The Future Is Now

Monday, June 1, 2015

This past Saturday, I was honored to be part of the first Writer's Festival at Blake High School in Tampa, Florida.

Students, teachers, and some other local writers attended to hear presenters (including me!) speak about topics including publishing, poetry, fantasy, and more. It was energizing and inspiring to be around so many talented and enthusiastic people.

I met students who were so passionate, smart, and eager to learn; it was truly heartwarming to look at them and see others who love writing as much as I do. And at such a young age! I can't wait to see what kind of greatness they put out into the world.

Huge thanks to author and teacher, Cassandra Curry, for inviting me to such a wonderful event. 

I wish I had taken more photos, but it was such a busy whirlwind of a day that I forgot about my camera. Here's what I do have to share...

Me with uber talented author Marie Jaskulka. Go check out her debut verse novel, The Lost Marble Notebook.

Marie presenting in her cool mix tape shirt.
Me talking about writing fantasy/sci-fi.

And I know some of you want the awesome shirt I'm wearing, so here, go order yourself one..
How was your weekend? 


Time For Me To Be Better

Friday, May 15, 2015

I haven't been blogging much lately. Or successfully working on the third and final book in my merfolk series, Sacred Seas, which was due to release June 20, 2015. (Ha. So not happening.)
  
Currently, the manuscript is crap, and I won't insult my editor or readers by making them read something so bleh. Sadly, the release date is being pushed back to fall of 2015. Heartfelt thanks to all my Yara and Treygan fans for their understanding and patience. So far everyone has been wonderful about the delay.

This morning, my encouraging editor replied to my "I failed" email and assured me I am not the epic failure I claimed to be. She reminded me that great authors like Harper Lee and George RR Martin have taken much longer than me when it comes to writing their next book. Not that I should consider my books anywhere near the level of greatness of To Kill a Mockingbird or Game of Thrones, but it was a nice reminder that quality stories shouldn't be rushed or forced.

I've concluded that my writing feels lazy and boring because I have become lazy and boring.
I used to take dance and yoga classes, travel a lot, blog, go to writer conferences, and do other lively/interactive activities. Lately, my greatest adventures are going to the grocery store and walking the dogs around the neighborhood.

So, it's time to kick my own butt into gear.
Step 1. Blog more. Hence this post. Yay. First step on my new path completed.

Step 2. Get back into regular exercise classes.  I just signed up for an aerial yoga class tomorrow. I've never done it, but it looks beautiful and fun, doesn't it?
If I love it, maybe I'll buy a hammock/trapeze kit so I can swing around my house and pretend I'm Pink or Charlize Theron.
http://amzn.to/1Kad6Ds
Step 3. Write more. No matter what. I need to be more strict with myself. I should be writing a MINIMUM of 800 words a day. No excuses. If I have time to be on Facebook or Twitter, I have time to write 800 words a day 5 days a week.

Step 4. More real life interaction with other writers.  I need to go to at least one writer's conference this year. I miss getting inspired by the creative energy of other writers. I always came home from a conference buzzed and excited to work. I miss that feeling. Great conference suggestions are welcome!

Also, last week, I started drinking a green smoothie every day. I put fresh fruits and veggies in it along with some health powders like moringa, spirulina, or raw cocoa. The smoothies are surprisingly tasty and I am feeling better. Which is probably why I feel daring enough to get back into yoga classes. High flying ones at that!

That's my plan so far for becoming a better me. I'm hoping all this stuff combined gets me out of my rut.
What do you do when your writing and/or life becomes stagnant?

Release Day! THE LOST MARBLE NOTEBOOK! Win it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It has been a long time since I blogged, but today is a super special occasion, so pay attention. 

My beloved friend, whiz of an editor, and ultra talented writer, is releasing her debut YA novel today.
*throws confetti and pops champagne*
Ladies and gents, may I present to you...

THE LOST MARBLE NOTEBOOK OF FORGOTTEN GIRL & RANDOM BOY 
by the one and only Marie Jaskulka. 
http://amzn.to/1bY3tsL
As I said in my Goodreads review, words from every page--maybe every sentence--belong on a t-shirt, bumper sticker, or graffitied on a wall for the world to see. Seriously, tattoo shops should start a Lost Marble Notebook selection now to prepare for the rush of readers saying, "I need this stanza to be a permanent part of me."

Told in verse, this story is beautiful, gritty, and absolutely brilliant. 
It's a must read.

Huge congrats to Marie. 
May it be a worldwide bestseller!
  
