Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas, my friends!

CITY OF LIGHT was released yesterday, so happy book birthday to my 3rd novel this year! That's something to be excited about.

About the book:

The malevolent Demon has claimed a bride—the maiden, Aisilyn—from the sacred City of Light. Five families wait with dread, uncertain if their Aisilyn is the one the Dark Warrior will take. Only Gennavieve remains convinced the Warrior will come for her sister. To protect Aisilyn, and her upcoming marriage, Gennavieve puts herself in her sister’s place—allowing the Dark Warrior to claim her as the Demon’s chosen bride. What Gennavieve never considered is what she would do if she fell in love with the servant of darkness. In a world driven by faith, no one knows which prophecy will be fulfilled—or whether Gennavieve’s choice will lead to the Demon’s destruction or her own.

And here's a little teaser, including one of my editor's favorite lines. :) 

“Never tease a warrior, Maiden,” he said, his voice hoarse with anticipation.
            She didn’t utter a word, but her eyes reflected a sense of alarm. So he waited, slowly suffocating the distance between their bodies into nonexistence—giving her plenty of opportunity to pull away.
            Her hands gripped the front of his armor and her eyelashes fluttered. Her breaths came in quick, short gasps of expectation—all the encouragement he needed. 

Due to a happy accident, AMAZON is the only seller that updated to the full price today. That gives you the option to snag the e-book on iTUNES, KOBO, NOOK, or any of your other favorite e-book carriers at the deeply discounted preorder price. I don't know when the price will change, possibly as early as Saturday, so if you just got an e-reader for Christmas and want a clean fantasy romance, City of Light is a great pick.

And stay close, because the print version is in the works and will be live soon. Have a truly magical holiday!

Friday, December 18, 2015

PreOrder Sale!

Merry Christmas! As usual, I like to have some sort of offer around the holiday as a gift to my readers. This time it's a whole new book. As you know, this year has been a pretty rough one, but I realized this week that City of Light is the THIRD full-length novel I've released in 2015!

About the book: The Demon wants Aisilyn for his bride, and he’s sending his Dark Warrior to get her. Her sister, Gennavieve, isn’t about to let that happen. She convinces the Warrior that she is the maiden he’s come for, and willingly leaves the sacred City of Light with him to spare Aisilyn from a fate worse than death.
What Gennavieve never considered is what she would do if she fell in love with the servant of darkness.

My gift to you is that I'm having a preorder sale. Right now, and through December 23, City of Light is only $1.99! Once it goes live Christmas Eve the price will go up.

Currently, the only live links I have are for AMAZON and iTUNES. Stay close, though, because I'll be updating this post as the other channels go live. (like now) KOBO is live! And NOOK.

I heard that there's a new space movie out today, so probably some people will be doing that and not worried about e-book shopping. ;) That's cool. The sale is through Wednesday, so you have time.

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Books Galore!

I'm on kind of a writer high since getting my edits back for City of Light yesterday. You know how it is, your editor didn't mean to but read it all in one sitting because she couldn't put it down. Yeah, that. :)

You've likely noticed, but I did some work on the website/blog over the weekend as well--just housekeeping things like editing links and updating information. And while I get City of Light up for sale (likely before Christmas), I just wanted to remind you of all the other books I've got out there.

Don't forget you can really capture the Christmas spirit with the audio version of Twelve Days, available through AUDIBLE or on AMAZON. It's also available through the iTunes store, if that's your preference.

I do still have some print copies of my books left, in case you are wanting to gift autographed copies of Birthright or any of my other books. The closer we get to Christmas, of course, the harder it is to get books mailed in time to make it under the tree. Pretty soon, this offer will only be available local contacts. Of course, you can still pick up the print versions online, if the signed copy isn't a priority.

I've put all the purchase links on the right side of the blog, so all you have to do is click your preferred link.

