Updates from the Writing Cave

2017 is going to be an exciting year. I have lots on the go, and lots planned for you all. I know some of you are waiting for specific titles, and I wanted to update you all on where I’m at with each project.

But before I get into the status of each book, I’d like to take a moment to talk about release dates. In 2017 my release dates will mostly be surprises. As soon as a book is 100% complete, it will be uploaded, and I will tell you all when it goes live. I know a lot of you have been asking me for firm release dates, but life has been crazy over these last few months, and I’d prefer to surprise you all than disappoint with a delay. I hope you all understand.

With that said, here is the 2017 release list with status updates.

Jared (Dog Mountain Brothers, #1)
Jared is getting close. The first rounds of edits are finished, and I’ve been working on re-writes. I do love this story, and I hope, when it’s ready, you all will love it, too. But it’s not ready to be seen yet. Something is missing, so I’m still in the re-write phase, working hard to perfect it for you all.

Bear Instinct (Montana Shifters, #1)
Bear Instinct is currently in the second draft phase. Some major re-writes are happening, and a few extra chapters being added. More updates will come on this book as soon as they are available.

Just Like You (PRG Investigations, #3)
Wesley’s story is coming along. As of today, I’m working on the first draft and having a lot of fun with it. I’ve missed those PRG guys, and it’s been awesome working with them again.

Love Spell (Cupid’s Arrow, #1)
I haven’t spoken much about this story, and there isn’t much to tell right now, but what I can say is that it’s a fun story involving a witch, a bear shifter, and Cupid. I’m excited about this book, and I hope you all will love it.

Love Shot (Cupid’s Arrow, #2)
Currently in the plotting phase.

Love Bite (Cupid’s Arrow, #3)
Currently in the plotting phase.

Well, these are my updates for the stories that will be released in 2017. Please note that they are in no particular order and the order listed does not reflect which one will be released first. I do want to thank all of my readers for your patience and understanding while I work on these books. I love you all and couldn’t do this without your support.


Writing Tips and Tricks (2)

Today’s Trick: Write the ending before the beginning.

Some writers only outline as far as they can see. Maybe it’s the first quarter of a story, or the first half. It can be sort of like driving down an old forest road in the middle of the night with no map, only seeing as far as the headlights reach.

I’m not one of those people. I like to see the whole picture and know exactly where I’m going. It’s so much easier to get somewhere if you know where you’re going first.

I use this little trick for each book I write. As part of my outlining process, I found that writing out an ending, typically the last two scenes of the story helps give me a clear vision of the entire book.

Sure the ending that I’ve written doesn’t always stay the same. Sometimes when I’ve finished the story the ending is way off from what I’ve envisioned, but writing it first lays the path for my characters and gives them solid goals to reach.

Well that’s my trick for the day.

Happy writing!

Writing Tips and Tricks (1)

Good morning everyone!

I’ve decided to start a weekly post called Writing Tips and Tricks. In these posts I will share the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way and use regularly during my writing process. They will encompass my entire process, from the first stages of plotting to marketing the final published book.

Today’s tip: Set a word goal.

Now I don’t necessarily mean set a word goal for the story you are writing. Although I know a lot of author who do this, I usually don’t. My thoughts on story word counts are: when it’s done it’s done. It could be 50,000 words or 150,000. I write until I’m happy with it.

With that said, I suggest setting a daily word goal. Mine varies from 2,000 to 5,000 depending on the day and what stage of the process I’m on.

What are the benefits to having a daily word goal? Writing an entire novel length story can be a bit overwhelming at times. I find breaking it up into smaller pieces that can be tackled in one day helps alleviate this. It keeps me moving at a steady pace, and at the end of the day I never feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.

Well that’s my tip for the day.

Happy writing and reading!

Teaser ~ Deadly Crush

Want a teaser from my upcoming release, Deadly Crush?  Well, here it is …

“You okay?” the new guy asked, pulling me back to the parking lot.

I glanced at him and offered what I was sure was a scary looking smile. It felt forced and strained. “Um, yeah, thank you, um, Aidan, was it?” I asked. Confused didn’t even begin to explain the turmoil that was swarming my brain.

