Reflections on a Sh*tty Year

Another year is about to come to an end, and I’ve spent the last month (maybe more) reflecting on everything that has happened.

It hasn’t been a good year. It’s been incredibly challenging. Sure, there were some good moments, but for the most part, my memories are filled with anxiety and depression and tears. If there weren’t tears, there was anger. So.much.anger.

I lost my desire and motivation to write. I spent a lot of time in therapy and reading books and working on myself. Every so often I was able to put words on a page, but it certainly wasn’t what I had done in the past. It was tough. It made me feel less than complete.

The past couple of months, I’ve been working hard to get back to writing. I’ve scheduled it in and found ways to be excited about it. I’ve finished the very rough draft of the third book in my Saving Humanity series, but it still needs to be typed, edited, and edited some more.

At the beginning of December, I made a conscious effort to think about my writing differently. One of the things that made it so hard and so frustrating was the fact that I wasn’t making money. Sure, I’d have a few sales here and there, but nothing major. Every month when I looked at the sales sheet, I asked myself why I was even bothering. It hardly seemed worth the effort.

Yes, depression played a major role in these thoughts. I hadn’t realized how far I had sunk into the hole until I was talking to my mom one day, telling her how I’d lost 30 pounds. She freaked. I freaked. I knew then that something had to change. I had to find contentment and calm. I had to find my way back to writing.

I sat down and asked myself why I started writing in the first place. The answer was easy: because I enjoyed it. Because it gave me an escape from my troubles and worries and allowed me to put myself in the shoes of another.

I lost that somewhere along the way. I became jaded and thought that my writing had to show a return of investment—a monetary return of investment.

I had help in this thinking. I didn’t come to this conclusion alone. But I held onto it. I let it define and influence me. I let it dictate how I felt about my stories. How I felt as a writer. When I couldn’t sell books or make more than a few dollars, I felt like a failure.

There was one point in the year, and I remember this vividly, that I was sitting on my couch working on Finding Humanity, and I had to go outside to help the kids scoop dog poop so that my spouse could mow the lawn. As I pulled myself out of the story, I noticed that I had a headache. Nothing major, so I went to take some ibuprofen, and my stomach knotted. I knew that if I put something in it, I was going to throw up.

Still, I had a job to do, so I went outside and walked the backyard with my kids and pointed out the piles of poo. Dizziness washed over me. I almost lost my balance numerous times. I thought I was in the throes of anxiety, but the next day, I realized I had a migraine.

From that one moment, every time I tried to sit down and write, my anxiety asked, “What if writing gives you another migraine?” (Side note: I’m more than positive it wasn’t the writing that gave me a migraine. I guarantee it was stress.) This scared me. It made writing scary for me.

Have you ever been afraid to write? It’s an awful feeling.

I asked myself if I could ever get back to writing for enjoyment, and the answer was yes. How do I get back there? By writing. By keeping in mind that there are other benefits to writing, not just getting money from the sale of my books. I get peace of mind, a way to relax, a way to escape. That’s the real return of investment for me.

It took some time and facing my fears to get me back to writing. I can’t tell you how many times I put the pen to paper only to have dizziness overtake me. I thought for sure I would get another migraine, so I often stopped after only a few pages.

Then, one day, I told my anxiety it didn’t get to decide. I was in charge, and I was going to write. “But, a migraine,” my anxiety said. “Bring it on,” I told it. “I’ve dealt with it before and survived. I’ll do it again. Even if I have to go to bed at 6:00.”

Surprisingly, I never got a migraine, and I was eventually able to finish my book.

My sister-in-law had been reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, and she gave me a copy. I read it, and I loved it. There was so much in there that spoke directly to me. I laughed. I cried. I nodded my head in agreement. Then, I read the part about writing and felt validated.

Writing isn’t about money (for some people it might be, and that’s okay, but for me, it’s not). It’s about ME. It’s about doing something I love. It’s about being able to step back and say, “I created that. ME. No one else. MY work.” It’s an amazing feeling. It’s an empowering feeling. It fills me with pride.

I don’t need anyone’s permission to write. I don’t need anyone’s validation. It absolutely makes me happy to put my book out into the world and know that readers enjoy it and want me to write more, but that’s not the only reason I write.

I write because it makes me happy.


There doesn’t need to be another reason.

The path to getting healthy and feeling better is long, but I take steps every day. Some days are good, and some are bad. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed, but I do. I show up. Maybe 2019 will bring me less depression and anxiety. Maybe it will push me over the edge. I won’t know until I get there.

And I remind myself: if I get committed to a mental health ward, it will give me more time to write.

I hope during the last few days of this month that you take some time to reflect on the past year and look at the things that shaped you and made you stronger. It didn’t have to be a good year—mine was terrible.

But I’m coming out of 2018 with lessons learned and a goal. I hope you do the same.

