Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Keep Swimming

A lovely reader emailed me yesterday to see how I was doing with Sacred Seas. She mentioned not seeing any recent updates on my blog, which reminded me that I have a blog. Ha. I have become a victim of our instant gratification society and post all of my updates on Facebook and/or Instagram because it's fast and easy. Sadly, it never occurred to me that some readers aren't on those sites (and I respect them for that) so I need to blow the dust off of my blog and post something.

Updates...

The third and final book in my Sea Monster Memoirs series has taken WAY too long. I was stuck, uninspired, afraid of disappointing readers with a grand finale that didn't seem so grand, and kept pushing it aside. I even wrote a whole different novel and started a new series while procrastinating on Sacred Seas.

http://amzn.to/23t2Kqo
The new book, Virtual Arcana, released in early 2015. I love it. I love the characters. It even ties into my Kindrily series. Awesome, right? Nope. The few reviews it did receive were positive, but much to my dismay, it flopped and has been flat-lining ever since. *sad sigh*

As you can imagine, the failure of Virtual Arcana did not help my worries about Sacred Seas. I still wrote stuff, but it all felt like crap. I worried the writer in me was broken. And I was afraid that even if I did finish Sacred Seas, no one would read it.

Then, in October, Moby, my dog of 15+ years, passed away and my heart broke into a million pieces. The last thing I wanted to do was write magical love stories when I was crying every day over my lost child. (Yes, she was my child. A furry one, but still.)

Cue the New Year when we all swear to do better, be better, work harder, etc. I kicked my butt back into gear and finally started writing some words I didn't want to delete.

As of today, Sacred Seas is hovering around 52k. Only 30k so or more to go before I have a full first draft. Looks like I'm going to actually release the kraken after all. Let's hope I can make it worth the wait. I'm shooting for a release date of sometime this Spring. I think the only author who has taken longer than me to write the next book in a series is George R.R. Martin. At least I'm in phenomenal company, right? My apologies for the long, long wait.

For my Kindrily fans:
1.) Go read Virtual Arcana. (Please. For the love of chocolate, someone read it. lol. No, seriously. ) A few Kindrily peeps make some guest appearances in a faraway future. (And if you write a review I'll love you forever.)
2.) Get excited about the fact that all three books will soon be available as audiobooks, and the narrating team is doing an amazing job. I'm so excited to share them with you.
3.) Hang tight because it's not over. Once I'm finished with Sacred Seas, I'm going to write a companion novel with all of your beloved characters. And then I'm going to write a second companion novel. More is coming!

I can't promise that I'll remember to blog regularly. But I can promise that when I have a new release or big news, I'll send out a newsletter. (No spammy stuff, I swear.) If you don't want to miss my important stuff, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I always offer a giveaway too!

I hope you're all having a happy, healthy, productive new year so far. Let's all keep swimming!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dear Moby...


Dear Moby,

I miss you more than you can imagine.
What makes this so impossibly hard is that I didn’t get to say goodbye.
Grandpop told me I had been saying goodbye for a long time. Maybe he’s right. But it’s not the same as being there with you, eyes to eyes, holding your paws, as you took your last breath. That’s how it was supposed to be. That was our plan.
Grandma reminded me that everything happens for a reason. She said I have to let go of my guilt. Maybe she’s right. But it feels so impossible right now. I keep wishing and begging to go back in time so I could be there with you.
John told me because you died at home, my essence was everywhere, so you felt my love. Maybe he’s right. But it’s not the same as physically being there with you. Not even close.  
I didn’t get to say goodbye. Not how I wanted. Not how you and I planned.
There was one moment, as tears dripped down my cheeks and onto your cold nose, that I thought I felt you breathe again. For one brief, hopeful moment I thought I saw your beautiful soul staring back at me from your cloudy eyes. Maybe it was wishful thinking, or maybe it was you trying to give me the final goodbye you knew I so desperately wanted and needed. One last moment of you sending me love. But it’s not the same. Not enough to give me closure or ease my guilt.  
I’m so, so, incredibly and infinitely sorry that I wasn’t there for you in the end.
When you were a puppy, I named you Moby after the incredible musical artist. Our first few nights together, you’d cry because you didn’t want to sleep alone in your crate. I’d play Moby’s Porcelain CD on repeat. The music would calm you, but you’d still whine and whimper because you didn’t want to be alone. Those nights of separation didn’t last long, because I let you sleep with me. I couldn’t stand to hear you cry. I couldn’t stand the thought of you feeling lonely, even if I was only in the other room.
Over fifteen years later, I’m sitting in my living room, staring at your picture and the candle glowing beside the place on the floor where you took your last breath. I have Moby’s music playing in your honor. But now I’m the one who can’t stop crying. Because I hate that I wasn’t there for you in your final moments. I hate that your final sleep wasn’t with me.
I keep asking Squishy to tell me what happened. I ask him if you cried out in pain, or if you went quickly. But he can’t tell me what happened. I’ll never know. And I can’t stop imagining you whining and whimpering, looking for me to comfort you in your final moments, but never finding me. I should have been there. You deserved that and more.
With all my heart and soul, I’m so, so incredibly and infinitely sorry that I wasn’t there with you. You will always be with me. Always. You were by my side for over fifteen years, but you will be part of me forever.
Please forgive me. Please know how much I love you. Please know that I miss you more than I thought would ever be possible.
I hope you’re with Rooney and all the other animal friends you’ve loved and lost throughout your life. I hope your legs are strong and free from pain, so you can run and play and eat anything and everything you desire. I hope your vision is perfect again and it allows you to see unimaginable beauty in Heaven. I hope your hearing returned and its working so well that you hear me every single time I tell you how much I love you and miss you.
Rest in peace, love, and happiness, sweet girl Moby. Thank you for being the best dog in the world. 