“No problem,” he said with a wink. His voice was deep, but warm, and held a bit of laughter in it, and I had to admit, the sound of his voice made tiny little butterflies flap in my belly. Or were the butterflies from relief? I wasn’t entirely sure.

“You know Dominic?” I asked, squinting up at him, and raising my hand to shield the glare from the sun. He was cute, in a rugged sort of way. His hair was shaggy, light brown, and uneven, and his strong jaw line was rough looking with stubble. He looked to be about six-foot, and he was built, but not in a muscle builder kind of way — it was softer — but still showed his undeniable strength.

Aidan chuckled. It was deep and soft and the best sound ever, and he gave me a knowing kind of smile as he watched me take him in. I blushed. “Doesn’t everyone in this town know him?” he asked.

“Yeah, they do, but you’re clearly new.” Because if you weren’t new, you would have pretended not to see Dominic dragging me to his car. Aidan may have looked strong, but human muscles were more of a decoration than anything else against the werewolves.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked. A wide grin curled his lips. “I can’t know people because I’m new?” Aidan chuckled again, and I couldn’t help but smile at him. I just loved that sound. It vibrated through me and made my skin tingle.

“Okay, so that probably came out wrong.” I dropped my gaze to the ground, trying to hide the burning blush that was rushing up my neck.

Stay tuned for updates, a sneak peek chapter, and cover reveal coming soon. 🙂

Happy Reading!

Book Boyfriends ~ The Bad Boy or The Sweetheart

Last night, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to decide which kind of book boyfriend I like best: the bad boy or the sweetheart. I’m totally going to call this research, because I’m pretty sure I should have been working on my edits for my upcoming release, Deadly Crush.  But if it was research, then I don’t need to feel bad about the wasted time. LOL.

So here’s what I came up with. I’m going to start with the sweetheart. Sam from Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater was one of my favorite book boyfriends. He was sweet, tentative, caring. He put his needs/wants second to Grace, and I fell for him.

Who wouldn’t want a guy like this? Someone who is always there when you need him. The sweetie is always dependable. He’s comforting to have around, and he always says the right thing. He blushes and is a little awkward, which is completely adorable.

But the thing with the sweetie is that the attraction usually isn’t a right away kind of thing for me. In the first book Sam was just kind of there, but as the series progressed, I just loved him.

But the bad boy … For this one, I took a look at Rhyn from Katie’s Hellion by Lizzy Ford. Rhyn is perfectly flawed. When he first appeared, he drew me in right away, although I wouldn’t say that I loved him in the first meeting, but he was … intriguing. He grabbed my attention and held it until the end.

The bad boy is unpredictable, and he pulls out a slew of emotions from me. There were times that I wanted to punch Rhyn and others were he made my heartbeat quicken.

The thing I love most about the bad boy is watching him melt. He spends so much time fighting the world around him, and then to see him softening for those few seconds is just heart flutteringly wonderful.

But that’s not the only thing I love about the bad boy. He is typically protective, and he makes this protective and slightly (or overly) possessive attitude, known, where the sweetie usually only thinks it and rarely acts on it.

So in the end, I still couldn’t decide which one I like better. The sweetie, who is dependable and shows his emotions, or the bad boy that makes me want to scream at him and then melt into him. They both have pros and cons, although I think I’m edging to the bad boy side. I guess it just depends on the book.

So what about you guys? Who’s your favorite book boyfriend? Are you a sucker for the bad boys? Let me know.

Happy Reading!

The Perfect Title

When I first started with The Soul’s Mark Series, the title was the easiest thing for me. I just knew what the first book would be called, and I went with it. It didn’t vary. I didn’t over think it. The title just felt … right. But as I embark on new journeys with my writing, I’ve realized that this isn’t always the case.

A few weeks ago, I talked about how important the cover of your book is in the post: Your Book Cover is a Powerful Marketing Piece. Well, your title is just as important. After your awesome cover draws in your reader, the next thing they will see is your title.

