Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's almost here.... about a week. Am I ready? Nope. But I will be.

This is my second year participating in NaNo. Last November I'd written about 35,000 words when we got news that my husband's contract was coming to an end and that we'd be leaving Germany to come back to the states. That's a very long I won't bore any of you with here, but I will tell you that the news was not good for me. I was overwhelmed. I wanted to stay where I was. I didn't want to come back home and I quit writing for a couple of months. Even though I was incredibly sad, I probably would have continued to write, but it's hard to create a novel when everything you own, including your computer, is packed into a huge container and bobbing somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean. I am, settled into our new/old house back in Colorado. It's October 23rd and I've been busting my tail to get organized for NaNoWriMo. This year I will succeed.

You get the picture. We even bought a Keurig today which will come in handy, I'm sure. I'm a huge iced chai drinker, but I'm thinking I'll need a bit more caffeine than my usual tea can deliver.

There are still many things I will be working on throughout November. I'm a full time homeschooler, and I have one more book to review for a group on Goodreads. I'm hopeful that I will still be entrusted with a beta reading project (or two) that I have been looking forward to, (and that means I have a second review that needs to be posted as well.) I'll be really busy come Saturday. I'm sure glad my youngest knows his way around a microwave. Both my husband and I are delving into the world of NaNoWriMo this year...without my son's wicked zapping skills, both of our children might starve altogether. Hey...there's always Thanksgiving. We're celebrating it at our house this year. The kids can make up for a month's worth of lost calories that day.

If I don't post for a while, you'll know why. If you don't hear from me come December, you might want to send a rescue party. 

Oh, yes. I can.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Author Spotlight: RP Dahlke

I'm an avid reader. I always have been. I attended Sunset Ridge Elementary School as a child. I remember a lot about that school...Mrs. Johnson, my beloved second grade teacher who called me Jemmy instead of Jenny because she said I was precious, breaking two fingers when I was flipped off the slide, and the wonderment of the music room and after school movies in the gym. What I remember most vividly, however, is the library. I can still recall exactly what it looked like and how I felt when I walked inside that enchanted room. Oh how I loved the library! 

My love of books goes as far back as I can remember, and I still feel that way about them. Hardback, paperback, eBooks, PDF' doesn't matter. I'll take them in any form. I have an enormous collection of favorite authors, but since becoming an author myself, I'm happy to say that a lot of the writers that fall into my favorite category are actually people I know. How cool is that???? They are my friends. They are an email away when I have a question, (and believe me...I have had a lot of questions since I jumped into this big pool of self publishing...) and they are a never ending source of entertainment. They have been my beta readers, and I have been fortunate to read for them. They are sounding boards and inspiration. They are talented and imaginative. Oh, did I mention that these people are my friends?!?  

I have never done an author spotlight before. I'm excited about this first one, and know there will be many more in the future. One of the things that excites me about this author is that I enjoyed her books long before I ever met her. I sent her a friend request on Goodreads thinking she'd never accept it, but that was just one of the many surprises she had in store for me. This author's name is RP Dahlke, and she's a mystery writer with several titles under her belt. She's also a wonderful person who not only accepted my friend request but wrote me a personal note telling me she noticed I'd just recently published myself. After that I received from her a collection of information she'd gathered and written up about marketing and being a self published author that has been indescribably useful to me. Another bonus for me is that, not only is RP a tremendously talented author, she's hilarious and giving, supportive and caring. She was the first author I formed personal ties with, and that makes her very, very special to me. 

Enough of the gushy stuff already! Here is RP Dahlke's biography:

I sort of fell into the job of running a crop-dusting business when my dad decided he’d rather go on a cruise than take another season of lazy pilots, missing flaggers, testy farmers and horrific hours. After two years at the helm, I handed him back the keys and fled to a city without any of the above. And no, I was never a crop-duster.
I write about a tall, blond and beautiful ex-model turned crop-duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, says: “I’ve been married so many times they oughta revoke my license.” I wanted to give readers a peek at the not so-perfect-life of a beautiful blond. Lalla Bains is no Danielle Steele character, she’s not afraid of chipping her manicure. Scratch that, the girl doesn’t have time for a manicure what with herding a bunch of recalcitrant pilots and juggling work orders just to keep her father’s flagging business alive.
RP Dahlke released the fourth book of her Dead Red Mystery Series in late August. It's called Dead Red Alibi, and it has already received more than 100 five star ratings on Amazon. 