School's Out: Middle Grade & Kids Fiction Giveaway

Guess who’s participating in this promo?!? Me!! Enter to win 15 Kids & Middle Grade Novels, including books from authors like Rachel Lynn Solomon, Dustin Stevens, and more.

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. 

In addition, get FREE reads just for entering. This giveaway ends soon, so make sure you hurry!

Good luck!



Final Frontier: Space Opera, Military, and First Contact Sci-Fi Book Giveaway

Have you seen this awesome giveaway from BookSweeps?

You can win my book Coming from Nowhere, plus books from authors like Matthew Mather, Mark Wayne McGinnis, and more.

There’s more! You’ll also get a brand new eReader if you win and FREE e-reads just for entering.

This giveaway ends soon, so make sure you hurry and enter!

Good luck!

Join the fun here!

A Rancher and a Warrior: Remembering a WWII Vet

Today marks the 77-year anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was this act by the Japanese that got the U.S. involved in WWII.

My grandfather-in-law is a WWII vet. I had the honor and privilege of writing his story, and we would be excited and humbled if you check out his book (it’s available as an ebook, paperback, and audiobook).

Dale is still alive today. He’s as feisty as ever and still full of stories from “back in the day.” What he did for our country was an amazing and wonderful thing. He is an amazing man and a true American hero.

Lance Dale Robinson dreamed of one day owning his own ranch. Born and raised in a small town in Wyoming, ranching was all he’d ever known and it was all he ever wanted to do. But on his way to achieving that dream, WWII got in the way.

He was a heavy machine gunner for Company H of the 313th Infantry. He landed on Normandy Beach 6 days after D-Day, and tells a story of wading through bodies like seaweed to get onto land. He was part of the Battle of the Bulge, where he was almost court-martialed for thinking his sergeant’s life was more important than his weapon. He received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and a British Military Medal.

When he returned home after his service, he went back into ranching. During his career, Dale worked with the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University to improve artificial insemination of cows. He traveled and lectured about the impacts that were being made in the process, and he helped advance science and ranching.

This is the story of Dale's life in Wyoming and in WWII.

For those who are interested in the audiobook but don’t have/don’t want an Audible subscription, I can sell you a copy of the story. It will be downloaded on an MP3 player and delivered straight to your door. Please contact me for pricing.

Happy Release Day!

Today is the day! Edge of Humanity, the second book in the Saving Humanity series, is now available for your reading pleasure! You can find it on Amazon and other online retailers.

Book 2 in the Saving Humanity Series 

Does being immune to becoming a zombie still make a person human? 

Caleb tried to live a normal life after the uprising. He moved into the city, found a home, and worked a job. He yearned for days full of tedium and schedules. Instead, he discovered he was immune to becoming a zombie, and his life was turned upside down.

Fear and uncertainty have replaced normalcy. Caleb no longer knows if his immunity makes him human or something else…something monstrous. He knows who is after him, but to find out what his captors want and what he is, he’ll have to play their game and give up his freedom. His sacrifice may or may not lead to the answers he desperately craves.

The publishing of this book marks the 13th fiction book I've had published. 13! To celebrate, I'm giving away signed paperback copies of all of my books to one lucky winner. You can enter the contest below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Exclusively for the Holidays

If you’re looking for a unique item for a person on your list, consider buying them a signed book from an indie author. It also encourages reading and the exploration of new worlds. It’s something you won’t be able to find anywhere else (unless you talk to another indie author, but then the books will be different).

I have a few paperbacks floating around the house that I am willing to part with. I’ve included pictures and pricing below (shipping only available in the U.S.). If you are interested in any of my other books that you want signed, you’ll have to let me know by December 5th so I can get them ordered and shipped in time for Christmas.

The order form is at the bottom of this post. Eegads! It’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here!

Undead Obsessed, nonfiction - $8

Humanity's Hope, young adult zombies - $8

Life After the Undead series, young adult zombies
Life After the Undead (book 1)  - $8
Death to the Undead (book 2)  - $8
Both books - $15

Road to Salvation series, young adult demons
The Appeal of Evil (book 1) - $7
Dealing with Devils (book 2) - $7
Good Intentions (book 3) - $7
All books - $18

The Ifs series, middle grade fantasy
The Ifs (book 1) - $6
The Ifs Return (book 2) - $6
Undead Ifs (book 3) - $6
All books - $12

Life Lessons from Slasher Films, nonfiction, academic
This book is usually very expensive, but I will be offering it to interested individuals for $35.

Funny…and a Little Disturbing

Last week, there was a post on IFL Science about an AI site that creates and shares inspirational posters. The sayings aren’t exactly uplifting, but the results can be incredibly amusing.

I decided to see what type of inspirational posters would be created for me, and I was both amused and a slightly disturbed. Here’s what I got.