“An original love story, arresting and beautiful. 
Heartbreakingly honest. At moments frightening, but ultimately hopeful.”



Now, want to win a copy? 
It's so good that I'll be ordering a hardback for one lucky winner and having it shipped directly. 
Open internationally thanks to Book Depository. 
Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

Oh, hello 2015. When did you arrive?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I can't believe my last blog post was last year.
I also can't believe it's 2015 already.
Time is a tricky and mysterious little minx. ;)

But anywho...
I've deemed 2015 my year of giving.

Forget resolutions to lose weight or exercise more (the universe knows me all too well by now). I'm doing something way more fun. I'm connecting with my readers. Which, by the way, is the BEST part of being an author. I wouldn't have a career if it weren't for my readers, so I'm showing my gratitude and appreciation with a year of giving. Maybe I'll make this into an every year thing!

Every month I'm giving away stuff to my readers. However, I don't want to host contests for impersonal prizes where 100+ contest addicts, who have never heard of me or read my books, spam-enter to win.
Booo. Bleh. Where's the joy in that?

I want to give to my readers.

A crap load of books exist out there. I can't think of an adequate adjective to describe just how many books are available to read, but crap load sounds like a lot, so let's stick with that. Somehow, through kismet, or divine intervention, sheer luck, or because everything happens for a reason, I've connected with some amazing folks who read my not-widely-known books, and then, because those folks are so amazing, they connect with me as a person. (Again, my favorite part!)

I want to give back to those people.

So, every month I will be giving away a prize or two, or three. It could be a signed copy of one of my books, a signed copy of another author's book which I love, or some really cool item that means something to me and I'll be hoping it means something to the winner too.

BUT, many of these prizes will only be given away to my newsletter subscribers. 
My reasoning behind that is because I never know whether readers see my Facebook and Twitter posts. These days, it's too hit or miss on those sites, BUT if I send out a newsletter, it's in your inbox. Whether or not you choose to open and read it is up to you. Every month there will be an exclusive newsletter giveaway, and the announcement of who won the prior month. You have to read to win because you'll need to find out how to enter.

So, if you want to join my year of giving, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Then, be sure to check your spam folder, or your "Promotions" tab, and actually open and read it (or at least scan for the giveaway part.) You can subscribe here.

January's newsletter will be sent out on the 15th, so don't miss out!

Happy New Year! *throws star confetti*


Peace & Goodwill!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 
Check out this new holiday read from Lee Strauss.
 Leave a comment to receive FREE books from Lee! 
(Details below.)

PEACE & GOODWILL
 a Christmas novella
by Lee Strauss


So good to fall in love
So hard to say good bye




Peace & Goodwill
#4 in a connected book series
(no need to read the others to enjoy this)


Belle gets the best Christmas present ever, a man in uniform! Ian is a soldier home on leave. Neither of them have any idea how good it will feel to fall in love or how hard it will be to say good-bye. 

Anna is spending the holidays alone again with only her faithful dog Angel to keep her company. She can’t afford to pay the rent and her landlord is threatening to kick her out. At least she’s finished with her chemo treatments. She can be thankful for that. Plus, there’s Rhys, the handsome visitor with kind eyes. 

One fateful, cold and snowy night a chance encounter changes everything. Love is lost. Love is found. Life will never be the same. 

Early Buzz:

This is truly a stand alone novella. You don't need to be familiar with any of the other stories in the series. It's a quick, feel-good read which is perfect for Christmas! - Melanie, Amazon Reviewer

This one will tug at your heart strings. - Aimee Brown, Amazon Reviewer

You can trust me when I say that it is not lacking in the emotions. Oh no! They are there. Sweet and sad all rolled into this surprising little novella.

5 Pulls At Your Heart Stars! - Mandy @ireadindie - Amazon reviewer


BUY NOW!



Haven't read the other books in the series? No problem!




Lee is giving away iBooks promo codes for Flesh & Bone and Heart & Soul (Sun & Moon is already free!) to everyone who asks for one in the comments! 

Yes, THERE IS A SONG! Listen to the featured original Christmas song HERE!




Release Day! THE MAGICIAN

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The second book in my new, VIRTUAL ARCANA series is now available! 
 I'm giving away ebooks, and a grandprize of a signed copy of season 1 plus a custom VIRTUAL ARCANA, computer chip necklace. 

Visit ONCE UPON A BOOK BLOG (my master blogger/VIP host) 
to learn more about THE MAGICIAN--including a pic teaser and review--and enter both of my contests.

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