Here's a bit about this newest book from the author herself:
A successful, but reclusive young artist with a secret life.
A wannabe lawman and his dotty gun-toting granddad
An abandoned mine pit
A curious dad and a very dead police chief
When Lalla and her dad take a trip to Arizona to inspect her new property, Dad disappears. But when Lalla enlists the help of a local tracker she's relieved to find him unharmed, but in the bottom of a mine pit. Unfortunately, he's got company--a local police chief, and it looks like he's been murdered. Then too, a young woman artist living nearby has also been murdered. What're the chances that these two murders are going to be related? Well, if you're Lalla Bains, you don't guess, you start looking for the killer!
There are three more in the Dead Red Mystery Series, starting with:
#1-A Dead Red Cadillac
#2-A Dead Red Heart
#3-A Dead Red Oleander
Or get all three as a boxed set on Kindle:
And coming in 2015, A Dead Red Miracle.
Lalla Bains isn't RP Dahlke's only heroine. She's written another series, as well as a guide to help the self published author jump start their book promotions.
Other books on Kindle by RP Dahlke
A romantic sailing mystery trilogy:
A Dangerous Harbor
Coming next in the trilogy – Dead Rise
Jump Start Your Book Promotions

Want to get in touch with RP Dahlke yourself? Here's where you can do that:
Her webpage:
If you're looking for tightly constructed mysteries with interesting locales, colorful and vibrant characters and a lot of humor, you've just found your author. It's obvious that I am very fond of RP Dahlke and her talent for writing incredibly entertaining tales. I know you will be, too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Alabama Skye Featured by Elite Book Promotions

A couple of weeks ago I was surprised by an email in my Goodreads mailbox. It was sent to me by a very friendly woman named Misha Almira who runs Elite Book Promotions. She wanted to know if she could feature Alabama Skye as a book of the day, then if she could list it on her blog. 

Um, let me think about that for .2 seconds....

Let's see...How about YES!!!!

I was very excited to say the least and wrote her back immediately. She then asked me to write a little something about my relationship with the characters of the book. This I could do.

I actually had eighteen chapters of the book written before I went back to focus on my first book, The Color of Thunder, which was published in December, 2012. When I came back to Alabama Skye, so much had changed in my personal life. The basic story stayed pretty much the same, but I added another character. I added Sarah Guthrie Gannon. She's a very, very important character; not only to the story that's told in Alabama Skye, but to me personally. She's based on someone I've loved dearly my whole entire life. But, instead of me explaining that here, please take a moment to click on this link and read what I wrote for Elite Book Promotions.

I'd love to know what you think about it. Please leave me a comment if you have a minute. Thanks so much!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blog Tour

I'm part of a review group on Goodreads and have met some pretty amazing Indie authors there. During the last round I participated in, a fellow writer, Rebecca Hazell, invited me to take part in a blog tour. I would like to introduce her here as my sponsor. 

Rebecca Hazell is an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips and educational craft kits for children and even designed award winning needlepoint canvases. I took a look at some of the art she has up on her site and she's a pretty phenomenal painter as well. Visit her here.

I was given four questions to answer, so here we go!

1) What am I working on?

I’ve got several projects going on at once right now. I just published my second novel, Alabama Skye, at the beginning of June. I had no plans to write a sequel until many readers told me they thought there should be more from this cast of characters. Thrilled with this response, I got to work on a story line and and am excited about going back to the fictional seaside town of Kelby, Alabama once again. There has been some buzz on my Facebook page as of late that there should also be a third installment to this series. (I'm so grateful for readers!) We'll see what happens. :) I am also writing a trilogy based on a smart, funny but unlucky in love loan officer who lives in Sparrow, Nebraska and the Greek goddess Aphrodite. This is a more light-hearted story that has allowed me to entertain my life-long fascination with Greek mythology. I hope to have the first book of the series, Dead Beat Dates and Deities, published by the end of this year. Yet another project I have in the works is a mix of both historical fiction and ghost story. I just recently returned to the states after living in Germany for two years. I became quite interested in the emperor Frederick Barbarossa and, with the help of my German landlord, did an extensive amount of research into his life and the lives of his family. That book, titled Red Beard and the Ravens, will hopefully be published sometime in 2015.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is a hard question to answer because I think that every author, no matter what genre they write, is different from other authors. Each one of us has our own style; something about the way we write that sets us apart from our fellow writers. I have a tendency not to always stick to the same genre, so I think that makes it harder to make comparisons between my work and someone else’s.

3) Why do I write what I do?

My first novel, The Color of Thunder, was a mixture of historical and literary fiction. I believe Red Beard and the Ravens will most likely fall into the same category. I really love research. I love to dig around in places I’ve never been, time periods I wasn’t alive for and find out what they were like. Alabama Skye turned out to be more in the women’s fiction category. I really enjoyed writing it because it dealt with the relationships between four women in the same family. That was fun because it was close to home without being autobiographical. My Goddess series deals with a topic I’ve long been interested in, and I get to be a bit silly. It’s all a lot of work, but so much fun. I enjoy dabbling in several different kinds of things and it’s interesting to put different voices into the books that I write.

4) How does my writing process work?