I love you and miss you times infinity. 
Your Mom


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Without Utopia Blog Hop

I'm so honored to be part of the Utopia blog hop. Thanks for stopping by! 

As we approach the FIFTH year of the amazing UtopiaCon, we want to give back to the organizers who have given so much inspiration and support to us. A conference of this magnitude--of this level of MAGIC--is not cheap.

Over the past few months, we’ve learned that organizers, friends, and even family have come forward and given from their own personal funds in order to help move Utopia forward another year and we want to pay them back. We want to FIGHT FOR OUR WRITE and do our part to help.

This year especially, we'd like to make sure they  go into planning sessions with an extra boost to it's bottom line.

So if you've ever been touched by Utopia, or if you love any of the authors, bloggers, or readers who have, please take a moment to give a few dollars. This will insure the inspiration continues.

We hope you'll be led to give from the heart, but to sweeten the deal we have some MAJORLY EPIC incentives! In addition to what you’ll get from the Go Fund Me organizers (see the donation page to read about those), you’ll also get entered to win any one of these amazing raffle prizes listed in the rafflecopter below!

Prizes like this one:
 

And in order to help convey the magical sense of community Utopia has instilled in its attendees, I want everyone to know that...

WITHOUT UTOPIA I NEVER WOULD HAVE...

There is no purchase or donation necessary to enter to enter the drawing, but we encourage you to give even just $10 in order to help move us toward our big goal. And don’t forget, every donation of at least $10 earns you free books!

How to enter:

  1. Go visit #UtopiaLove’s Go Fund Me page and make a small donation (this isn’t necessary, but we would be so jazzed if you did this first! AND this earns you an automatic prize based on your donation level. Check your email to collect.)
  2. Click through any one of the rafflecopter entry methods. Complete the necessary item and get entered for all of the raffle prizes listed below.
  3. Click through to the list of other participating authors & bloggers to read how Utopia has changed them!

That’s it! Thanks!

Participating Blogs:

Kallie Ross           Kallieross.com
Susan Burdorf        www.facebook.com/susanburdorfauthor
Jo Michaels         http://jomichaels.blogspot.com
Carlyle Labuschagne     Www.worldsawaybookblog.blogspot.com
Shantella Benson    https://thewordsmithe.wordpress.com/
Shelley Custer        www.stalkingshelves.blogspot.com
S.M. Boyce         smboyce.com/boyce-blog
Komali da Silva    www.komalidasilva.com
PK Hrezo        Http://Pk-Hrezo.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Kauffman    http://writingrefinery.blogspot.com
Patti Larsen        www.pattilarsen.com
Michaela Mills        http://www.michaelamillswrites.com/blog
Ginny Gallagher    http://ginnygallagher.com/blog/
Liz Long        http://lizclong.com
Raine Thomas        http://rainethomas.com
Stacey Marie Brown    http://www.staceymariebrown.com/
Heather Hildenbrand    http://www.heatherhildenbrand.com
Amy Evans        http://amyevansbooks.com/

New cover for FIGHTING FOR INFINITY

Kindrily fans, the FIGHTING FOR INFINITY cover received a face lift. 
I had been trying to ignore the fact that I didn't love the FFI cover. Out of sight, out of mind. But recently, while attending Indie BookFest, I had copies of FFI in my hands several times. I kept glancing at the cover, cringing, and looking away. I decided it was time to give it some love. I adore the story inside of the cover. It deserved better representation.

Back when the original FFI cover was created, I wanted it to be unique. I actually took the photos used on the covers for Grasping at Eternity and Taking Back Forever. As in I'm the photographer. They are original covers and I wanted that same originality for the third book in the series.

However, my mediocre photography skills, combined with a much-too-busy vision of what I wanted on the cover, resulted in a final product that I didn't love. My designer did the best he could given the really bad photos I provided him. Three pictures. Three separate images with different lighting, odd cut-off places, and no cohesive way to blend them together. He did the best he could with my silly vision, but in hindsight he should have told me no. No to all of it. lol. We both learned a lot from that experience.
I love the people who posed for the pictures on the original FFI cover. They are dear friends. I'm sad those images couldn't miraculously be made good enough to use without looking so Photoshop-y, but they can't. I accepted that truth, apologized to the models, and promised to make it up to them in the future.

I asked the designer, Steve Graham of The Infinity Creative, to redo the FFI cover at the same time he was designing a new full cover spread for my other series, Virtual Arcana. He asked when I needed it ready. I said yesterday. Ha. (I'm not a patient person.) Due to his busy schedule, we both agreed that he wouldn't be able to finish it as quickly as I wanted, so with his blessing, my other fabulous designer agreed to help.

Michelle Argyle of Melissa Williams Design is the talent behind all of the covers in my Tangled Tides series. Thankfully, she was available to help and rush it for me. She collaborated with Steve, and in a week the new FFI cover was done.

It's beautiful. Now, I will be proud to hand a paperback to a reader. It's not an original photo taken by me, but that's okay. The final product is a better looking cover. I'd love to hear what you think.

And if you haven't read the series yet, the first book, Grasping at Eternity, is free on most ebook retailers.

The new paperback version should be available in the next week or so. (Which means the current version will be a collector's edition if I ever become famous!) ((Ha.))


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Forgot to post this yesterday, so...
My weekly vlog post in which I celebrate my future trip to London to attend the first ChapterCon. And, of course, I celebrate Snatch style.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Writing Update via Vlogging

Want to know what I'm working on?
Here you go...

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* Author Karen Amanda Hooper*

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