Coming Soon to Amazon

Rachel Billing is a pregnant virgin.

She’s a surrogate for her brother and his wife. After she shares the news of a successful pregnancy, they die in a tragic accident.

Fired, broke and pregnant with someone else’s baby, Rachel is desperate. So when a friend pays her to attend a party with Lance Muller—a wealthy business owner—she agrees. The encounter leads to a job offer and she’s all in.

The job? Taking care of his live-in mother who is dying of cancer. The problem? His mother learns that she is pregnant and mistakenly assumes Rachel is carrying her first grandchild.

Lance wants Rachel to pretend. Pretend it’s his child, pretend to be his, pretend she’s in love with him.

But it’s all pretend, right?

What could go wrong?

What I’ve been up to

My second book, In Due Time, is nearing completion. I wrote this story about a young pregnancy surrogate who finds love unexpectedly while dealing with one tragedy after another. Did I mention she is a virgin? A pregnant virgin, now there is something you don’t see everyday. I have fallen in love with these characters and plan on making it into a two, maybe three book series.

On top of writing, editing and beta reading for other aspiring writers, I have opened two Etsy shops. One is where I sell my hand drawn digital stickers for digital planners and the other, just opened this week, is where I am selling pre-made book covers.

Finding affordable book covers for my stories was difficult and I ultimately decided to create my own. During this process, I learned a lot, including how to use photoshop. I still have a lot to learn, but as I learn, I am creating book covers for all all genres. My main goal is to keep them affordable so Indie Authors like myself, who already spend a lot of money on editing, formatting, marketing etc., don’t have to go broke finding a book cover.

On top of the above mentioned accomplishments, I have also been dealing with some medical issues and the dreaded flu (that flu bug was awful!). I am feeling much better now, thankfully, and am ready to make up for lost time.

Feel free to check out my Etsy shops if you are in to digital planning or on the hunt for an eBook cover. All proceeds are going towards the expense of hiring an editor right now.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/DJASPCovers

https://www.etsy.com/shop/DJASPDesigns

Are you looking for a good read in December?

I haven’t yet decided if I am going to go the traditional or indie publishing route, but I am leaning heavily on self publishing (indie). It’s tough enough just to write a book and then spend countless hours editing and re-editing, proofreading, sending to beta readers, editing again and questioning your sanity all along the way. Indie authors are responsible for their own marketing and advertising as well.

To support Indie Authors in December, here is a list of some books that I thought looked perfect for December reads. I hope you will join me in supporting some of these amazing authors. Also don’t forget that books make awesome Christmas presents for the readers in your life!

Thief by Stephanie Spicer 51aP1hXJtbL

 

Secret Admirer’s Christmas Wish #2 by Dariel Raye  51d32nLAiyL

 

Tasting her Christmas Cookies by Alina Jacobs  51UnM9R7KyL

 

An Heirloom Christmas by Megan Squires  515HA+k+bUL

 

One Complicated Christmas by Mika Jolie  516TayO+XzL

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo

I am spending the first 10 days of NaNoWriMo at a cabin in the North Georgia mountains with a few other authors. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, (National Novel Writing Month), it’s a month long challenge in November every year where hundreds of thousands of writers attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Mineral Bluff, GA
50 degrees with a low of 29 degrees tonight. It feels nice in the sun and oh, that view!

It is a daunting challenge but knowing you are writing alongside other writers all over the globe who are going through the same thing you are, is empowering and inspiring.

The first picture was the view from my cabin bedroom this morning. We have had a few hiccups in the trip so far. The drive up the mountain in the rain was terrifying. My car did not want to make it and my tires spun in places. We have decided we are not leaving the cabin till we have to. We are also having an Asian beetle infestation. They look like lady bugs but they’re not. The whole region is having this problem. There are literally thousands of them crawling and flying around in the cabin. We vacuum them up as the rental company suggested, but more keep coming.

Thank God we have such a beautiful view to make up for the inconvenience! The cabin itself is also very beautiful. I’ve managed to write almost 700 words so far today. I still have a ways to go to reach my daily goal, but am feeling the pull of a nap calling my name. Yesterday was really stressful driving in such bad weather and I didn’t sleep well. This morning I woke up feeling sick. I’m already feeling better but all this fresh mountain air is making me very relaxed and sleepy.

I’ll get some writing sprints in later this evening and will hopefully be able to turn out at least another 800 words.

I am so blessed and thankful I get to spend a week and a half here with some other very talented writers.