Writing process? Well...I'm a full time homeschooling mom of two kids, one in high school and the other in middle school, so I pretty much fit writing in whenever I can! I usually do my best work first thing in the morning. I focus on writing, whether it be actual writing, editing, research or marketing every single day. Some days are definitely more successful when it comes to word count than others, but I do something to further my progress on a daily basis.

Now, I'd like to introduce you to two more authors, both of whom I've read and enjoyed very, very much. 

First up is Alison Ripley Cubitt. Here is her bio and the link to her blog:

I am Alison Ripley Cubitt – author, screenwriter and novelist who co-writes thrillers as Lambert Nagle.  I worked in TV for the BBC and Walt Disney but my passion has always been for writing.  I love to explore the countryside on a horse, a bicycle or on foot. Visit Alison here.

And my friend, G.J. Griffiths:

G J Griffiths is a UK baby-boomer who worked for quite a while in the Photographic industry, and then he became a Science teacher for about twenty years. He likes reading (lots!) walking in the countryside, birdwatching and being a Grandad. Having retired he thought he would try to write a novel, which has since become three novels. Visit G.J. here.

I highly recommend both of these authors. If you have the time, please check them out. They are both definitely worth a read.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

T-shirts and reviews

In Alabama Skye, Cheney and Greer sell t-shirts and sweatshirts out of the front room of their Scottish B & B. This charming bed and breakfast is called Gannon's Glen. I was lucky enough to receive my own shirt yesterday, although I didn't have the pleasure of traveling all the way down to the coastal town in Kelby, Alabama to get it.

I've been working on an outline for a sequel to Alabama Skye. I've gotten some amazing feedback and many readers telling me they aren't yet ready to say goodbye to the cast of characters in this book. I am so surprised and thrilled by this. I believe the second book will be mostly about Noah. That's the way it's going right now, anyway. I have many ideas running through this crazy head of mine, and once I start writing, the characters kind of take over. We'll see what I can come up with.

I received a four star review on Amazon yesterday. The book has gone out to many different people. This one was left by an unknown reader. 

4.0 out of 5 stars Climax a little bit of a let down, but otherwise a fantastic novel!July 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book - the characters were well fleshed out, the dialogue was realistic and fun, and the overall story was great .


There was only one thing that really threw me: the whole book builds toward a big, dramatic scene about Cheney's past, and when that big secret is finally just doesn't quite make sense. She accidentally kills her husband Callum by hitting him over the head with the butt of a gun, thinking he's an intruder, which, by itself, would have been plausible. It also goes a long way in filling out Cheney's character. The problem is, the exchange is several pages long, and the whole time he is breaking into the house (shooting through the door, even), Cheney keeps calling out to him, "Who are you?? What do you want with me??" He never responds, not until after she hits him over the head. It's mentioned that he smells of whiskey, so it's supposed to come off that he was inebriated, but that didn't feel like enough of an explanation. Even Cheney asks why he didn't respond, and he never gives her an answer. I kept waiting for more of an explanation, and it never came. It was jarring, because the whole book was so good; the whole scene leading up to Callum's death was gripping! My heart was beating faster, the pictures just flowed through my mind. So the climax was a little bit of a let down. Otherwise, I loved it!

I'd love to know who SonOfASailor is so I can acknowledge whomever it was. I like to thank those personally who take the time to sit down and write out a review. If it was you, thanks!

I'm always looking for more reviews. If you're interested in reading and reviewing for me, I've got a free eBook copy of Alabama Skye waiting for you. Just send me a note. :)

*****UPDATE - I have since found out who left the review and have been able to give my thanks to this reader. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Press release for Alabama Skye on PRWeb

I've self published both of my novels through a company called Xlibris. I retain all the rights to my work, plus I get to say what my cover looks like and what the inside format of the text looks like. It costs more money than it would to do it other ways, but I also get quite a bit of marketing for the price I pay. I was interviewed by Xlibris shortly after I published The Color of Thunder in late 2012. Xlibris has a blog and I was featured on their Indie Author's Roundup. Here's a link to that interview:

Xlibris put together a press release for my newest book, Alabama Skye, and sent it out to more than 1,000 media outlets. These include web sites, newspapers, magazines and radio programs. Members of the media rely heavily upon the press releases that cross their desks on a daily basis to fill out every column inch and every broadcast second. When the media responds to a press release, Xlibris acts as the primary contact and forwards interview requests to me. They send free copies of my book to these members of the media, and I just saw the press release they created in action.

Here is what my press release looks like on the PRWeb website:

Of course I'm hoping that Xlibris receives some requests for copies of Alabama Skye, and I'm very interested in doing some interviews. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback on this collection of characters in my fictional little town of Kelby. It's been an amazing two months.

Like Sarah says in Alabama Skye, "Opportunity is like a bird. It never perches."

