Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Writes: Patience Through Troubles

Writing can be hard, but the business of writing is even harder.

If you haven't heard, my writing journey hit a snag last month when the owner of Samhain Publishing announced her decision to close down. SWAY had only been out two months. It felt like, just when I was getting started, everything was coming to an end.

Since then, we've heard from the owner that she has something in the works, and that we should hold off from moving forward with other publishers or self-publishing. Of course she can't tell us what this venture might be, because people will blab, but it gave me hope. Unfortunately, it's a waiting game right now, and I've never been very patient. I've always been the type to look ahead and plan, and I can't do that right now. Not only with SWAY, but with my second book COLLIDE. COLLIDE is under contract with Samhain, but I received the closure announcement only a few days before I was due to hand it in to my editor. I'd prefer to keep working with Samhain, or whatever this new thing might be, but if it doesn't work out, or if it's not in my best interest, I'd like to move forward on making a decision about the fate of COLLIDE. I can't do that right now, but that doesn't stop the many questions from swirling around in my head.

For example: do I submit COLLIDE to other small publishers, or do I self-publish it? I'm a little wary of small pubs now because of this whole thing, but at the same time, I loved working with the people at Samhain and I really like have the backing of a publishing house behind me. But, if I get my rights back for SWAY, then I think I'll have to self-publish that, so why not self-pub COLLIDE too? But, if SWAY gets tied up in its contract for a long time, COLLIDE might be on its own, and it might be better to try other publishers...

There's a lot of ifs and buts, the future of both of these books is uncertain, and this makes me anxious. All I can do is remind myself to have patience, and meanwhile, keep working.

Like I said, the business of writing is hard. You can take these decisions seriously, do your research, and make your best informed decision, but you still have no clue what the future holds. Even with self-publishing, there are things you can't control. Like I told an author friend recently, you just have to go with your gut, then deal with the consequences. My gut is telling me to be patient. And while I'd kinda like to tell my gut to shove it, I know that's the only thing I can do.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Loves: Easter and Hallelujah

Happy Easter everyone! It's the time for egg dying, chocolate bunnies, and pastel colours. It's also the time to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I know I don't post about religious things much. I'm not comfortable flaunting my beliefs, I prefer to keep them close, and sacred. But I thought this video was really beautiful and perfect for the Easter season. I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend. Hallelujah.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


I'm psyched to get to take part in this cover reveal from author Laura Brown. First, a little bit about the book.

Do you know what hearing loss sounds like? I do.
All my life I've tried to be like you. I've failed.
So I keep it hidden.
But on the day my world crashed down around me, Reed was there.
He showed me just how loud and vibrant silence can be, even when I struggled to understand.
He's unlike anyone I've ever known. His soulful eyes and strong hands pulled me in before I knew what was happening.
And as I saw those hands sign, felt them sparking on me, I knew: imperfect could be perfect.
Reed makes me feel things I've never felt. It's exciting...and terrifying.
Because he sees me like no one else has, and I'm afraid of what he'll find if he looks too closely.
The only thing that scares me more than being with him? Letting him go.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher Available for pre-order!
Wow. Sounds amazing and swoony right? And the cover is too. Here it is:

About the Author
Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family. Her husband’s put up with her since high school, her young son keeps her on her toes, and her three cats think they deserve more scratches. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Another full and great couple of reading weeks. 

VICE by Rosanna Leo. Rosanna is a fellow Samhain author and this is the first book I've read by her. I read VICE in two days because it was a page-turner. It had the perfect amount of tension and spot-on pacing. 
What I love most about it is that it's a story of addictions. Not only does Kate struggle with her father's gambling addiction, she latches on to Liam and creates an addiction of her own (while he gets addicted to her as well). It was a struggle to read how she tries to stop enabling her father but then just gets in deep with her own vice. There were times when Kate was telling herself to run from Liam and I really wanted her to do the same. While Liam has a tortured past, he felt more controlling and scary to me than like a sexy hero. Luckily, without giving away spoilers, both of them eventually get their act together, in a realistic way too- without it being too easy. I was very happy with both of their character arcs and how the book ended.
My favourite line: "They enabled each other. Their love was like a Vegas casino, bright and lively on the outside, but cloaked in darkness, heedless of time and responsibility." Not only is the imagery here perfect, but this line came at exactly the right time. I have to admit it was a bit too much on the erotic side for me- those aren't really my type of books, but I loved the story.

