Posted in Life

Life Changing

It has been 8 days since Jean Stone was released to the world. As I sit and reflect on those days, I realize a lot of things have changed.

I still have NO idea what I am doing in this industry, but I enjoy writing and that is all that matters to me. I have met some really wonderful people along this journey and for that I am blessed. The reviews I am getting seem to be positive so I am going to ride the wave and enjoy. As announced, my 2nd book will be out in late August. Currently, I am finishing the storyboarding part and cutting down what I think is way too many back stories in there so that the editor can work on her.

There is another work in progress, but I am not ready to tell the world just yet. New opportunites have been presented to me and I am doing my best to weigh what is good for my family and my full time job as a teacher. For now I get to take a step back for a few months and just be before promotion begins again. For success in this industry, you have to market yourself, put yourself out there and let me tell you out of everything (besides editing), I dislike that the most.

There has been some rough news in our immediate family as of last week, if anything I realize life is short and you can’t take it for granted. My mom has had a rough year, personally and I have decided in the fall we are taking a girls trip to Disney World. Just my mom, myself, and lily. This is her time to escape the world and enjoy. It is also to say thank you for all the things she has done for me. She moved her to help us with Lily and of course to be around her only grandchild. She does so much with no thought of rewards or thank yous. After this last bit of hard to swallow news she got, I decided to take her away just for a few days as sadly time is of the essence. If you pray, say some for her as she weathers this new season.

Also, thank you to everybody who has made Jean Stone a success. Thank to those who have bought and loved Jean’s story as much as I loved writing it. Book 2 is going to continue her journey of balancing life and work, or at least trying. Can she solve this cold case or will she lose her family in the end?

photography of disneyland
Photo by Makenzie Kublin on
Posted in Life

Support Tribe

One day after the release of Jean Stone, I am reflecting on where I started and where I am at now.

A year ago, I was struggling with a broken marriage, tackling my first year as a teacher, and a loss of self. To put it plainly, I was uphappy. For 13 years, I was a Navy wife and now I was lost adrift at sea in my own mind.

Today I am a published author. Wow I guess I have to get use to saying that. My writing is a way to escape the world and do what I love. I have no intention of quitting teaching anytime soon as my students need me and I need them. They are apart of me and I am not ready to give that up just yet.

The last 24 hours have been a dream and I am soaking up the moment. The well-wishers, the support, and the congratulations. Do not worry, Book 2 is already done and in storyboarding. Jean Stone is going to be around for while. She has a lot of stories to tell and share. Last night I got to share it with my dad and my step mom. While the last year hasn’t been the greatest, those who love and support me have been there to listen to my whining, complaining, and be a shoulder for me when I didn’t think I could go any further.

It is thanks to my support tribe this has been possible, from Jordan my publisher, to Stephanie my beta reader, to Donna my mentor, and my family and friends. It is because of my tribe here were our rankings this morning:

My husband has been the rock in all this. Our marriage was falling apart and yet he stood by me through it all. Today I am happy to say things are better and we are rebuilding what is broken a day at a time. He is proud of all my hard work as well as my daughter who I think is sometimes most excited than I am through it all. She herself is an aspired writer working hard at her skill. The next installment of her dragon story should be out soon.

In interviews, I am always asked about advice for writing. Now I say two things:

Write for yourself and nobody else.

Find your support tribe to be there for you.

Now I am headed back to folding laundry, cleaning the house, and snuggling with my dog before the party. See even though I am a published author, my first jobs are mom and wife.

Did I mention I was in my hometown newspaper yesterday too??? Go check it out!


Posted in My writings

5 days left

In five days, my life will change at least a little. In five days, my book baby will be available for the whole world to see. To say I am nervous is an understatement.

10 months ago, an idea was born from a random conversation with a fellow teacher. Never would I have imagined all my hard work would see the light of day and now in five days, she will be ready.

As I writer, allowing my work to be published for all the world to see is allowing myself to be vulnerable to the world. While no writing is ever perfect, I put my heart and soul in these pages. Inspired by my life and family, the adventure draws you in and makes you apart of the experience allowing your imagination to perceive as it wants to the words of Jean Stone.