I'm taking every opportunity that I can to help Alabama Skye soar. I feel a little bit of wind beneath this novel's wings. Here's hoping there's enough to get it up into the great big blue sky.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A few more amazing reviews for Alabama Skye

The feedback on Alabama Skye has been overwhelmingly positive. It's such an amazing thing! I am so grateful to all of those who have read and reviewed it. There have been a couple of reviewer said she thought the story was too sweet, and another one even made fun of the title saying the combination of Alabama and Skye is too cute and unusual. This second reviewer, incidentally, is absolutely convinced that this is a memoir and that it was not worth either writing or reading. I don't know this person, so this is nothing but conjecture on his part. In this case, I have to say that he's least about the memoir part. The only thing even remotely autobiographical about Alabama Skye is that my grandmother, like Sarah, had Alzheimer's. Oh...and I do have a mother...but that's where the similarities between me and any of the characters in the novel end.

I wasn't on Facebook, didn't have my blog or a web site, and certainly didn't have a following of any sort, (other than my loyal family members and friends...and thank God for them) when The Color of Thunder was published. I was an absolute unknown. I was in a different place, however, while getting ready to release Alabama Skye. I was totally taken aback when it was published and  people I didn't even know were paying attention told me that they'd been anxiously awaiting the book's release. I've had readers push the book for me, getting their friends and family members to read it...and the response I've gotten has really been an amazing and wonderful surprise. Sometimes you put things out there and don't hear a thing about them. I built up the release of Alabama Skye like nobody's business on Facebook, posting pictures of the different characters, blurbs from the book and all sorts of other things. It's easy to get frustrated when you're trying to let the world know that you've accomplished something you're enormously proud of and you don't think anyone's listening. I learned a big lesson about that in the last month. Someone is always listening.

Here are a few more reviews from Amazon I'd like to share.

5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful story of twists and turnsJune 30, 2014
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Paperback)
This is the first book I have read by J.C. Wing and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
Alabama Skye is a treat, a wonderful story of twists and turns. It's a beloved inspiring and uplifting story of family, loyalty, loss, forgiveness, coming together.
It's a well written book about Cheney who lost her husband and left Scotland to make a fresh start in Alabama with her family. The plot moved along well and had me so interested it was hard to put it down, the only bad part was it was over and now the wait to see if there is a sequel to the book.
Congratulations on your first book J.C. Wing looking forward to reading more from your :)

5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the first chapter!July 5, 2014
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Paperback)
J. C. Wing has written a book that pulls you immediately into the setting of the story and keeps you there through the last chapter. Her descriptions of the surroundings and characters bring the story and people to life and make you feel as if you are there with them and know them personally.
Ms. Wing writes about situations that are part of many people's everyday lives which allows you to identify with the characters and their issues. However she has a way of writing so that you aren't bored but instead anxious to find out the outcomes to the circumstances she has presented.
At different times while I was reading Alabama Skye I chuckled, I smiled, I felt sad and I felt happy, yes I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Well done!
Although the story did have closure I was sorry when it was over. Maybe a sequel written from Noah's perspective?

4.0 out of 5 stars Wish it was longer......July 4, 2014
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Alabama Skye. All of the characters are so likeable and it is easy to imagine their interactions. It's fun to have both the Scottish and the Alabama sides of the story. I liked how the background stories came out throughout the book, and not all at once. I wish it had been a bit longer. 200 pages goes quickly.

One of the other reviewers commented that there were opportunities for confrontations/drama/problems that weren't taken by JC. She saw this as a problem. I actually saw it as refreshing. It was a nice escape - it's easy to get caught up in our day-to-day where negative things do happen so I thought it was enjoyable to read a story about a really close family that doesn't even recognize challenging situations because they have each other.

I'll definitely recommend this to friends and look forward to reading another book by JC.

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a must-read.June 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Paperback)
Alabama Skye is a treat, a wonderful story of twists and turns. It is one of those "can't put down" type stories, a beloved inspiring and uplifting story of family, loyalty, loss, forgiveness, coming together. It will impact you in some way, bringing these characters to life, making you feel connected in some fashion. You will feel like you know the characters, thanks to the detail and images created by the author JC Wing.

My only complaint is that it ended. I look forward to a sequel or more, from some of the other characters viewpoints. Definitely a must-read.

I also loved this review I got on Goodreads today.

's review 
Jul 08, 14

Read in June, 2014

I absolutely Loved this book by J.C. Wing. I have read both of her books now and will continue to read her novels.

This was a book that captured my interest, held it, and left me wanting more when I reached the end.

The very interaction between characters, the story line, and the history of both Scotland, and the south have a way of pulling you in and keeping your interest during the whole book.

I feel that this is a great avenue for J.C. Wing to consider a series, as with these characters, there is still so many avenues to investigate, and journey through.