LONGBOURN by Jo Baker. This book is pitched as PRIDE & PREJUDICDE meets DOWNTON ABBEY, which, HELLO, yes please! It wasn't really like that though. The great thing about DA is the number of characters, both servants and the family, which really makes for all the intrigues and scandals. In LONGBOURN, there are only a handful of servants- obviously because the Bennet's aren't rich- but because of that, there wasn't intrigue I thought there'd be. I did enjoy the book though. The story went along with timeline of P&P but it was about the servant Sarah wanting her own life and love story. The book was full of details (though sometimes too many for my taste) and I loved the love story. Unfortunately, though the book was long, the climax felt rushed at the end. I gave the book four stars though because I was totally into it.

EVERYTHING BUT THE TRUTH was a cute and fun read by Mandy Hubbard. It's a mistaken identity kind of book which was fun, although it took the MC a loooong time to finally tell the love interest the truth. I get why, but this made the love interest seem a little dumb- like catch on already dude, this girl is shady! It was a fun and fast read though, and I loved the retirement home setting and the fact that the LI was a rich socialite.

NIMONA  by Noelle Stevenson. So aside from Archie, Garfield, and Calvin & Hobbes, I've never read comics, and never a graphic novel like NIMONA. I didn't know if I'd like it or not but I loved it. The story was excellent, I read it in pretty much one sitting, I loved the characters, it was funny, and the drawings were great. I loved the mash-up of science and magic, modern and medieval. Graphic novels probably aren't my favorite type of book, but I loved every bit of this one and I'm so glad I picked it up. My son is now reading it, and my daughter wants it after him. For a graphic novel first-timer, I think this was a good one to start with.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday Writes: For Love Or Money

I had a conversation with my husband awhile back about whether writing was "worth it." Being the practical guy that he is, he had to *try* and break down the hours I spend writing and compare that to the possible money I might make. (He didn't even factor in time spent blogging, marketing, researching, or social media-ing.) At the time, I was yet unpublished, but even once I signed my contract, he asked me multiple times how much money I expected to make.

I understand where he's coming from. He has a 9-5 job, he works hard, he's our breadwinner. If I was the breadwinner, I'd probably have to think a lot more along these lines of HOW MUCH? Or to put it his way, is it worth it?

I received a royalty statement this week, my third one so far. Every time I get one of these I'm reminded that I'm not in this for the money. Sure, all writers want to be a bestseller and make the big bucks. But I think all writers (or at least most, otherwise what delusions are you living under?) know that's not realistic. Over ten years ago I took a writing course at university and was told that the average Canadian writer makes $20,000 a year. Despite the cost of everything going up since then, I highly doubt that average has. Writers just don't make a lot of money. I can dream big, and my husband can too (he's still holding out hope that he'll be able to retire early thanks to me... hahahahahahaha). But what he doesn't understand, what anyone who isn't in the arts doesn't understand, is that it's not about the money. It CAN'T be about the money, otherwise we'd all quit before we really started.

We write because we love it. We write because we have to. We write because it's the ONE THING we want to do more than anything. And if that means I won't be able to buy Manolo's or trade up my mini-van for an Escalade, so be it. When my husband asked how much I expected to make, I couldn't answer him. I really couldn't. I didn't/don't have expectations- especially since it's my first book because maybe no one will like it, who's to know? I can't put a money value on this work of art that I made or estimate how many copies will be sold.