Personally, I like the shark one the best.  The picture is creepy, but the quote isn’t too off the wall. It’s almost encouraging!

I had to stop myself after awhile because it was like a train wreck. I felt like I could sit there for the vast majority of the day being amused and repulsed by the posters that the AI came up with. If you want to check it our for yourself, you can find it here.

If you get something really amazing or really disturbing, let me know!

I had to generate one more after adding the link to this post. Here’s what I got. Hahahahahahahaha!

The Holidays Are Coming to Get You

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s November. For my American friends, that means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. After that (for those who celebrate) comes Christmas and then New Year’s. These last few months often fly by incredibly quickly—and they can be stressful.

Don’t forget to take some time to relax and unwind in the next few months. With the weather getting colder and days getting shorter, it’s the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and snuggle under a blanket. Take the time to slow down and take some deep breaths.

I’m going to find lots of time to take advantage of reading over the next couple of months. I’m also going to do my best to get some writing done. It’s been occurring in fits and starts, so I assume it will continue that way. Eventually, I’ll get this book finished. Eventually.

With the holidays upon us, I have a ton of paperbacks floating around that I will be putting on sale. I’ll also be doing some giveaways for audiobook codes. If any of that sounds intriguing, stay tuned. More info will be forthcoming.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, friends! I hope you have a night full of fun and frights planned. I will be trick-or-treating with my boys.

Until then, shall we play a game? Leave your titles in the comments!

Young Adult Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Giveaway

I’ve teamed up with 25+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Young Adult Sci Fi & Fantasy novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReaderto the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you'll receive a collection of FREE reads just for entering?

You can win my novel, The Appeal of Evil, plus books from authors like Brenda Hiatt, Matthew Mather, and Cidney Swanson.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here.

Good luck and enjoy!

Katie wants to invest her heart and soul in love, but she may lose both to Hell.

Katie, a senior in high school, is torn between loving the "good" guy, her childhood friend Wes who makes promises he doesn't keep and abandons her when she needs him the most, and the "bad" guy, the new kid at school Josh who is also a real demon from Hell. Katie wants someone who pays attention to her and puts her first, but what is she willing to give up to find him?

Find out in book one of this thrilling young adult paranormal romance by Pembroke Sinclair.

Some Days You Can’t GIVE Your Books Away

It’s no secret that the publishing world is challenging. It’s hard to find an agent. It’s tough to find a publisher. It’s difficult to sell your book. It’s exhausting looking for readers to leave reviews.

There are, of course, options in the publishing world to get your book into the hands of readers, and that includes self-publishing. However, that avenue doesn’t guarantee sales or reviews. And some days, you’ll find that you can’t even give your books away.

For some, this can be an incredibly disheartening prospect. After all, the whole reason you wrote the book was for others to read and enjoy it. You also deserve to be compensated for your time and effort.

There are so many books available on the marketmillions to be exact—and being found can be incredibly difficult. It’s like trying to find a book in a stack of books. But don’t be discouraged. There is more than one way to find a book in a book stack.

Keep plugging along and asking readers to read/review your book. Keep writing and putting more books out there. Have giveaways. Have contests. Be active at your local library. Be on panels at conventions and conferences. Donate books to schools (if that’s appropriate). Put your books on sale every now and again.

Even though you won’t be able to give your books away some days, that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. Find new ways to get your information out to the world. Keep trying. Keep putting yourself out there. Eventually, your efforts will pay off. Here’s to that day!

Finding Time to Read

This week marks the celebration of Teen Read Week 2018. The goal is to get teens and kids to read, and this year’s theme is “It’s Written in the Stars: READ.” As I’m sure you can imagine, the goal is for teens to find books written in the science fiction or fantasy genre, but they are also encouraged to find any story that is “out of this world.”

I think this is an amazing celebration, and I’m more than happy to encourage readers in any way possible. As an author with stories of her own, that encouragement will come in the form of free books. If you’d like a chance to win some free signed paperbacks (open to U.S. shipping only), then comment below and let me know which book of mine you’d like to read and why. Winners will be chosen on October 14, so leave a way for me to contact you.

The vast majority of my books are written in the young adult (YA) genre. I have a few middle grade and adult stories, but YA is really where my passion lies. I enjoy creating characters that are a little naïve and angsty. It gives them a chance to grow and make discoveries about the world they live in. They are allowed to have their flaws, and that really appeals to me.

It’s been a long time since I was a teen, but I remember it was tough to find time to read for enjoyment. Between school, homework, and sports, I didn’t have a lot of downtime to just lose myself in a book. If I wanted to read, I had to make time.

The books that appealed to me the most when I was growing up where those written by Christopher Pike. He was one of my all-time favorite authors, and his stories weren’t overly long. If I wanted to, I could read an entire book in one sitting. If I didn’t have that kind of time, I could fit it in to multiple sessions. But in the end, the books were quick, easy, entertaining, and fit into my schedule.