There have been two things I've heard the most from readers. They want to know where the recipes are for all the different foods I wrote about in both The Color of Thunder and Alabama Skye. They also want to know when the sequel for Alabama Skye will be published. As for the sequel...I'll be honest. When I finished writing Alabama Skye, it felt complete to me. I had no thoughts whatsoever about ever writing a sequel to this book. I am so excited, though, about the fact that so many readers want more of these characters! I have written up a loose outline for a sequel and have begun the first chapter. I can't promise anything for sure...I have to love the story and the way it turns out before I spend the time and energy to get to it published. I love these characters. I love Kelby, Alabama and Gannon's Glen and I have been happy about going back and working on the continuation of the story. I've also got plans to put together a cookbook filled with all original recipes from both novels. I've got a son, who loves to cook. If I write a sequel to Alabama Skye, however, a cookbook will have to be delayed. I can't imagine that Greer will go through an entire book without cooking up more amazing treats.

Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed for me. Please, please, please...when you read a book - mine or any other author's - if you enjoyed it, take the time to post a review. Amazon is always a good place to do that. Reviews make an author's world go round. It effects sales and promotion...and it let's us know what you like and don't like about books. Every review is useful. Every review is helpful. Every review matters.

Monday, June 23, 2014

What an amazing week it's been!

I've gotten some wonderful feedback on Alabama Skye! Here's what some of my readers are saying:

4.0 out of 5 stars TeaghlachJune 16, 2014
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Paperback)
This is the first book that I have read by J.C. Wing and I must say that it was a delight. I read the entire thing in a single sitting.

JC has done a wonderful job of interweaving Scotland and Alabama, the past and present, in addition to sharing with the reader a family to whom many of us can intimately relate. At the core it is about family (teaghlach), friendships, forgiveness and love.

I will definitely recommend this book to my friends.

5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is Brilliantly Written!June 17, 2014
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Kindle Edition)
I came to the book with no expectations. It is so brilliantly written and the characters so deep and interwoven within each other. I laughed at the simple sayings two best friends can share, visualizing the looks they would share. I cried at the tragedy that can enter ones life, but then feel hopeful as that tragedy can bring us each lessons and the hope to forgive and understand, that in most cases, we all do the best we can. These characters will stay with me and have reminded me of life's great lessons...friendship matters, family is everything and healing comes from forgiveness.

The author is a genius and she has simply woven a beautiful quilt of words and of love between these characters. Sophisticated, but also visual and warm. You can feel love in this book.

Absolutely adored it! Looking forward to more from this great author!

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic ReadJune 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book so much I didn't want it to end and it was very difficult to put down. I enjoyed the character Cheney who lost her husband and left Scotland to make a fresh start in Alabama with her family. The author described the relationships between the characters so well that I quickly began to empathize with several of them. The characters are well developed, real and believable, each facing their own flaws, hopes, fears and dreams. The plot moved along well with enough bumps and problems to keep my eyes riveted to my Kindle until the very end. Through all the secrets and struggles, it was evident that family would prevail because, after all, family is what is important.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous StoryJune 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alabama Skye (Kindle Edition)
This book brings back the beautiful, rich descriptions and complex relationships that readers have come to expect from J.C. Wing. This book draws the reader into the world of a small town on the Alabama coast when Cheney McGillvray, a scottish native, proposes a scheme to turn the family home into a B&B with a distinct Scottish flair. With a bit of mystery and a lot of love the author weaves the lives of 4 women into a compelling tale that keeps you awake long past bedtime.

On Facebook, I have offered anyone who is willing to review the book for me on Amazon a free eBook. If you're interested, please let me know in the comments and I'll get right back to you. I'll need to know whether you'll be reading it on an iPad (or other Apple device), a Nook or a Kindle and a good email address so I can send you the file.

Thank you to everyone who has read Alabama Skye and for those of you who are in the process of reading it now. It's been a crazy, wonderful, surprising and fantastic week. I can't wait to see what's still in store!

To purchase Alabama Skye in either paperback or hardback, please visit Amazon at:

or my publisher, Xlibris at:

It is also available on Barnes and Noble:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Now it's real...

I now have a hardback copy as well as a paperback copy of Alabama Skye in my possession! They arrived today and I couldn't be happier with the way they look.

I'm a two time published author! Wow...

So, here's the scoop.

You can buy the hardback, the paperback and the eBook on Amazon. Here's the link:

You can also buy all three versions from my publisher, Xlibris. I'm not exactly sure which format the eBook is in however. If you put it in your basket, I'm hoping this information will be divulged. I'll work on that and make sure I keep you updated. Here's the link:

They are not showing an eBook available yet on Barnes & Noble, but I have been reassured that it's coming. To purchase either the hardback or softcover there, follow this link:

Both of the eBooks from Amazon and Xlibris are priced at $3.99. I've been told by those who have read it that it's an easy read. Perfect for trips to the beach or reading on the plane as you fly to vacation spots this summer!