I expect the next few days to be a roller coaster between more press and preparation for Friday. To all who have followed along in my journey, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Stay tuned…..

Posted in Life

Busy week

A LOT has happened in the last few days, so much that today as I reflect on everything, I am a little overwhelmed.

First off I WON a Freewrite. I reblogged the post from Tory  Hunter Books if you are interested in taking a look.

Second, today I ran my first 5K and finished! This was a last minute decision by my friend and I. I was already training for one in March for my school district, but was definitely not where I should be, but it was a good cause and from this I would be able to judge where I stood. All I wanted to do was finish and run the whole thing and I DID! With my fastest time to date. Now to work up to March.

Last but certainly not least, my book baby arrived. For me to physcially hold my novel in my hand was a moment that I won’t forget. The best part was I got to share it with my daughter. She has been waiting to finally see the finished book and immediately sat down to read the first chapter.

If nothing more, I hope I show my daughter than even at 35, you can achieve your dreams. She is my inspiration, my muse. The reason I work so hard. Thank you to everybody that has made all this possible especially my publisher, JSmith Publishing. Without them, this dream would not be a reality. Check out the video below to see the book reveal.


Posted in Life

Part 3 – The deal

I began writing Book 2 shortly after I completed Book 1. It felt like the ideas were coming in rapid succession. My mind wanted to continue Jean Stone’s story. What had started with just one book was turning into a series of close to 20 when I was finished outlining. (It could be more).

While waiting to hear back, I began working on building my audience. Posting my poetry, exerpts from my book, and life’s daily occurences. What you see is me, I hold nothing back. At this point, I had decided to begin sending the manuscript out to other companies in hopes I could land a deal, I was warned this could take years. Oh well, I had nothing but time.

Mid-June, I got an inbox message on Instagram from Jordan at JSmith Publishing. “Hey would you like to publish your manuscript?” What? Of course, wait what was the catch. This had to be a mistake, things like this don’t happen to people like me. I just started! I had already been hit up by Vanity Publishing companies and wanted no part in any of that. So sadly I assumed this was the case, but my heart was interested to hear what he had to say. I spent a little talking to him and found out he lived in the same general area, he was a start up indie company, and he was looking to publish individuals to “jump start” their career. He gave me his spill about what his company entailed, but I told him  I want to meet in person, I want to read the contract, and I want to see for myself if this was real or not. I told the hubby you are coming along for backup.

June 27th came with my first rejection. The story was good, but not what they were looking for. Oh well, sorry about your bad luck. I toasted a drink to celebrate my first rejection and prepared for June 29th, the day I was to meet up with Jordan. I was all nerves, unsure of what would come of the day, but in my heart I knew that this was going to be a good day. I could feel it!

We decided to meet at the Barnes and Noble to talk shop over some coffee. My husband and I got a drink and sat down waiting. Up walks this young man who was just as nervous as I was. He introduced himself, made small talk, and sat down to give us his spill.

My non negotiables were already set. One, I didn’t want
to lose my rights to my book. Two, they needed to handle it all as with a full-time
teaching job, I am only able to work on things during breaks and weekends. Three, I
wanted a lot of control over my book and what I thought was best.

30 minutes later with all questions answered a contract was laid out in front of me. We went over it line by line and I realized in my heart, JSmith Publishing is where I wanted to publish my first book. He listened to my concerns, rested my fears, and from his eyes and words, I could tell he meant it when he said he wanted to make this series a success. I was taking a chance, but nothing happens in life if you don’t.

7 months later has seen my book trailer release, publicity for the 1st book, and a launch on February 22nd with a party on the 23rd. There has been so much behind the scenes work to make this dream a reality, but I am enjoying every moment as you only release your first book once. This has been a rollercoaster, but I have learned alot about the process and about myself. I do not know what to expect, but whatever happens I am truly grateful and blessed. Dreams really do come true.

Everybody is welcome to the party! If you are interested, please RSVP by January 31st!