I’ve tried to incorporate the same elements into my own stories. I want them to be entertaining, quick, easy, and not burdensome. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with incredibly long books and series. They can be quite entertaining and keep a reader engrossed for long amounts of time. Personally, I prefer something different.

Reading is an important part of life. It teaches us so much and gives us a chance to unwind and relax. Everyone should make time to read, especially teens and kids. It will benefit them later in life—and it’s a lot of fun to do.

Because I Drive the Jurassic Park Jeep

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted a Wrangler. I have memories of my across-the-street neighbors having a red one for a short amount of time, and I loved riding in it and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to have my own. A Wrangler was the first vehicle I bought on my own, but it was only a two door, so I had to give it up when I found out I was having a kid.

I waited patiently until I could get another one, and that patience paid off. Unfortunately, life took a turn for the worse and I had to give up the Rubicon I had bought. Still, I knew that the Jeep drought wouldn’t last forever, and—again—my patience paid off.

For my birthday, my kids bought me decals so that I could make my newest Rubicon look like the Jurassic Park Jeep. I’m a huge fan of those movies, and this allows my vehicle to be personalized and all mine. I love how it looks, and I enjoy driving it around. It’s fun to watch people scrutinize the stickers and then see their faces light up when the realize what they say. 

Because I drive the Jurassic Park Jeep, when my spouse’s dealership had a Jeep show, I knew I had to do something fun. It wasn’t enough to have the Jeep parked on the lot with the stickers, so I created games (people had to shoot the blowup dinosaurs with a dart gun) and had a giveaway (people had the chance to register for a chance to win one of two plush dinosaurs). My boys even agreed to wear the blow up dinosaur costumes (not that it took a lot of convincing)—and they had a lot of fun. 

It’s a lot of fun driving the Jurassic Park Jeep, and I want others to see just how much I enjoy it.

There were a lot of other cool Jeeps at the show, and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. 

When Publishing Goes Awry

For anyone who has taken the journey to become a published author, you know how tough the road can be. Rejection lurks around every corner. Doubt and lack of self-confidence slowly creeps in. You wonder if writing is really the profession for you.

Then, you get that wonderful, magical email that someone wants your book. They tell you how much they loved it and can’t wait to get it into the world for others to enjoy. You find yourself on cloud 9, loving life and reaffirmed that you really are a writer.

Finding a publisher is the best feeling in the world. It gives you validation that what you’ve created is liked by others. But finding a publisher isn’t the be all end all in the publishing game. Things can go wrong. The journey can once again get bumpy.

The relationship between author and publisher should be professional. There should be mutual respect on both sides—after all, neither one of us can exist without the other (unless, of course, you self publish, but that has pros and cons associated with it also). If one person isn’t holding up their end of the deal, the relationship will fail.

Even if an author does their research and due diligence to find the right publisher, things can still change. That publisher may change hands, editor turnover might be high, etc. However, through all of the tough times, the company should stay transparent and let the authors know exactly what is going on. If nothing else, they should stick to the contract and fulfill the duties outlined there.

The author is also expected to adhere to the contract and follow through with expectations. That’s why the contract is in place: to protect the author and the publisher. However, when one party doesn’t uphold their end, then something needs to happen.

I get it: you waited so long for a publisher to come along and say they want your book. You’re willing to put up with a little bit of nonsense here and there because the publisher wanted your book! It’s fine that the deadline was missed for it to be available to the reading public. It’s still coming out—eventually. It’s fine that royalty reports haven’t been sent in 6 months. The publisher is just busy and will get to them eventually.

While it’s totally up to the author how much they are willing to put up with when it comes to publisher shenanigans, keep in mind that you don’t deserve to be treated like crap. The contract you signed with the publisher is always your reference for the way you and they are supposed to behave. If they’ve breached it in any form, you have the opportunity to get out and find someone new.

Again, I totally understand that the prospect of looking for another publisher seems awful—and maybe a bit like you’ve failed somewhere along the way. Plus, who’s going to take a book that’s already been published (if it actually has) because then they don’t get first publishing rights? And I like the cover. And the publisher is just a little behind, but once they get caught up, everything is going to be amazing.

As I said, it’s up to the author to decide how much they are willing to put up with from a publisher, and I understand the fear and loathing that comes with re-querying to find a new home for a book. But look at it from a business perspective: if you were selling toys or clothes or whatever and the distributor was jerking you around, would you put up with it? Would you say that it was okay because they’d eventually get their poop in a group? Probably not. You’d probably say forget you and find someone who was actually willing to work with you and sell your goods.