Reviews are incredibly important to authors. I urge you to please leave one for me if you read the book. It doesn't have to be long or wordy...and I'll be enormously grateful to you for doing so. Amazon is the best place to leave that review. It doesn't matter if you bought the book through them or not.

I appreciate everyone's support! I am really proud of Alabama Skye. I hope you all like it, too.

Monday, June 9, 2014

You can now buy Alabama Skye!

First of all, I'd like to announce that Alabama Skye is now available for purchase!!! You can buy both the hardback and paperback versions from my publisher, Xlibris, as well as from Barnes & Noble. The link isn't complete on Amazon as of right now, and the eBook isn't available quite yet. There will be eBooks available for both Nook and Kindle very shortly. If you are interested in purchasing either a hardback or a paperback version, please visit either Xlibris or Barnes & Noble. You can use the following links. Thank you in advance!


B & N:

I am a self published author who chose to go with Xlibris to help me on my journey. I worked with them before when I published Color of Thunder. The experience I had back then was amazing. There were bumps in the road...but those mainly occurred because I was living in Germany at the time. I tried to have my author's copies delivered to our post office box on the Ramstein Air Force base...and, well...that didn't work so well. They wound up in England somewhere and traveled all over the place before I finally got wise and gave them our home address in our little village of Linden. When I finally received the box, it had many different stamps and stickers...and was a little battered. My experience with Xlibris in general? Awesome! That's why I chose to go with them again when it came time to publish Alabama Skye.

Even though I published through Xlibris, I am still a self published author. I keep all the rights to my work. I get to design my own cover, (but a trained, creative professional puts it all together for me,) and I get a little extra help with the marketing of my book. When I published Color of Thunder, I was given a huge questionnaire. I filled in all of the answers, then some brilliant writer took what I wrote and turned it into a Press Release. They also did an author spotlight featuring me on the Xlibris webpage. Here's the link for that if you'd like to take a look.

I just finished a second questionnaire, this one for Alabama Skye. I'm going to post it here so that you can see what the questions were and how I answered them. When the press release comes out, I'll post that, too. It's interesting to see how they use what I've written to construct the advert.

1. What inspired you to write this book?
This story started out as something quite different than it was when it was finished. There were always the two main characters, Cheney and Greer, but their story, and the stories of the characters that support them, changed and evolved over time. My inspiration came from the desire to delve into the complexities of familial relationships, specifically those between the female members. Each character is so uniquely her own and I grew to love each and every one of them.

2. Summarize your book in one to three sentences as if you were speaking to someone unfamiliar with your book and its topic.
Alabama Skye is ultimately about the complicated and intricate relationships between four generations of women, and about how the things that happen in their lives both as individuals as well as a part of a family make them stronger and bind them together. It’s about the love between a parent and child, and about how what happens to a person when they are young really shapes who they become when they reach adulthood. It’s also about the romantic relationships between men and women, about how often times we have to struggle to make peace with our pasts in order to allow ourselves to enjoy fulfilling and worthwhile futures.

3. What is the overall theme (central topic, subject or concept) of your book?
In one word, I’d have to say that the overall theme or central topic of Alabama Skye would have to be family.

4. Where does this book take place?
This book takes place in both Scotland, on the Isle of Skye, and in the fictional town of Kelby which sits between Gulf Shores, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. Part of the story also takes place in Mobile, Alabama.

5. Who are the main characters and why are they important to the story?
This book is really about four generations of women, so of course they are the main characters. There is Sarah, who is the oldest of the four. She’s really at the core of this story. She’s a true Bay Lady; very southern and proper but with a hearty dose of feistiness. She falls in love and marries Finlay, a Scotsman who is just making his way into the prosperous paper industry boom that hit Alabama in the early fifties. They have one child, a daughter named Meara. When Finlay dies and his will his read, Sarah realizes that he kept an enormous secret from her throughout their twenty year marriage. She discovers that Finlay had not only been married before she met him, but that he’d left a daughter behind in Scotland. This daughter, Cheney, is another main character. The book opens to find that she’s recently lost her husband, and by the end of the first chapter, she’s decided to leave Scotland and travel to Alabama to be reunited with the American family she knows little about. This brings in the fourth main character, Greer, who is Meara’s daughter. Together, Cheney and Greer turn Sarah’s historical home into a Scottish bed and breakfast. There are many very important supporting characters such as Meara’s husband, Jack and Greer’s lifelong best friend, Noah. Another important and very key character is Jimmy, who is Greer’s love interest, and Jolly, who serves as a surrogate grandfather to Greer and who is a prominent member of the family.