There are many things about writing that can be, well … frustrating. Editing, outlining, the list could go on and on. It may surprise you, but finding that perfect title can be one of those frustrating things.

Think about this for a second … What if New Moon by Stephenie Meyer was called Bella is Depressed? Or if Fall of Night by Rachel Caine was called Claire Moves and Meets More Vampires?

Now these are quick and kind of silly examples, but the question is, would you still pick up the books?

So what does your title have to be? Well, for me, I want my title to describe the book but not give too much away. I want it to be catchy and spark a readers interest. This can be quite a task. A crappy title could potentially change a readers perception of your story. It could make them pass it up, put it back on the shelf, and not even bother to read the blurb.

Now perhaps the perfect title will just come to you. Maybe you had it before you even started writing the first draft, or maybe you’re like me and you think it to death. For my current work in progress, I think I came up with about 50 options. It took a while, but when I settled on what I thought was the perfect one, I went out to my friends and colleagues and found out that not a single one of them liked it.

Of course, this put me back at the drawing board. I went over the storyline, basically pulling it apart and in the end, I came up with my top five titles. Once I had the list I went back out to my friends and colleagues. I provided them all with a blurb and a list of titles and thankfully I received a much better response.

So think about it. Run your options by a friend. Get feedback. Consider what others might think about it before you make that final decision. You may find out it’s an awesome title, or you may find that your target audience is not sure what to think about it.


I woke up this morning thinking about endings. Not just any endings, but my favorite book endings. I perused my book shelf, looking at the books that have stuck with me over the years, and books that left me handing on, dying for the next one to come out. And as I was looking, I started to wonder why. What happened that made me love these endings?

Before I was a writer, I was an avid reader and my favorite part of a book has always been the ending.  As I looked over all my favs, I realized that they all had something in common: HEAs and cliffhangers.

Yes, I’m a sucker for HEAs and love cliffhangers.

Why I love HEAs …

For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than an HEA, especially when I’m reading a series. I love the fluttery heart, and the giggling, and everything that comes with the hero and heroine coming together at the end. They’ve fought. They’ve struggled. They’ve conquered. They deserve happiness. And I want to live that happiness with them. I love being able to grin as I flip that last page, knowing that my fictional friends are moving on … happy.

Why I love chliffhangers …

I know there are many people out there that hate cliffhangers, but I absolutely love them. Not just as an author, but as a reader, too. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. I read a lot and every book I read takes me further and further from the last one I loved. If it’s part of a series, and the next book isn’t set to release for a year, I need that cliffhanger to keep me invested. I need something big enough to make me remember to buy that next book, and a cliffhanger does exactly that.

What about you? What’s your favorite kind of ending? Are you an HEA person or do you love tragic romance?  How about cliffhangers?

Let me know. 🙂

Your Book Cover is a Powerful Marketing Piece

For those of you who are just starting out on your publishing journey, you should know that your book cover is a powerful marketing piece.  When I wrote The Soul’s Mark: FOUND, I was worried about the story and the editing and writing, and the cover was the furthest thing from my mind, but I soon realized how important the cover of my book really was.  So today I want to share a little bit about the importance of a great book cover.

I know we’ve all heard the saying ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’, but the truth is, we all do it. Your cover is the first thing that a reader sees when they pick up your book, and in most cases, if your target audience doesn’t like it, they’ll move on to the next one.

Here’s interesting Self-Publishing statistic: “Hiring a professional cover designer earned them on average 18% more.”Published at epublishabook.com (Click here to read the full article)

Your book is one of many, which means your cover needs to stand out. Think about all the times you’ve been in a book store, whether it’s a physical store or online, and you’re browsing through the plethora of options. How many times have you passed up a book, not even bothering to read the blurb, because the cover didn’t do anything for you? Personally, I couldn’t even begin to count the times I’ve done it.

When choosing a cover, you need to remember that you are selling stories—a product—and your cover is its packaging. It’s your chance to put your best foot forward. Intrigue your readers before they even turn to the first page. Really, your cover is, in most cases, what will make them want to read that first page.