And, naturally, you can pick up e-book versions of my books in case you have an e-reader to fill for a gift for someone on your list. They're all available through iTunes as well in the iBook store. I plan to have the e-version of City of Light live before Christmas, for that last minute gift idea. Of course, Ghost Bride and Tea for Two are always free. (Amazon is still having issues making Tea for Two free, but it's free on all other formats)

Here's wishing you a very merry and safe holiday season!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day 123

Today is day 123 of my concussion recovery. For 122 days, I've had a nonstop headache. Other symptoms come and go, but that's the constant.

Do you realize that's 1/3 of the year?!

I started this post yesterday, but I'd slept horribly the night before and the post was not coming off in any way I liked--so I deleted it. Today I'm starting fresh.

This recovery/convalescence has been hard, not just for me, but also for my family. They're weary of picking up the slack for me, though they continue to do so because they love me. But I can tell it's getting to them.

It's getting to me, too.

For four months I've babied my brain, resisted things that increase my pain levels, and basically taken it super easy while my brain healed every so s-l-o-w-l-y. I've tried hard not to push myself into more damage, or more problems.

And I'm not here to say that's all over, because to ignore the indicators that I've done too much would be foolish. But I am going to adjust my priorities some. For one, I'm going to start going to church again. Even though it's hard. Even though it may mean I'll be in lots of pain for the few days afterward. Because I'm tired of missing it. And because I need to get out more. I'm going totally stir crazy.

I'm going to write more. For about the last 6 weeks or so, I've written very little or not at all, while spending a lot of time browsing the internet, keeping up with Facebook, and generally filling my days with a lot of nothing. I don't want to do that anymore. My brain has healed to the point that the idea train is running again, and I want to focus on something productive since I still can't work.

I'm going to get on the treadmill at least once a day. Even if I only last three minutes, I'm still going to walk some. My body needs to move.

In the back of my mind still lurks the possibility that this may be as good as it gets, recovery-wise. This may be my new normal. I'm coming to terms with that idea, but I'm not going to let it paralyze me. That's a bridge I'll cross when I have to, and not before.

Friday, November 27, 2015

More Important Things

This is my 300th blog post, and when I saw that it would coincide with Black Friday and the kick off to Christmas shopping I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to promote my books.

But then something happened, and I'm writing this. Because there are more important thing than selling books.

Our church family lost a sweet, amazing woman this morning. Veta Petty was an amazing person and a wonderful roll model for the rest of us. She had a practical faith--basically, if God says that's what we do then that's what we do. Period. End of story. You get down on your knees and pray, then get up on your feet and work. She shared more stories than I ever will--stories that admitted her imperfections (or perceived imperfections, I sure didn't see any) and also glorified God and Christ. She understood her relationship with Jesus better than anyone I know.

Veta understood the importance of family, including her ward family. She was the first to offer help in any situation, whatever help she could. Earlier this year she purchased my book series in full to show her support for me. I'm sure if I was weaving baskets she'd have done the same thing--bought some whether she needed them or not to show her support to me and my family. She was that kind of person.

I'm going to miss Veta's presence at church. She always had great contributions to make to any lesson. Her comments were always heartfelt and sincere. When we lived out here back in the late 90's, Veta was here. I thought of her often during our years in Utah, and I was so glad to see her when we moved back to Oklahoma. She'd been in the hospital off and on these last few months, and I sensed we'd soon have to say goodbye. I regret not being able to go up and visit with her, but I can still barely function--let alone make social calls. But she was always on my mind. And this year, she and her sweet husband will celebrate Christmas in Heaven together.

Monday, November 23, 2015

If This is It

*I debated where to post this, but as my friends, fellow writers, and/or readers, it's important that you know*

