page. So put some words down. Who knows – some of them might be better than you think. 
So, those are my ideas to move forward tomorrow. Yes, I’m stressed about my book coming out in less than 50 days (who knew installing that count-down clock would be such a terrible idea?? Note: perhaps add “don’t give your source-of-stress a visible count-down clock.”) But, I also have a scene in the next book that’s been waiting a while now: a wedding night scene where all I know is what does NOT happen. 😉 
 
I love to hear from you. So tell me, what techniques and tips do you have to write through your stress? Or reduce your stress so you can write? Or, are you one of those people who’s stress doesn’t affect their writing? Share in the comments. 🙂 
 
Thanks for reading, and wishing you a terrific week ahead. And remember: there’s always magic in the world if you look hard enough. 🙂 

Still here, Change on the Horizon!

Hey out there!

I know, I know…it’s been FOREVER since I last wrote a post, hasn’t it?

Well, in my world a fair bit has been happening. Some good, some definitely not-so-good. We’ll start with the dark and finish up on the light side, shall we?

Dark header v2
This is one of the headers I was considering…but I think I like my current version best now. What do you think??

Last year became a bit of a challenge as, frankly, I became quite frustrated with my career trajectory and perseverance became, well, even harder. I’m so very happy for the success of my wonderful and extremely talented friends, but I’m also human. It can be challenging to see every one else seem to race forward while I linger in the dust. So, I made the decision that this year, I would take charge of my own career and, more importantly, how I determine the worth of my writing and stories. Which means I intend to enter Indy-publishing, which both excites and terrifies me to an almost equal degree.

Having decided all this, events started to move forward…and then my grandfather became very ill. No, he wasn’t a young man (94 to be exact), and honestly, we’ve feared losing him for going on a decade now with various health concerns. But ever the optimist–and stubborn as heck (something I proudly carry on)–he continued to bounce back. Until this June. His prognosis wasn’t good…and it rapidly declined. Now, I see my grandparents at least once a week, and I’m so happy they’ve gotten to know my two daughters as well. Of course, this also made it so much harder to see him decline. And then, in early July, to pass. Needless to say: not exactly the happy part. So, yeah…that’s been a challenge too.

BUT (I promised good news, remember??), drumroll please…My first book, Must Love Plague, will be released this year, October 11, 2017. Which is pretty darned exciting, and definitely some positive news. Stay tuned for a cover reveal and pre-order links which I’m getting close to producing. I’m just finalizing the formatting now, and then progress will move onto the uploading-for-sale phase.

I’ve also been working on a connected series, Shades of Beckwell, which is set in the same magical town, and offers up romances for some of the other paranormal residents. The Shades themselves are a semi-secret group based on a group of older gentlemen I had the pleasure of meeting earlier this year…and who *might* have a tendency to meddle and play matchmaker. This series, and in particular the hero of this group, is dedicated to my grandfather, and which I told him about in June.

You’ll also notice some changes around here. I’ve been working on fixing up my branding and tidying up the website (which, ahem, like the blog may have been a *tad* neglected.) But there are good things ahead here, and I hope the same can be said for you out there.

Thanks for stopping by and reading, and remember: there’s always magic in the world if we look hard enough.

Trailer Reveal for RACE THE DARKNESS

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Cover2Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Series: Fatal Dreams #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: October 4, 2016


PRE-ORDER NOW
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Cursed with a terrible gift…
Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.
A gift that threatens to engulf them…
Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.

 

 

 


IMG_2582Abbie Roads

Seven Things about Abbie Roads:
1. She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?
2. She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.
3. By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.
4. She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?
5. She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.
6. She’s represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.
7. Her first book RACE THE DARKNESS is available for pre-order.

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Packing for RWA San Diego 2016

2016-01-17 12.40.41In exactly one week, I’ll be enjoying San Diego and my writer friends. It will be the start of the huge event, RWA National Conference, this year being held in San Diego.

Every year, Conference seems to somehow sneak up on us (even though it’s scheduled literally years in advance…and we register in February…and it’s on like every calendar I own!). And yet, here we are. Almost ready to leave, and suddenly running around like a crazy person in a pre-Conference fog (not to be confused with the post-Conference fog when you’re too exhausted to breathe.)

But I digress.

Dress at the Conference is business casual. Which means not a formal business suit (unless that’s your thing), but probably nice slacks, a skirt, a decent blouse or shirt. That part is relatively easy to pack for – once you figure out what fits, what you like, and then stuff it all in a suitcase.