6. Why do you think that this book will appeal to readers?
At the core of this book is the relationship of these women and what each one of them brings to the tale. Sarah, who was once very headstrong and capable, is now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Cheney is a Scotswoman in a foreign land, and she has secrets she is unwilling or incapable of revealing that torture her. Greer is a recent college graduate who is unwed, pregnant and unsure of which path to choose, and Meara is a successful and well-loved business owner who is trying to be all things for her family. She wants to be a good sister, she wants to make sure her ailing mother is taken care of and she wants to support her daughter. There are many serious subjects in Alabama Skye, but the book is not a heavy one. It’s a real life story that so many people live every day. My hope is that when the reader picks up this book, the first few lines will intrigue them. Something has happened to Cheney. Her husband is dead. How? Why? From there, I believe the rest of the story will carry itself out. There is mystery and romance, there is comedy and there are tears. It’s a realistic tale with colorful, interesting characters and I believe every reader will be able to relate to them, feel for them, laugh and cry with them, and rejoice with them as they travel through to the last page of the story.

7. How is your book relevant in today’s society?
Alabama Skye is absolutely relevant in today’s society. It’s about the struggle and success of small business owners, and the intricate and complex nature of familial relationships. It’s about the reality of growing old and having to deal with sickness and the act of caring for loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves. It’s about parenthood and romance and making the choices that everyone has to make as they come into adulthood.  

8. Is there any subject currently trending in the news that relates to your book?
Not really, except the ongoing plight of small business owners and those people who are either afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or the ones who are caregivers and loved ones of those who are.

9. What makes your book different from other books like it?
I haven’t read any books that are really like Alabama Skye. There are countless books about families and the relationships between the people within these families, but each one of those books is as unique as the people they are written about. This book has two very different and interesting settings; both in Scotland and in the southern U.S. It touches upon the geography, the history and the traditions of each and introduces the reader to a bit of Scots Gaelic as well as the warm southern twang of Gulf Coast Alabama. It is at times serious and heartbreaking as much as it is comedic and light.

10. What do you want readers to take away from your writing?
Every writer wants to affect their readers. I certainly do. I hope that when a reader finishes Alabama Skye, when they have read the entire book and put it aside that they feel touched by it. I hope they will remember the story long after it’s been read.  I hope that perhaps they look at their sister, their daughter, their mother or their grandmother in a little different light. Maybe they will hug their best friend, tell their spouse that they love them, go the nursing home and sit with a person afflicted with Alzheimer’s. It’s so easy to take family members for granted. It’s so easy to be frustrated or overwhelmed by those who have been rendered less capable by age or disease. It’s easy to be too busy for others when our lives are so full, but in reality, we are far less fulfilled without these other important people in our lives.  

11. How did you learn about the topic?
Well, first of all, I am a daughter, a granddaughter and a mother myself. I don’t have a secret half-sister living in Scotland…at least none that I know of! I’ve been faced with my own obstacles and my own difficult decisions just as everyone has. I have also been touched by Alzheimer’s disease. I watched as it robbed my grandmother of her memories, made her fearful and weak, both mentally and physically, and I watched how it affected the other members of our family. My grandmother was a huge and important part of my life and I lost her a year ago. Family is such a difficult and intriguing thing and I wanted to write about it. I find it so interesting how a family is a whole, but it’s made up of a lot of individual parts. I wanted to tell the different stories that belonged to some of the people who make up those parts. We all have experience with that so basically, I learned about the topic by just living life.


And there you have it! I hope to have the finished product by the end of the week. I haven't heard anything yet, but it would be great if they highlight me on their website again. We'll have to see...and, of course if they do, you'll be the first to know about it. :)   

Friday, May 30, 2014

Official cover for Alabama Skye

Bright and early this morning, at about 6:15, I opened up my email to find the galleys for both the interior and the cover for Alabama Skye.

(click to enlarge)
I am incredibly pleased with the way it turned out. Yay! I have butterflies! My butterflies have butterflies!

I will know within the next few days what the official release date will be. As soon as I do, it will be posted here.

Don't forget to check out the first two chapters of Alabama Skye. I appreciate all the feedback I've been getting. Please don't hesitate to leave me a comment. I'm always interested in knowing what you think.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book trailer for Alabama Skye

I'm a newbie with the creation of video, but I gave it a shot. All of the photos in this video were taken by me throughout our travels in the last four years. Take a look to see what I came up with.

Still waiting for the galleys. Hopefully I'll see them by the end of the week and I will have a better idea about when the book will be released.

I can't wait for this one, guys. I think it's a good one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Alabama Skye is complete!

On Thursday, May 22nd, I finished my second novel, Alabama Skye. Whew! My Word doc is 161 pages long and consists of 86,931 words. I'm not sure yet how long this will be in print format, but soon that mystery will be solved. I wasn't too worried about length. I wrote until the story was told and am very happy with the way it turned out. Book number two! Wow. How cool is that?