Yeah, you say, but there are way more toy and clothing distributors than publishers. That may be, but that doesn’t mean the publishers can treat you poorly. Again, it has to be a business decision on their end too. They picked your book because they thought it would bring them revenue, but that only happens if they publish it. They can’t sell something they haven’t published. If they aren’t willing to do that, how are they going to make money? They won’t be in business for long—that’s for sure.

At the end of the day, the relationship between an author and a publisher has to be professional and it has to be based on business decisions. It may be tough to walk away from the one person/company who said they wanted to publish your book, but if they aren’t actually publishing it or if you have no idea how many copies have sold, how can you stay in business? You have to know what’s going on to know that your efforts are worth it.

Walking away from a publisher doesn’t make you a terrible person. It means that you are looking out for your business interest and doing what you have to do to be successful. Is it easy? No. Will there be issues down the road? Maybe. But, again, refer to the contract to find out what is expected of you and of them and fix any issues that arise—even if that means walking away.

When all else fails and you’re not sure what to do, talk to a lawyer or other professional, show them the contract. They can help you decide what’s best for the business.

Benefits of "Reading" an Audiobook

Audiobooks have been around for a long time, since 1932, to be exact. They were originally developed for the blind, but have evolved and progressed throughout the years.

For a long time, the only way you could enjoy an audiobook was by purchasing a tape (I sometimes still call them books on tape), then technology evolved so you could get them on CD, and now you can download them on a variety of different electronic devices.

It’s easy to access audiobooks, assuming that the book you want has been converted into this format. However, with audiobooks being the fastest growing division of digital publishing, the chances of getting new releases in this format are pretty good.

If you’ve never “read” an audiobook before, I suggest you try it at least once, and I’ve listed some reasons why.

1. You Can Multitask

Sitting down to read is supposed to be a relaxing experience. It takes us out of our mundane lives and lets us experience countless other lives and new places. I love curling up with a book or my ereader and being immersed in another world.

However, I don’t always have time to dedicate to sitting down to read a book. I work a full-time job and take care of my family. I have a house to clean and laundry to fold. I’m running kids from one practice/event to another. At some point, I need to sleep. But that doesn’t mean I can’t read.

One of the amazing things about audiobooks is that you can “read” and do other tasks. I’ve listened to stories while at work, driving in the car, and cleaning my house. I love that I can be engaged in a story but also get other tasks accomplished. And if I want to sit down and just listen, I can do that too.

So, if you have a busy schedule with little to no time to sit and read but you crave time to “read,” download an audiobook and listen while you do other things.

2. Audiobooks Aren’t Cheating

Apparently, there’s an idea floating around that listening to an audiobook is cheating. I’m not exactly sure where this idea came from (book purists maybe who believe that reading words on the page is the only way to read?) or why, but it exists. Because this notion exists, it has been studied by scientists, and it turns out that our brains process the information the same whether we read a book or listen to a book.

So, if you’ve put off listening to audiobooks because you think it cheapens the reading experience or because you aren’t getting the same brain activity from it, you don’t have to anymore. Feel free to listen to whatever you want and enjoy it.

3. Everyone Can Enjoy an Audiobook

As the mother of two children, I know how much my kids enjoy being read to. They are working on improving their reading accuracy and fluency, which means that reading can sometimes be a chore and exhausting. I know that one day they’ll get over this issue, but until then, they still want to hear stories, and audiobooks help them accomplish that task. It’s also a great way for kids who can’t read yet to enjoy stories.

Think back to when you were a child and someone read to you. Didn’t you enjoy the hell out of it? Wasn’t there something magical about listening to the reader change their voice for the characters or a particular scene? Well, the same thing happens when you listen to an audiobook. You get to enjoy the story on another level. The narrator brings the words to life in ways you can’t imagine. It’s amazing!

4. Audiobook Availability Keeps Increasing

As demand continues to grow for audiobooks, more and more become available for readers’ listening pleasure. As the amount of books available increases, prices become more reasonable—which can be a deterrent to purchasing audiobooks. Sometimes, they are ridiculously expensive. I won’t fault you for not buying audiobooks based on price, but as they become more reasonable, they are worth looking into.

There are numerous reasons to give audiobooks a chance, but the biggest is to enjoy a story. I want to help you experience the magic of audiobooks by offering a chance to win a code to download any one of my audiobooks for free. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me which book you would want to listen to and why (choices are listed on the side bar). 

If any of you are totally for or against audiobooks, I would love to hear why. Leave me a comment with your thoughts!

That Moment When the Passion Comes Flooding Back

I’ve been struggling for the past several months. Well, honestly, it’s probably been closer to the vast majority of this year. I lost my motivation and desire to write, even though every so often I was able to put some words on the page. It’s been incredibly slow, but there has been some progress made.

At the end of last week, I had an amazing day. I actually wanted to write, and the words flowed from me like water. I felt energized and excited and motivated. It felt good. It was beyond good. It was euphoric!