Starting Novel #2

Next month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is when writers from all over the globe challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel, in one month. I participated last year and finished the first draft of Sugar Creek. I was hoping to be through the edits and publish it by November this year, but sadly, that just didn’t happen. Rather than rush my editing, I will put it away for a month and start on my next novel. I’m super excited to start this project and can’t wait to spend the first ten days of  NaNoWriMo in a cabin in the north Georgia mountains with a few other writers. That ought to get the creative juices flowing!

Fear of the red pen

Well, it’s here. My manuscript came back from my editor today and guess what? I’m scared to open it! Why? Because I enjoy living in my world of denial right now. In my head my manuscript is wonderful. When I open her email and read about all the things I’ve done wrong, well, my bubble will pop! I know this is part of the process but I have thin skin and I know it.

Is there a secret to mentally preparing yourself for criticism? 

I think I will go make more coffee while I contemplate my options and plan of attack.

February Rut

February is almost over and I’m not gonna lie, I’m glad to see it go. I’ve read so many blog posts about being in a rut in February and I am right there with you. We are sick of Winter and our bodies are craving the vitamin D that comes from being outside in the sunshine. We are ready to plant flowers and vegetable gardens, dig out our flip-flops and pack away the boots, fold up the 15 quilts we keep on the bed and the electric blanket. Dark colors like red, green and black are just depressing, we long for pastels and bright happy colors in our world. 

Along with just feeling bleh, we are less productive and even less motivated. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder plagues some of us and just getting through the mundane things like laundry, cooking and even taking a shower are a momentous task. 

If you can relate to any of the above, be sure and go easy on yourself! Self care is important but even more so when you are feeling down. Loose the guilt over not getting something done or gaining a couple pounds and just let yourself feel how you feel. No need to psychoanalyze all the reasons you are a horrible person. Don’t believe the stuff your mind tries to tell you. You are not alone and millions of people feel the same way.

Spring will be here soon but until it is, put your mental health needs at the top of your priority list. Drink your water, meditate, pray, read, get out of the house, reach out to your friends, exercise, eat well, but mostly just he kind to yourself. 

Project Semicolon

oh so whimZey

Amy Bleuel founded Project Semicolon in 2013. The non-profit was founded to bring hope to those suffering from mental illness and/or addiction. Those struggling with depression, self-harm, addictions, suicidal thoughts and/or attempts found comfort in the project as it brought them hope. Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.39.46 AM

“In literature, an author uses a semicolon to not end a sentence but to continue on. We see it as you are the author and your life is the sentence. You’re choosing to keep going.”    -Amy Bleuel

Mental health activist, Amy Bleuel, developed the movement with a specific view. Project Semicolon aims to encourage, love and inspire people who are struggling with mental health issues.

Project Semicolon provides comfort with giving a symbol to each and every story that could have ended, but it also encourages seeking the proper treatment and medication.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.40.21 AM

If you are struggling, no matter what it may be, take care of yourself; please reach out.

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Having doubts about my editing skills

Here it is February 5th and so far I’ve only managed to get 50 pages edited out of 200! I’m feeling so overwhelmed, and since I am brand new to this, like a fish out of water.

I was told to put my first draft away for at least a month so I could come back to it with fresh eyes. I think for me that was too long. I just can’t seem to get my mojo back. I’m thinking a couple weeks would have suited me better.

I’m still on my first round of self edits and one thing is for sure. I need to make an outline and stick to it if and when I write another novel. I thought I could be a pantser (fly by the seat of my pants) writer and let the story evolve as it came to me. Obviously this was not one of my greatest ideas.

When I first started writing this novel, I didn’t even have a clear picture of the ending. I just sort of let my characters take me where they wanted to go. It worked, to an extent. I was able to flesh out 50,000 words in one month and I now have a beginning, middle and end. It’s all the stuff in between that’s throwing me for a loop. I keep moving things around and now I’m not even sure if it flows like it should. I’m in editing HELL!

More than once, I’ve wanted to throw the whole thing in the trash and start over. Someone out there please tell me this is normal!

Thanks to a fellow blogger, I will be using a different outlining approach if I ever get done with novel #1 and move on to novel #2. Outline Your Novel by K.M. Weiland has a workbook and even software to walk through the outlining process and I plan on making this my next writing related purchase. Thank you Kirsten Mah of the Kirsten Mah Writes blog for sharing this valuable information!

For now, I guess I just keep swimming.

Please send me some words of wisdom or just plain encouragement! I need all the help I can get!

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