I write this post as much for me as anyone because it is a little disappointing opening that royalty statement and realizing... nope, I haven't hit it big. This is a good reminder to me that I don't do this to get paid. That was never my end goal. I do it because I love it. End of story.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Loves: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies & Matt Smith

I'm not into zombies- never have been. The movie I AM LEGEND gave me nightmares, I totally didn't get the love story in WARM BODIES, and I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that someone wrote a book called PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES. Like, would Jane Austen laugh at this or turn over in her grave (like a zombie...)?

Once I saw the trailer for P&P&Z though, I knew I had to give the movie a shot. I watched it this week and was surprised by how funny it was. I mean, the whole thing was really weird. When you know and love a story so much and to see it changed like that (ex: Darcy's proposal going from- let's talk angrily about this to- let's beat the crap out of each other) is just strange. But it was so strange that it worked, it was FUNNY. I never thought the movie would be funny. (Although there were a few things that didn't work for me, but I won't get into those.)

The best part, aside from seeing Elizabeth Bennett kick some major behind- which also kinda works with her character, was Matt Smith playing Mr. Collins. Sorry, PARSON Collins. He was so good! And I loved seeing him in something other than Doctor Who. He stole the movie, IMO. This was the first time in any P&P of any kind where I actually liked Mr. Collins! This was also the first time where I thought Bingley was hotter than Darcy. (I don't think I've seen Sam Riley in anything else so... is that really his voice?)

Anyway, it was fun movie and I'm glad I gave it a shot. Still not going to read the book though.

Monday, March 7, 2016


It was another great couple of weeks of reading. First, I read CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell. If you haven't read FANGIRL, I suggest reading that first before CARRY ON. In FANGIRL, the MC Cath writes Simon Snow fanfiction. CARRY ON is an actual Simon Snow book- so it's nice to get a bit of a starting off point.

CARRY ON started a bit slow and weird for me. I kept thinking I was reading some strange and twisted version of Harry Potter. Once I got into the story though (probably 100 pages in or so), it became its own thing and I forgot about HP. I ended up loving the book. I gave it five stars, though really it was more of a 4 and a half kind of book, just because of the beginning.

I love this cover- so swoony!
Next I read Gina Ciocca's LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE. Another great book. It was angsty, it was full of feelings, and I loved it. It was kinda hard to watch the MC take forever to realize what she needed to realize (trying to be spoiler-free here), but that was the whole point of the book. It wasn't an easy journey for her. The only thing that left me a little disappointed is due to the format of the book- alternating flashback chapters and present day chapters- I felt like the big secret hinted at through the first half was bigger than it turned out to be. Otherwise, a great contemporary YA read.

Then I read ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes. And I don't even know what to say. Wow. Just wow. Loved it. Like crazy. Such a good book, a feels book, an ugly cry book, a funny book. A definite must-read. And I can't wait for the movie to come out. And I'm going to buy this book ASAP because I must own it. Yeah. It was amazingly good. Just trust me.

I thought that it would be it before Monday, but I ended up reading Jennifer L. Armentrout's ORIGIN over the weekend. I read the first three books in the series awhile ago, so I totally had to hit up the Recaptains blog to remember what was going on. The book was a fast read, and good. I gave it four stars. But honestly, I feel sorta sorry for it after ME BEFORE YOU. I don't think any book could quite live up.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesday Writes: First Ever Book Signing!

I did my first ever book signing at the end of January, and never posted about it! What the fudge? I think this deserves it's own post. Heck, it deserves a monument. Why? Because I survived.

Just kidding. But not really. It actually went really great. Lots of people came (mostly people I knew, a few I didn't), I wasn't sitting around doing nothing (except for the first five minutes) and I sold out of books!

The survival part comes with the amount of anxiety I had leading up to it. Some days I would be fine, all breezy and "it is what it is." But anytime I really thought about it... BAM! ANXIETY! Like an explosion. In my stomach. Like where I wanted to curl up in bed and never leave.

But I survived. It was a great experience. And the best part: now I know I can do it. Not that there won't be times when no one shows- I know there will. And I'll still get anxiety every time. But still. I KNOW I CAN DO IT.