Archive for the ‘Writing’ category

One would think…

July 4, 2013

One would think that since it’s summer and the usual grind of driving kids around and making school meetings were no longer an issue, I’d find it easier to focus. Well, one would be wrong.

Last summer, I was immensely productive and found it easier to focus at this time of year. For some reason, I’m struggling. Perhaps it is because my kids are older and the demands are different. I suspect, though, that it is a shift in priorities and not a lack of focus on my part. Maybe it’s the mother in me clinging to the last summer before my oldest goes to college and my youngest goes to boarding school.

Whatever the case, I feel like a ping-pong ball bouncing from one crisis to another. It’s time to buckle down and finish these three books I have in various stages of completion. Time to re-center and put those author blinders back on–even if it’s only for a few hours a day.

Anyone else having summer slump focus issues?


Ashes on the Waves Book Trailer

June 24, 2013

I’m so excited about the Ashes on the Waves book trailer. I think it captures the feel of the book perfectly!

Ashes on the Waves Blog Tour

June 16, 2013

The Ashes on the Waves Blog Tour starts Monday, June 17!

I’m so excited for the release of this book and can’t wait until it hits the shelves.

All the stops can be found on the Rockstar Book Tours website.  I’ll be posting daily links to the stops here, on my blog, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a great week!


TeenBookCon April 20, 2013

April 5, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 9.37.31 AMI’m thrilled to be a part of TeenBookCon this year. I’ve attended it several times and it’s one of my favorite YA book events, so I was overjoyed when Blue Willow Bookshop invited me to be on a panel this year.

My panel is “Addicted to Love” with Justina Chen (Return to Me), Stacey Jay (Juliet Immortal & Romeo Reclaimed), Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight & This is What Happy Looks Like),  and Tamara Ireland Stone  (Time Between Us).

Take a look at the full author list. It’s fantastic!

I would love to see some familiar faces, so come by and say hi! The event is free and takes place on April 20, 2013. It starts at 9:00am  and is at Alief Taylor High School in Houston. Directions, schedules and specifics can be found on the TeenBookCon website. 

Have a fantastic weekend!


What Is Taking So Long?

September 24, 2012

I’ve been getting emails and comments/messages on networking sites asking why it takes two years for SHATTERED SOULS 2 to reach release. That’s a great question. It should not take two years to write this kind of book (Commercial fiction, specifically, the second book set in a world with rules I’ve already researched and defined in the first). Some genres require much more time, like research-heavy projects including non-fiction, which can take years, even decades.

So why 2014? I write young adult novels for Penguin and they bought a different project from me before they purchased Souls 2. Because of the order of the contracts, ASHES ON THE WAVES was due before SOULS 2.

I also write adult paranormal novels under a different name and have a total of 6 books under contract. I write at least two books a year, and hopefully that productivity will show up in 2014 and the future. I have more than one book per year slated in 2014 and 2015.

I wish SOULS 2 had been in the works earlier, but sometimes things just don’t work out in the straightest line. I’m so grateful for the folks who have expressed excitement over both ASHES and SOULS 2. I can’t wait until they hit the shelves!


Shattered Souls Setting: The Great Storm of 1900 and Hurricane Ike

July 22, 2012
I set Shattered Souls on the Texas Gulf Coast because it’s my home and I think it’s a unique place with fascinating history. I needed ghosts for my story, and part of the plot centers around The Great Storm of 1900. Somewhere between eight and ten thousand people died in that storm. Plenty of ghosts!
Galveston Island
The research was a blast. I took the kids to Galveston Island and we explored. After visiting a museum dedicated to the Storm, we found the perfect cemetery, hotel, and restaurant for the story.
Above is my 4 foot-tall daughter near a mausoleum at Old City Cemetery. When this mausoleum was constructed in 1888, the door would have been at least 6 feet tall.  It’s under 4 feet tall today, because the level of the entire island was raised after the Storm of 1900 in an effort to prevent another deadly flood. I found this so interesting, I used it in Shattered Souls in the scene when Alden and Lenzi meet for the first time.
Hurricane Ike
First-hand familiarity with my century old story-world came roaring into my life while I was revising it for the first time. Hurricane Ike slammed into the Gulf Coast. Ike was similar in intensity to the Storm of 1900. Fortunately, we now have radar, satellites, internet, radio and television to warn us that entire communities may be swept away. No such system existed in 1900.
The effect of Hurricane Ike was similar to the Storm of 1900, but the death rate was negligible thanks to modern technology. I’ve been through several hurricanes in my lifetime, but this one made the others look, feel, sound, and smell like babies in comparison. It was terrifying. I can only imagine what it was like for people a century ago who didn’t have days to prepare like I did.
Picture time!
It shocked me how similar the pictures of the devastation are. I got to witness first-hand my story-world from a century ago.  I have a few examples of then and now:
Surveying the damage on wheels: Storm of 1900 and Hurricane Ike:
Sorting through the debris then and now:
The power of nature that my characters experienced in their past-lives was terrifying first hand. Fortunately, I was up in Houston when Ike hit and not in Galveston.
Below is where one of the buildings in the first draft of Shattered Souls used to stand. Murdoch’s Bath House was rebuilt after the Storm of 1900 and was lost again during Hurricane Ike. The pilings were all that remained when I drove down after Ike. At the time, it has not been rebuilt, and so I had to remove it from the later drafts.
The statue below was built as a tribute to the estimated 10,000 people who died during the Great Storm of 1900. The seawall under the statue is 17 feet tall. In the second picture, check out the storm surge hours before Hurricane Ike hit.

Ashes on the Waves Setting Pictures

July 12, 2012

My webmaster has been helping me update my website for my upcoming novel from Penguin, ASHES ON THE WAVES. I don’t have an exact date or cover art yet, but the release is planned for June, 2013. Here are some pictures related to the book. The setting is gorgeous and I got to see it first hand! Click HERE to see what the island looks like.

Wishing everyone a fabulous week!