The part that is sometimes a bit more difficult to prepare for is the mental aspect of Conference. Yes, it’s wonderful because you meet a whole bunch of people who have a whole bunch in common with you. Not only are these other writers, these are other romance writers. There are opportunities to find out what’s going on at the various publishers. Pitch sessions with editors and agents. Workshops. Inspirational speakers.

And it’s a lot. And you really do have to pace yourself. But, since this will be my sixth National Conference, I’ve realized there’s one crucial thing I have to bring: a great attitude.

It sounds trite, doesn’t it? It isn’t. As wonderful as Conference is, it isn’t cheap considering the flight, hotel, conference fees, plus assorted other costs. It’s a week away from my family and one my husband takes off to watch our kids. I need to make the most of my time and energy there. And a good attitude is the only way I can do it.

Because I won’t let anything ruin my time there. I will enjoy it. I will find the joy in everything, in a way I sometimes wish I could do in my everyday life. I won’t let negativity (from people or events) get me down. And because of all that commitment to myself, I KNOW that I will have an absolutely fantastic time. And I do, every time. Even when things haven’t been perfect. I just won’t let it ruin things for me.

So yes, I will be bringing my business casual clothes, my business cards, devices, comfortable shoes and water bottle. But it’s my attitude that will make it all work no matter what happens.

Are you packing yours? If so, I can’t wait to meet you there!

Thanks for reading, and wishing you a great week of writing, rewriting, or travels if you’re heading to San Diego like I am. 🙂

THE DARKEST LIE Release Blitz!

The Darkest Lie Release Blitz | Pintip Dunn | JenHalliganPR.com

I’m so excited to be part of the Release Blitz for Pintip Dunn’s THE DARKEST LIE! Check out the book’s details and teaser, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

The Darkest LieThe Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn | A Book and a Latte | bookandlatte.com

Publisher: Kensington YA

Publication: June 28, 2016

 

“The mother I knew would never do those things.

But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt from The Darkest Lie

“I’ve been researching the story of her suicide,” Sam says. “And I came across something in my research that nobody could explain.”

“What is it?” I say dully, even though I can probably guess. I mean, there’s lots that’s inexplicable about my mom’s behavior. Tons.

Like: How could a grown woman be sexually attracted to a boy? Or more importantly: Why would she act on it? And my personal favorite: Did she have any kind of moral fiber—even a few lost threads—at all?

But Sam bypasses all the obvious questions and picks up a lock of my hair. I feel the slight tug all the way to my roots.

“Her hair.” He rubs my strands between his fingers, and I suppress a shiver. “It was chopped off, jagged. One article said it looked like it was lopped off with a butcher knife.”

I shrug, but even that simple movement is infused with the awareness of his touch. Still, he doesn’t let go.

“They said she was crazy,” I say. “Out of her mind. Maybe she was disfiguring herself as a sign of her shame. Who knows what motivated her actions?”

But even as I repeat the explanation the detectives gave for just about everything, my dad’s words echo in my mind: I knew your mother. She wasn’t capable of those things. I don’t believe she did any of it.

All of a sudden, my excuses sound exactly like what they are—easy, surface-level assumptions designed to make it easier for the detectives to close the case.

Sam frowns. “I guess I could buy that if I hadn’t seen the interview with her hair stylist in one of the local papers.”

Oh. One of those. Every newspaper in a fifty-mile radius went berserk when my mom committed suicide. Every day, there was a new article, featuring interviews with her fellow teachers, former students, even our lawn guy, for god’s sake. If there was a story on her hair salon, I must’ve missed it.

“The stylist kept saying your mom’s haircut was inconceivable, and I couldn’t understand why. So when I was scooting past Cut & Dry the other day, I stopped to talk to her.”

“Did she confirm my mom was a natural redhead?” I raise my eyebrows. “Reveal the exact color of dye she used to cover her silver sparkles?”

“Not at all,” he says, and something about his tone stops me. The chill begins at the base of my spine and crawls its way up, one long spider leg at a time. “The stylist said she’s been cutting your mom’s hair for two decades. And in all that time, your mother never let her cut more than half an inch. In fact, she came into the salon two days before she died, and they had the exact same argument. The stylist tried to talk her into a bob, and your mom adamantly refused.”

Abruptly, he lets go of my hair, and the strands swing back over my shoulder, loose, unencumbered, and very, very cold.

Sam’s eyes pierce right into me. “So what I want to know is: What could’ve happened in two days that made her change her mind? Unless . . . she didn’t.”

Pintip DunnAbout Pintip Dunn

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, is a finalist in the Best First Book category of RWA’s RITA® contest. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

Giveaway

There are 2 prizes! One winner will win a signed copy of THE DARKEST LIE (US only), and another winner will receive a $50 gift card to Amazon or Book Depository (international)!

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