This one is different in many ways than The Color of Thunder. I've thought about this a lot over the last couple of months. For one thing, I had more experience under my belt and felt a little more confident in my ability. I've met a lot of readers and other authors in the eighteen months since my first book was released. I've been able to talk with them and share my fellow author's processes with them. I've been part of a review group on Goodreads since last August. Have I mentioned how much I love Goodreads? It's true. I do. I have met the most wonderful people there and learned so much. I used the site long before I was published, and it was fantastic from a reader's perspective. It's even better, in my opinion, from the perspective of an author. If you'd like to visit my Goodreads page, here's the link to follow.
Like I said, this is a terrific website for anyone who enjoys reading. If you send me a friend request, I'll gladly accept it. 

I also have a Facebook author page, which is something I didn't have, (and didn't want) before publishing The Color of Thunder. Now I'm so grateful for the interaction I have between me, my readers and other authors. I've mentioned it before, but I'm going to do so again; authors are an awesome bunch of people. I'm proud to be one and very happy to be able to call so many of them my friends. I have ways of letting people know I have a second book coming out...and a lot of these wonderful people are excited about it. This is amazing to me and I'm so grateful for it. You've probably arrived here at my blog via Facebook. In case you didn't and aren't following me on Facebook, please come visit. Take a second and like my page for me if you do. 

I wrote this second book differently. First of all, I worked on it pretty steadily for about a year and everything was fresh and new. For the most part I wrote it in order from start to finish and, while the characters had a lot of say in the direction of the tale, I had it pretty well mapped out in my head before it began. The Color of Thunder was a project I started way back when I was pregnant with our first child., but she was thirteen when I finally published it. The main idea of the story always remained the same, but so many of the details did my perspective and writing style. I put together all of the pieces I'd written over the years, reworking many parts of it. When my husband read a section in which my old writing was mixed in with new, he very simply stated; "You have to rewrite this. You aren't the same person now, you aren't the same writer now as you were back then." Some of the character's personalities and objectives changed as did the whole end of the story. It was a lengthy process, not to mention the fact that I wrote it during a very, shall I say, interesting time in my life. I picked it back up in the middle of 2011. We were living in North Carolina and my husband spent six months of that year in Germany while the kids and myself stayed behind in the states. I'm a full time homeschooler and became a single mom during that time, if only physically. It might not have been the best time to tackle such a monumental project. That didn't deter me. What did stretch out the time between making the decision to do it and when it was actually finished was that we, as a family, decided to pack up and move ourselves to Germany at the end of 2011. It took me another year beyond that to finally have my manuscript ready to publish. The road was rocky for The Color of Thunder, but it helped me break in my hiking boots and taught me an enormous amount about both myself and my writing process.

I had no experience behind me when I became a published author. I didn't know how anything worked. I had it in my head that I had to do everything by myself and that's what I did. It wasn't until I became a part of the Goodreads and Amazon communities and started talking to other authors that I found out this isn't necessarily the case. Writing by itself is a very solitary past time. The rest of it, though, doesn't have to be. I have had the opportunity to beta read for a few authors. This is an amazing thing...being able to see a work of fiction before it's presented to the public. It's so much fun to see the way each author works as they strive to perfect their story. What's most enjoyable for me is seeing their novel in both the beta reading stage, then reading the final product. I think it's a pretty special thing, being asked to beta read, and I'm eager to be asked again. I was lucky enough to have three people beta read for me for Alabama Skye. Two of them are authors, and the third was my mom, who surprised me by requesting to read for me. Her input was very valuable as one of the main characters in this novel suffers from Alzheimer's. We lost my grandmother exactly a year ago to the disease and my mom was one of her caregivers. I knew, as hard as some of the reading would be for her, that she would be a wonderful resource for me. I was so grateful for all the feedback I received and will absolutely, without a doubt, ask for beta readers next time I publish as well. 

Circumstances while writing Alabama Skye were not exactly challenge free. Instead of moving from North Carolina to Germany, we found ourselves moving from Germany back home to Colorado. I'm starting to think that this is just the way life goes and if you don't push yourself over these obstacles, nothing will ever be accomplished. It took much less time for me to finish this book...and I am already onto the next.

But before I get ahead of myself...I have yet to receive a release date for Alabama Skye. I am anxiously awaiting to see what my publisher has done with the photograph I sent in my for the cover...and as soon as I learn about these things, I will be announcing them here on my blog and on Facebook. This is a very exciting time for me! Alabama Skye will have a summer time release. I think it's the perfect vacation time read. It will fit nicely into a beach bag.

Until then, I do have a sneak preview for you. If you want to get a taste of this new story, please go to the right and click, "Read the first two chapters of Alabama Skye". These are fully edited, finalized chapters. I'd love to know what you think so please don't be shy. Leave me a comment. :)

If you're interested in The Color of Thunder or finding out about my upcoming novels, come visit me on my web page. You can find me at:

More news coming soon!