Remember, you need to advertise in order to sell your book.  I’m not saying that a good cover is all you need, but it truly is a start in the right direction.  If no one notices your book, no one will buy it.

Here are some awesome sites that I use for my cover needs.

The covers for The Soul’s Mark novels were done by a freelancer from Freelancer.ca. She provided me with unlimited revisions, searched for stock images, and put the covers together in just a few days.

The cool thing about Freelancer.ca is that it can be used for pretty much any job you can think of. You can create a free account and post a job. Once it’s posted you’ll have access to freelancers all over the world who will place bids, competing for the chance to work with you. This is great, because instead of you spending your time scouring the internet for a cover designer, you’ll get the cover designers coming to you. 🙂 Make sure you ask for samples of their work before hiring.

Also, I recently found ebook indie covers.  Melody designed the cover of Waking Dreams, A Soul’s Mark Novella. You will find a bunch of premade covers for $40.00 each here. Melody also does custom covers. Her prices are very reasonable, and she is a pleasure to work with.

There are tones of other sites out there and fabulous designers, these are just my favorites. 

So, to sum up … your cover is a marketing piece. It’s an advertisement for your book. You’ve spent countless hours creating the story, so don’t sell yourself short. Spending a little money now, will help you in the long term.  I wish you all the best of luck in finding that perfect cover designer.  🙂

A Vampire Revelation

Hi Everyone!

For those of you who may have missed it, today I wanted to share a guest post that I did for Jonel @ Pure Jonel Book Reviews.  I hope you all enjoy it. 🙂

Happy reading,

Originally posted on March 31, 2013 at Pure Jonel Book Reviews

Today I’m going to share my vampire revelation. Last week, I was chatting with a friend about my upcoming release of The Soul’s Mark: BROKEN, and he asked me: How do your vampires become vampires?

Of course, I wouldn’t tell him because, well, I didn’t want to spoil it, but the conversation spiraled from there, and it got me thinking …

For those of you who have an author friend, you know that we think a lot. Ideas pop up, and we pick over them. For myself, I’ll spend weeks on one idea until it makes sense. Fiction needs to be more believable than real life, and if I don’t believe it happened my readers won’t either.

Anyway, back to the vampires … during my research for The Soul’s Mark Series, I read a lot of vampire books. One thing I found in a lot of them was that to become a vampire, you need to be bitten by one.

And now for my revelation … this doesn’t make sense.

Most books have vampires being around forever. The older books have vampires only eating human blood. So, if they’ve been around forever, and only eat people, then they would have to change or kill every person they bite. How long would the race actually survive doing this? Surely not thousands, upon thousands, of years.

Vampires are supposed to be crafty—survivors. However, how can they survive if they are changing/killing their food? Sooner or later, they would become extinct, or if not them, their food would. They would drain their resources.

This, to me, does not sound like crafty survivors. It sounds like a one-way ticket to disaster. Once they change all their food into vampires, what would they eat? Let’s say at this point, they adapt and move on to animals … would we then have a bunch of vampire animals? *Shudders* Now that would suck.

But, even if they did adapt, in the end, and at some point it would come to an end, the vampires would again drain their resources. If they are changing/killing everything, there would be no one left to reproduce more food for them, and they would eventually die off, too.

And those are my thoughts on why you cannot become a vampire by being bitten alone.

Upcoming Projects

First off, I’d like to say thank you to all you awesome readers who have been emailing me. I love hearing from you all. 🙂
Since the same question keeps coming up in the emails I thought I’d share it.   The big question is, will there be another book in The Soul’s Mark Series?  The answer is yes. 

I have two projects in the works right now, both of which are at the planning/first draft stages. The first one is the last book of The Soul’s Mark Series. The characters have been a wonderful cast to play with, but I feel that it’s time to say goodbye to them. At this point, I do not have an anticipated release date, but as soon as I do, you all will be the first to know.

The second project I’m working on is only at the seedling stage. I’m having a blast developing a whole new cast of characters. I know it will be a trilogy, and I have completed a very rough outline for each book, but at this point I cannot share anymore.

I promise to keep you all updated as soon as I have something solid to share.

Happy Reading!