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Getting Back into the Writing Groove

I did something this weekend I’ve needed to do for a long time: I started a new story.

It felt really, really good to put the pen to the paper and do something creative. I have been so busy with packing the house, selling the house, and then moving that there wasn’t much time for anything else. We’re getting settled now, so I’m getting back into a schedule.

It’s always hard starting a new story. I’m working on the third Ifs book for my boys. I have the basic idea of what is going to happen, but it’s always a surprise to me how the characters get there. I worry a lot when I write. I worry I’ll run out of ideas part way through the story. I worry the story will be terrible. I worry I won’t be able to finish. Some days, those worries make writing challenging, so I have to find ways to push through.

Per my children’s request, this story will have zombies in it. Like me, they are incredibly fascinated by the creatures and want a book just for them with the undead. I’m sure they are excited to see how the characters named after them will fight them off and be victorious. To tell you the truth: I’m excited to see what they’ll do too!

As of this post, I’ve only gotten two chapters written, but I’m going to keep moving forward. My goal with my middle grade books is to write a chapter a day, which means I will be done with a rough draft in a about two weeks. I’m a little behind, but it won’t take long to catch back up. From there, it’s edit, edit, edit. As my favorite saying goes:

Here’s to writing!

Life’s Terrible Moments

It’s astounding how life can go from being tolerable to completely unbearable in the blink of an eye. One moment has the ability to drive you deep into despair and depression. It stops your world and leaves you with pain.

Every so often, you’ll have the opportunity to look up from your loss, hurt, and suffering to realize that the rest of the world is still turning; they are moving forward like nothing ever happened. You’ll wonder: How? Why?

You know nothing but your devastation. The moment replays itself through your mind, and you question whether or not you could have done things different or better. No matter how much you tried to prepare yourself for the moment, to be ready for the inevitable, the moment still blindsides you.
One day down the road—maybe months or years from now—you’ll find that you can smile again; perhaps even catch yourself laughing. It’ll take you by surprise and make you think you are betraying the moment’s memory, but you’re not. The pain will seem less debilitating, but the loss will always remain. The moment will forever be there. But it won’t control you as much as it did before, even though it will always be a part of you.
You can’t stop these moments, and you can’t pretend like they don’t happen. They are part of life. They are not easy, and they will break you down. They will shape your future and challenge your emotions. Cope as best as you can and know that it’s all right to feel the way you feel.

Humanity’s Hope…Coming Soon

I received word from the publisher earlier this week (or maybe it was late last week; I can’t remember, my days have been screwed up) that Humanity’s Hope will be published by the end of July. I don’t have a date yet, but I should get one soon.

It’s hard to believe that a year ago I signed the contract with Stitched Smile Publications for them to put out my next young adult zombie series. So much has happened since then. It’s crazy!

I’m looking forward for this book to come out. I hope all of you enjoy it as well. As usual, I will keep you informed of when it’s available.

Until then, check out my recently self-published middle grade novels, The Ifs and The Ifs Return. You might just enjoy them.

And the Winner Is…

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for participating in the Beach Reads Blog Hop giveaway. It was a lot of fun. Below are the winners. 

Winner of the signed Road to Salvation paperbacks: Natasha

Winner of the Road to Salvation ebooks: A. Royale

Winners of the signed Life After the Undead paperbacks: Margaret and Angela

Winner of the Life After the Undead ebooks: Penny

Again, thank you all so much for participating!

In case you were wondering, we have made it to Nebraska! We are in the new house and slowly getting things unpacked. It was a bit touch and go at first, but we made it.

Moving is so hard and stressful, but it’s even more difficult when the moving company throws you for a loop. My spouse had called and reserved movers to help us load the U Haul three weeks before our intended move date. They were supposed to be there by 9:30, and at 10:00 I heard my spouse on the phone.

Long story short, the mover forgot to write us down on his calendar. And it apparently wasn’t the first time this happened. We needed help, so my spouse put a post on Facebook for people to come help us—and they did. Movers they weren’t, but they worked hard and got us ready to head down the road.

Thankfully, when we got to Nebraska, the movers were able to help us. According to one of them, he wanted to cancel because he had blown out his ankles. I’m glad he didn’t. That would have been extremely bad.

I’m glad we’ve finally made it, and as soon as the house is unpacked, I’ll get back into some type of schedule. Perhaps I’ll even write. I would like that. I have so many books I need to get onto paper.

The Ifs and The Ifs Return

Several years ago, I decided to write some stories with my boys as the main characters. I knew they were going to be middle grade books, and I wanted them to be filled with action and adventure, along with a little danger. At the time, my boys were much younger than their counterparts in the book, and I had a lot of fun imagining how they would behave when they were finally that age.

The characters in the book and my boys share some similarities, but these are also a fiction stories, so I used my imagination. Still, they enjoy these stories and can’t wait for me to write the third book, which is next on my project list, and there will be zombies.

But I digress.