Writing is a weird thing for a writer. On one hand, we want to be able to do it every day to feel normal and productive and accomplished. But the words don’t come easily to us every day. Some days are worse than others, and that can make us feel like failures or hacks. When the words don’t flow freely, I definitely feel like a failure. I wonder if I’m even supposed to be a writer, and this spiral of shame, guilt, and lack of motivation begins. I try to push through those moments, but sometimes it doesn’t always work.

The days that the words do flow freely are magical. They are what sustain writers and keep them moving forward. For me, it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and this is what I’m supposed to do. I no longer feel like a hack, and the only feelings that drifts through me are excitement and wonder. Yeah, those days are amazing. They definitely bring back the passion and desire to want to write.

I’m currently working on the third book in the Saving Humanity series. As of now, it’s called Finding Humanity. While I still have a long way to go, the path is getting smoother. It doesn’t feel so hard to write right now, and I’m going to hang on to that for as long as I can.

As a reminder, the other two books in the series are Humanity’s Hope (available now) and Edge of Humanity (coming this fall). In total, I plan on having four books in this series, so after Finding Humanity, I still have one more to right. Fingers crossed the passion is still there.

My Mind Has Just Been Blown

As I sat down to write this post and tell all of you wonderful readers about my upcoming release, it dawned on me that the book I have coming out this fall will be my 13th novel. 13 NOVELS! I can’t believe it! I’m fairly certain this calls for a celebration, and I’ll think about what to do.

Side note: I also have three nonfiction books floating around, but 13 novels? Where did I find the time to write all of that?

In the meantime, let me continue this post by telling you about Edge of Humanity, which will be coming out this fall. It’s the second in the Saving Humanity series. Humanity’s Hope is the first book.

This series holds a special place in my heart, mainly because Caleb isn’t a typical hero and I can relate to him on a variety of different levels. My goal with these books is to show that people who have been damaged by tragedy and mental issues still have a place in this world, even if they don’t always see their worth and have a hard time being “normal.” I’m excited for you to read about Caleb’s latest adventure.

If you haven’t started this young adult zombie journey, Humanity’s Hope is available for 99 cents on Kindle. Go check it out!

What happens when humanity's hope rests on the shoulders of a teenager?

Caleb didn’t come out of the zombie uprising unscathed. He’s been scarred—both mentally and physically. The rest of humanity is trying to rebuild, to make the world normal again. Caleb is trying to return to a normal life also, but after all he’s seen, after the loss of his family and friends, the transition is difficult. The darkness that led him down a path of self-doubt and self-harm has never left his mind.

Things only become worse when he discovers he’s immune to whatever makes a zombie a zombie. Fighting zombies was predictable. He knew what to expect. Fighting humans is volatile. They are malicious and treacherous. They won’t stop to get what they want, and Caleb has to figure out exactly what that is.

Feeling Better Through Writing

There have been studies that claim writing is a good way to heal from traumatic or emotional issues. As a writer, I can attest that there are some healing properties when it comes to writing, particularly for fiction. However, during the past several months, I’ve discovered that journaling can be beneficial too.

For a long time, when people asked me why I wrote fiction—horror in particular—my response would be, “Because mangling or killing someone on the page is more acceptable than doing it in real life.” There’s some truth to this statement. Not that I would ever really mangle or kill anyone in real life, but writing about these things is a good way to vent frustrations and work through stress.

For the past several months, I’ve been going through some emotional difficulties. During that time, it has been incredibly hard for me to find the desire or time to write fiction. I would sit down and try, only to find the words wouldn’t come or that the act was incredibly exhausting. So I backed off. I put all of my work aside and focused on other things. But this focusing on other things didn’t make me feel better. In reality, doing a lot of things didn’t make me feel better. If things were going to change, I had to change them.

When I was a kid, I used to keep journals/a diary of my daily activities. I wrote my hopes and dreams down in there, as well as long ramblings about nonsense (of course, at the time, I thought it was incredibly important information). While working through some of my anxiety issues, one of the things that was suggested was to write down thoughts, fears, and other things to get to the root of a problem. I decided to give it a try.

I still have a long road ahead of me, but the process does seem to help. When it comes to emotional issues, I think I express my ideas better by writing them down because when I say them out loud, I police myself. I withhold information that I’m afraid others will use to judge me or make me feel like a bad person. When I write, I don’t have to censor myself or my ideas because I don’t have to share that information with anyone. It’s strictly for me and about me. I don’t have to hide. That is incredibly empowering.

One of the things I really enjoy about writing in all its forms is that it allows me to explore things I wouldn’t normally explore. When it comes to fiction, those are places and situations that I will probably never find myself in. For journaling, it’s the inner recesses of my mind. In both cases, I learn more about myself and how I would or do handle certain situations. It’s incredibly eye opening and freeing.

