Justice (Deck of Lies, #1)

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The Tower (Deck of Lies, #2)

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Death (Deck of Lies, #3)

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Judgment (Deck of Lies, #4)

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Hope's Rebellion

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Maybe You'll Be Like Jane Austen, After You Die

If you've ever seen "Becoming Jane," you've been exposed to a few lies about the author's life. The truth is, no one really knew or cared about Jane Austen when she died at age 41 -- other than her immediate family and friends, of course. She'd published four novels then...all of them anonymously. Austen didn't achieve fame until many years after her death, in fact. So you can always hope for that, if things don't work out while you live.

This, and Other Dark Thoughts

If you have a bit of a dark streak, like I do, then that should serve as a sort of weirdly comforting thought. Jane Austen's books were written by "A Lady" as far as the reading public is concerned. Her brother Henry revealed her name only after she died, when he published "Persuasion" and "Northanger Abbey."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Gripped by Rebellion

"A gripping, young adult adventure in an authoritarian, fantasy world."

"This is an author and world I would like to read more of."

"Hope’s Rebellion" has been reviewed at the Bookworm Chronicles. Read the whole review to find out the Bookworm’s final rating!

Visit the Books page to find out how to get your copy of "Hope’s Rebellion."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: You Don't Have to Write in Order

They say that Margaret Mitchell wrote Chapter 1 of "Gone With the Wind" after the rest of the book was finished. Sometimes, the only way to get through the first draft is to start skipping over stuff. You can always get back to it later.

Read all about the fine art of skipping around when you write in this week's Throwback Writing 101 tip!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Writing 101: Why You Have to Micromanage

I had a bit of trouble getting a cover together for my most recent (finished) book. Well, that’s a euphemism. The truth is, I bought like 5 covers. I wish I was exaggerating that number even a little. The first 4 times, I was way too considerate of other people’s creative process. I’ve learned that when you self-publish, even if you don’t do every little thing yourself you have to micromanage every little thing about your book. If not, you’re going to end up with half a dozen covers that you can’t even use.

Every Little Breath You Take

As an indie author, you don’t necessarily have to do everything yourself -- but you do have to direct all of it. Even if you hire an editor, a trailer-maker, a graphic cover designer or a guy to write your Tweets, you’ve got to tell them in explicit detail exactly what you want and what you expect. Because, as I learned, you’re just wasting time and money if you do otherwise.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Writing 101: The Book That Breaks Your Heart

Writing books is a stressful and overwhelming experience, but at the end of the project it fills you with a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Writing books can even be fun...until you write the book that breaks your heart. Maybe it doesn’t happen to all authors, but it did happen to me. Maybe it’ll happen to you, too.

Just Me and My Shadow

In looking back through the blog, you will find that I actually mention this book a lot. I'm being honest when I say I can't get over it; I still think about it all the time. I wrote it some years ago and loved it too well. There's much more to the story, but the point of it is that this book gave me writer's block for an inordinately long amount of time. I put it away and tried to forget it. I got it back out and re-read it. I thought that would help me get it out of my system. It didn't. I’ve read it since. I still feel the heartbreak when that book, somehow, gets brought into the conversation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Louisa May Alcott Didn’t Want to Write YA

If you've watched the movie version of "Little Women," you know that Jo wrote stories of murder, revenge, passion and crime. So did Louisa May Alcott as a young writer. That's what she always wanted to write about. But when her family fell on hard time, she had to write something that would sell. That's how she got into the YA literature game...and that's the stuff that she didn't like writing.


Louisa May Alcott was around 35 when her editor told her to try writing a book for girls, rather than the crime-laden tales she preferred to pen. Alcott wouldn't have followed his advice, but her family was in dire financial straits. Her father had squandered most of the family's wealth, and they were suffering.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: Are You Too Lengthy?

So, are your books just too long? 

Read today's Throwback Writing 101 about going to extreme lengths to find out just how long too long really is.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Writing 101: How Much Blood is Too Much Blood?

I had to take a break after finishing a chapter in my first draft last weekend, and I realized that maybe, just maybe, I crossed a literary line. So now I’ve got to ask myself, how much blood is too much blood in a book? 

Let’s Get Drenched

A certain amount of violence is to be expected in certain types of stories. Can you imagine “The Princess Bride” without the exciting swordfighting? How’d you like to read the Harry Potter books without the wizard dueling? Or maybe you’d be jazzed to crack open a copy of “Divergent” without all the battle scenes and training? Of course not, there would be nothing left. So sometimes, a little bit of violence is required. Or even a lot. But plenty of books don’t get gruesome about it. That makes it tricky for other authors to find out where that line is located. Do you know where it’s at?