Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Body Institute

Today I am super excited to help my long-time writer friend Carol Riggs reveal the cover of her YA sci-fi The Body Institute!! Here's a bit about it:

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Sounds fun, yes? It's coming out on September 1st from Entangled Teen, but you can add it to your Goodreads list now (click!) or pre-order (click!). And NOW for the cover reveal!




Doesn't it look cool? I'm so stoked for Carol :) Can't wait 'til release day!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


So, my last blog post was about balancing my passions in life, and how over the last year I've reconnected with my passion for horses and have been training my horse Max. Last year my life went through a big transition period, and I haven't written as much as in previous years. Part of that was the big upheaval of my personal life (divorce and move) and part of it was finding balance with other aspects of my life (more time with my horse and doing yoga and other healthy things). And a big part of it that I didn't talk about was that I've had a hard time finding a focus because I wasn't sure what direction my writing was headed. I joined my first critique group and started querying my latest book, and didn't know whether to start a new project, or work on the second book of the series I'm querying, or edit one of my older books.

The optimist in me thought, if I get an agent and pub deal, I'll need to focus on the various rounds of edits that they'll want, and not be distracted by another project. So I waited, and I couldn't decide. And that was fine - I needed the time to mull things over and find my direction. Pretty much the day after I wrote that last post, I made a decision: I will self-publish my second book, Martinis with the Devil, by the end of the year. Even if I get an agent for my latest book, I think this will be a good move. Martinis is urban fantasy, and most publishers aren't touching that genre right now because it's fairly saturated. But people still love reading it (including myself!), and it's such a fun book. When people say to write the book you want to read, Martinis is pretty much the epitome of that for me. It's just fun, sassy urban fantasy with a kickass cast of characters. Nothing dark and serious like a lot of the urban fantasy out there. So, unless I get an agent and they don't want me to self-pub, that's the plan.

With that decision made, I've had a blast the last week or so outlining the sequel to Martinis. The second book is set in Dublin, so I'm tentatively thinking of a title like Whiskey and Angelfire. Whatcha think? And have you made any big decisions lately?


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Leather and Oil and Learning When to Let Go

Hey now, Fifty Shades, this isn't that kind of blog post... go take a cold shower and come back. As some of you may know, in addition to writing, I am also an equestrian. I have a horse that I'm training, and as we speak I've just finished cleaning his saddle and bridle. My bedroom is filled with the lovely scent of leather and saddle oil (which by the way is AWESOME for the hands), and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

I've had these two passions since I was a kid. Like, five years old. I loved horses and I loved books, and I would write stories about horses. And then later stories that mimicked the high fantasy I grew up on (Tolkien, Dragon Lance, Tad Williams, Tamora Pierce, etc.). I've gone through stages with both where I took a break for a while, but they've always been woven into the fabric of my being and always will be. I consider myself very lucky to have such unshakable direction in my life.

For the last five years, writing took the main stage, and while I had horses, I was terribly remiss in doing anything with them other than keep them as fancy lawn ornaments. My current horse, Max, was born at my house and so for many years was too young to ride. And then he got old enough and I procrastinated. But last year I got a divorce and moved into an apartment with no room for an equine, so I had to start boarding him at a farm about 20 minutes away. Over the last year, I've made more progress with him than I have in the last five. Funny how things work out that way. I think what I missed was a support system of other horse friends, and I needed to regain my mojo. I had a totally untrained horse on my hands who has a pretty dominant personality, and I'd lost a lot of my own boss-mare attitude. So, I've been finding it again and Max and I are doing awesome. 

On the other hand, my writing in the last year has been fairly slim. I've played around with a bunch of different projects, and nothing has quite grabbed me. I'm very Type A about certain things, and am used to slamming out full novels in 6-12 weeks, so this was very disconcerting to me. But then I had an epiphany the other day: it's okay to let go sometimes. I know I can make deadlines. I've written four complete novels. Last year was a year of transition and finding a new balance. And it's okay to slow my pace a bit.

Do you balance more than one passion in life? What are your thoughts on the ebb and flow of your focus and inspiration?