I found a publisher for The Ifs and The Ifs Return, and they were awesome. They asked me to create a different pen name to keep my middle grade books and all my other books separate, so I did. I even published some picture books under my new children’s pen name.

While the publisher was fantastic, the books didn’t do very well. When the publisher offered to give me my rights back, after a lot of deliberation and soul searching, I took them. I figured I would try releasing the books under Pembroke to see how they do.

As many of you know, with the amount of books that are put out on a daily basis, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. And maintaining multiple pen names is incredibly hard. I’ll admit it: I did a terrible job. However, I’m trying to remedy that now. I’m going to see if combining my efforts will allow the books to be a bit more successful.

So, without further ado, I give you The Ifs and The Ifs Return, republished under Pembroke Sinclair!

Book 1 in The Ifs series

Landon and Broden are brothers, and some days they DO NOT get along. They spend most of their days fighting, arguing, and plotting ways to get revenge on each other.

Then, strange things start happening… Noises in their room that are not from the cat. Homework that is mysteriously finished. A broken shoelace that repairs all by itself. Clothes that are put in the hamper on their own.

The brothers want to share their weird experiences, but they don’t know if they can trust each other. But when they find out who’s behind all the strange things around the house, they are called to battle with the most unusual creatures and wildest of beasts.

When the battle turns more dangerous than they imagined, Landon and Broden must face their fears, put their grudges aside, and learn how to work together.

Book 2 in The Ifs series

“Gage escaped.”

These are the worst words Broden could hear from his big brother Landon—just one day after they battled alongside Slade’s Ifs and his army of forest beasts. And Landon has more news…

“Gage has magic.”

As the boys are drawn into another adventure with the Ifs, they find out just how powerful—and dangerous—Gage’s magic can be.

The Dreaded Basement

The house we live(d) in in Wyoming had a basement—and every so often, it would terrify the kids. Which was kind of weird because it was a nice basement. It was finished and bright and sunny. There was a long hall that led down to the guest room that was darker because we kept the doors closed down there, but on the whole, it was a nice basement.

If they want a scary basement, they should have seen my grandma’s. That was terrifying. It had the traditional concrete floor and tons of nooks and crannies covered in cobwebs and dust. There were even some random, half-hidden doors to closets. Boxes were stacked up to the windows, so it was dark, and the windows more often than not were covered in cobwebs, making it even dimmer.

The stairs were thin and creaky, and—of course—the basement was where they stored the toys. When we visited, if we wanted to play with the toys, we had to go down there. The laundry room was also down there, and it was on the darker side of the basement. The toys were at least by the stairs so you could leave the door at the top open and have a little more light. If the boys could have seen that basement, they would think nothing of ours.

I’ve often asked the kids why they thought the basement was so creepy, and they could never give me a straight answer. Now, to be fair, there had been a few times when I would turn off the light at the end of that incredibly long hall and imagine a shadow/person at the other end hiding in the darkness, and I freaked myself out with that. But I’ve also freaked myself out going to the bathroom in the middle of the night and imagined that if I looked in the mirror a demon would be looking at me, so that’s not an indicator of anything.

My excuse is having an overactive imagination, and maybe that’s the boys’ too. Seriously, as far as basements go, this one was pretty benign. It was actually cozy and had a lot of space. But I still wonder: what made the boys afraid of it?

Do you have any experiences with basements and their creep factor? What about any other rooms in a house that you dislike? I’d love to hear about them!

Making Progress

For the past week, I have been making progress on both my house and getting my middle grade books ready for self-publishing. It’s been a long, exhausting road (for both), but the end is in sight.

Next week is the big move, so things are going to get crazy for a little bit. I’m hoping to have The Ifs and The Ifs Return available before then, but we’ll have to play it by ear. Until I get my feet back on the ground, I won’t have a lot of time for writing.

But have no fear! I will get back into writing as soon as I can. Until then, don’t forget to take part in the giveaways for your chance to win some books. You can find them on the right side panel.

Text Stories

Recently, I applied for a freelance writing position to write text stories. I made it through the first two rounds, creating two stories, then I got cut from the roster. Not a biggie. They were apparently working with a lot of other authors.

However, I was having so much fun with the process that I created several more stories than just the two. Since I have nothing else to do with them, I thought I would share them with you lovely readers. Here is my first story. It’s called Shadows.

Beach Reads Giveaway Hop

Summer is almost here, and that means time to read! Who doesn't like to curl up anywhere with a book and enjoy the warm weather and a different world? I know I do!

In celebration, the Beach Reads Giveaway Hop is hooking readers up with reads for the summer, and I'm happy to participate!  I'll be giving away ebooks of The Road to Salvation series (one lucky winner) and the Life After the Undead series (one lucky winner) and signed paperbacks (open to U.S. shipping only) of the Life After the Undead series (two lucky winners) and The Road to Salvation series (one lucky winner).

The Life After the Undead series (young adult, zombies)

The Road to Salvation series (young adult, demons)

For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment and let me know which of these books would be a favorite beach read!

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers involved in the hop!