Since I’ve been journaling, I’ve rediscovered my passion for fiction writing. I don’t feel as exhausted or lost for words when I sit down to write about my characters’ adventures, and it feels really, really good to write stories. Writing has made me feel better.

Stepping Back to Re-evaluate Life

Every so often in life, there are moments that are overwhelming and stressful. They can be a short moments or they can last longer than expected. They can be kind of debilitating, or they can totally knock you down for the count. My most recent episode was the latter.

I won’t go into details about what happened, but know that it took a toll. I lost my desire and passion to do a lot of things, including keeping up with social media and writing this blog. Some days I was lucky to crawl out of bed and make it to work. I felt like a husk of a person. I wasn’t even writing novels during that time. I had no energy and was physically and emotionally drained.

I wouldn’t say that I’m completely over the episode, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I often go back through this blog and look at posts I’ve made in the past, and I’ve noticed a pattern of ups and downs, moments of energy and times of no energy. I’m not sure being creative means that I experience these more than other people. I think it just has to do with life. I’m able to track it because I have a record of it online.

I’ve slowly been getting some of my passions and desires back, including writing. While it’s still slow going, I’ve been working on the third book in the Saving Humanity series (book 2, Edge of Humanity, is coming out this fall). It feels good. I feel almost like my former self. With time, it’s possible I will get back to my regular schedule and find the energy and time to engage in my hobbies and interests. But then again, maybe I won’t. Either way, I’m okay with whatever happens. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and figuring things out, and I’ve discovered that some things aren’t as important to me as they used to be.

Life’s a journey, and we all change while walking its path. This is neither a good or bad thing, it’s just a thing. We can’t stay stagnant or we get left behind. Whatever comes of this will be what needs to come of it. Until that happens, I’ll keep trudging slowly along and attempt to get back to writing.

New Adult Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 96 hours!

Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the Purple Team–but there is also a Red Team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number. Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on Team Purple, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by July 1, 2018, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.



During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate. Daughter of Isis is her debut novel.

For more information, please visit her site at


Character Profile:

Name: Meriden
Age: 18, going on 19
Hair Color: Auburn
Eye Color: Green
Closest Mates: Matthew Kettlesworth, Rupert Railing
Courting: Gregory Wilson 

Personality: Hot-headed, sharp-tongued, protective, caring


The high-seas. Ever since she was a small child, Meriden dreamed of sailing the high-seas, as her father and great-grandfather once had. In her heart, despite the dangers, it is her true home.

Carpentry. Meriden learned carpentry from her father, who learned it from his father, who learned it from his step-father. But Meriden also has a natural gift when it comes to wood work. This is because she can feel the wood’s emotions, such as if it was crafted with love or writhing in pain from damage.

Children. Out of all the people in Meriden’s village, she finds the children the least judgmental about her status and behavior. Perhaps it’s because she weaves amazing adventures and teaches them how to sword fight. In any case, Meriden cares for them as if they were family, even though they are not her own.


Blake Baker. The man responsible for the disappearance of her father. She would never forgive him for treachery. But when she learns that Baker actually murdered her father, was responsible for Gregory’s kidnapping, and is now pursuing her, revenge slowly consumes her heart to the point of no return.

Disrespect. Don’t show any disrespect for this girl or her friends. Meriden has a very short temper for such things, and one might find a blade whizzing past their ear if you get on her wrong side.

Favorite Scene: My rage unleashed by his final words, I grabbed my knife from my belt, spun on my heel, and hurled the blade toward Scrapper’s head. While his violet eyes widened, several crewmen ducked out of the way of the flying object as it skimmed Scrapper’s ear and sunk itself into the foremast.

“Would anyone else like to comment?” I spat, my breathing rapid. There was nothing but complete silence in reply. “Good! If anyone on this ship crosses me again, I’ll aim lower. Much lower. Do I make myself clear?”

***Book Trailer*** 

To enter, you need to know that my lucky book number is 7.

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on Team Purple and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, SF Benson!


Movie Review Monday

The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

I don’t know if I was living under a rock at the time or what, but I don’t remember hearing about this on the news. The act in and of itself was incredibly brave and amazing, and I’m super glad no one was killed.

To be honest, I never had any intention of watching this film. No reason why. Just wasn’t on my radar. My mother-in-law was visiting, and she had heard it was good, so we rented it.

I think it’s amazing and fantastic that the real heroes had the opportunity to play themselves in the film. With that being said, I knew they weren’t actors, so I wasn’t expecting much in their performances. They are real people with a story to tell, and they had the platform to do that.

Having them play themselves was both a good and bad thing. The good is above, and the bad is that there isn’t much tension in the film. We know that they come out of the ordeal alive. Of course, we would know that through history and knowing the real story also, so this didn’t really give anything away.