A couple of things happened this weekend that have me reevaluating my concussion recovery. Saturday, before he left for work, Bryan turned to me and said, “What if where you’re at now is the most you recover? What if this becomes your new normal?”
What if it does? The neurologist told me recovery takes 3 to 6 months. My nurse cousin-in-law told me it takes the brain tissue about 6 months to heal after an injury. I can look back and say I’m far improved from last August, but at the same time I’m frustrated by the symptoms I still have. Such as:
1.       Anxiety. This one has been the worst because it’s new. I’ve never been good in crowds, but now I fight panic at the grocery store. It gets overwhelming really fast—too many people, too many lights, too much noise, etc. Also the stress is making my hair fall out. This happened to me about eight years ago (major personal stressor, not TBI) and my hair started falling out then, too. But I’m older and have a lot less now, so, naturally, that increases my stress.
2.       Brain to mouth disconnect. I think one word and say another. I could just as easily tell my child to bring me an elephant from the cupboard or a cookie. Mostly it’s just annoying, and can be amusing. But when I’m really struggling to get a thought out and can’t it’s frustrating. Or if I’m in a time crunch (say, I have to yell at someone to get out of the way of danger), I could very well say “turkey trot” rather than “look out.”
3.       Constant pain. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you I’ve had a headache since August 1, 2015. I take daily medication just to keep the pain at a manageable level. The more I do—tag along for grocery shopping, or do some Christmas shopping, watch an animated show or a computer graphic enhanced movie—the more it hurts. Last night I had to resort to my back up meds because my head hurt so bad (Fri night Brandon took me to the store to get groceries then Sat we watched some TV) just to bring the pain back to a workable level. And if I miss a dose of my daily meds, it takes at least three days to get back on track.
4.       My new physical limitations. I was basically down for 2 and a half months before I started increasing my activity. With any other headache, I’d work through the pain. I’m a mom—this is what moms do. But with a concussion-related headache you risk doing more damage to your brain by pushing it. The pain is a sign of a limitation—you don’t want to push too far beyond that. But, being down means that my muscles have atrophied, I’ve gained weight which makes moving even more difficult, and part of that I can probably blame on my meds. I’ve never had a long term relationship with a pharmaceutical that *doesn’t* have a “can cause weight gain” warning on it. I’ve cut down on what I eat, started eating veggies with much more regularity, and really been more careful about my intake, but my clothes don’t fit.
5.       Hand in hand with #4 is my inability to return to work, church, or other social activities. I haven’t driven since the night I hurt myself. Driving takes a level of concentration and awareness I just don’t have right now. I’m not just staying at home all the time and guessing about these limitations. I’ve been testing myself. I get on my treadmill and try to move more. I go to the store to see if it’s better now than it was last week. I’ve tried twice to go to church for a period of time. It’s been a train wreck every time, with a varying number of casualties. But this is the big issue: If I can’t return to work, then Bryan can’t go to nursing school. He has to get a job that supports the family’s needs. That’s pretty cut and dry. We’ve spent so much time this year unemployed and under employed that there’s a laundry list of issues that cost money we don’t have and they all have to be fixed yesterday. So, again, there’s that fun stress issue.

6.       My writing has suffered. Not only do I struggle to put thoughts into words—even on paper—I feel like part of my vocabulary is missing. Like I don’t remember as many words as I used to. It’s so weird to feel that way, like some thought or important fact is just beyond your reach. In addition to that, I have a limited number of words I can type before my head hurts too much to continue. That number has increased a little, which is great. If it continues to increase maybe I’ll see more recovery in other areas.

So, what if this is my new normal? What if my head just hurts every day for years? One of my friends told me today that she was in a car accident 2 years ago and her TBI symptoms are still there, with only marginal improvement. It’s rare for a head injury to persist past 6 months, but it happens.

I bumped my head on a freaking counter, and it may just have altered my life forever.

The other thing that happened this weekend is that I realized in a week it will be 4 months since my injury. Feels like forever. I’m sick of dealing with it, sick of talking about it, sick of it being an issue in my life. And I’m sure as heck sick of not being able to do normal stuff. I’ve seen improvement. I can bake cookies, if that’s the only thing I do all day. I can spend time on the computer. I can watch regular TV shows. But I can’t drive, go to church, or see a movie with my family. Or even go out to eat (not that we can afford it right now, but you get the idea).

I want to be able to someday look back on this as an experience I had, but moved on from. I’m trying super hard to keep my spirits up, because that plays heavily into my recovery. Some days are easier than others, but I haven’t given up. I do have faith that, whatever happens, it’s God’s plan, and I will try my best to fit into that. Sometimes it’s hard to see the goal from the trenches, but that’s a problem everybody has at one point or another.