The event on the train happened in a relatively short amount of time, yet the film needed to be 90 minutes long. This allowed for Eastwood to delve into the heroes’ history and give us insight into their childhoods and how they were shaped into the men they became. This was fine, but the film felt incredibly long and slow. We kept waiting for the exciting part, the train event, and it felt like it took a long time to show up and was over way too quickly.

While the story is incredibly fascinating, I think a different format would have made it more appealing. I know there’s a book based on the event, and maybe it’s more exciting in novel form. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know. The film just felt dry.

At the end of the day, I learned about these amazing heroes and what they did on a train heading to Paris. It wasn’t the best film I’ve ever seen, but it wasn’t the worst either.

Has anyone else seen this film? What did you think?

Behind the Story: The Ifs Audiobook

It has been another crazy week. I’ve had family come to visit, so my time has been divided between them and work; hence the late post this week. I should probably plan my time better, but I get to it when I get to it.

Today, I wanted to tell you the story behind The Ifs audiobook. It is now available for purchase on Audible. There’s a sample on the side of my blog for you to check out and listen to. I promise, it’s worth your time. The narrator did an amazing job!

I’m kind of addicted to creating audiobooks. It started out a bit rocky, but then things really took off and fell into place. It’s so much fun to hear other people reading my words and bringing my characters to life. One day, I hope to have all of my books in audio form.

The first book I converted was Life After the Undead, my young adult zombie book, and I didn’t exactly have narrators beating down my door to read the book. Not a big deal. The one who ended up doing it did a wonderful job, and I’m happy with how it turned out. I assumed the process would be the same for The Ifs. 

For my middle grade book (which The Ifs is), my narrator parameters weren’t as stringent. I didn’t care if a male or female read it, and it was totally fine if they had an accent. I put the script up and waited for the auditions to come in—although I didn’t hold my breath. Past experience told me not to expect much.

I got my first audition in, and I really liked how the guy read, so I figured he would be the narrator. Then, I got another one in. And he did an awesome job too. After that came another and another.

When all was said and done, I had EIGHT auditions, and my mind was blown. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t expected that at all. And then I had a tough decision to make.

There were a few auditions that I knew wouldn’t work for the book, so they weren’t in the running. I asked my spouse and my kids for their opinion of who they liked best, then we decided from there. It was agonizing—seriously—because I appreciated everyone taking the time to audition, and it was so fun to hear how they interpreted my work.

In the end, though, Peter J. Taylor did a phenomenal job with the narration. His accent is fantastic, and he does voices. He even adds in a few sound effects—which is really what sold all of us on having him narrate the book.

I can’t wait for you to be able to hear the entire story. I think you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do.

Movie Review Monday

Black Panther (2018)

For a long time, I’ve claimed to be a DC fan. It would take a lot for me to watch a Marvel movie, although I would do it grudgingly. However, after the string of successful films Marvel has put out, I’m debating whether I should be a bit more flexible in my fandom.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ll always be a huge Batman fan, but the heroes of Marvel are finding a way into my heart.

The boys and I have wanted to see Black Panther since the trailers came out. It’s pretty difficult for us to make it to the theater, so we waited (and waited and waited) for it to be available to rent. I think the greatest compliment a movie can receive from my kids is that they re-enact it after it’s over—and that’s exactly what they did after watching this film.

I’m fully aware of the controversies with this film. That’s why I believe we needed this movie. It’s not shy about talking about the issues. It offers a hero and some really strong and smart female characters. It doesn’t apologize for what it is and what it does—and it shouldn’t. It offers a leader that everyone can look up to. It offers the chance of inclusion and starts a dialogue.

I loved this movie for everything it does (including raising social issues) and the hope it inspires. I’m a huge fan of flawed superheroes, those who really want to do what is right but struggle to find that path, and Black Panther falls right into that realm. No one is perfect, and figuring out what is right is challenging, but we all have the power to step up and do our part. Even superheroes with their inhuman powers and strength stumble and fall, and that’s makes them human.

The boys really enjoyed this movie too. Even weeks later, my oldest comments about how much he enjoyed this film. I think it will be one to add to our collection.

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Pembroke Sinclair's books on Goodreads
Life After the Undead Life After the Undead
reviews: 55
ratings: 100 (avg rating 3.64)

The Appeal of Evil The Appeal of Evil (The Road to Salvation, #1)
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ratings: 63 (avg rating 3.54)

Wucaii Wucaii
reviews: 32
ratings: 35 (avg rating 4.11)

Death to the Undead Death to the Undead (Sequel to Life After the Undead)
reviews: 20
ratings: 39 (avg rating 4.23)

Dealing with Devils Dealing with Devils (The Road to Salvation, #2)
reviews: 22
ratings: 32 (avg rating 4.00)