Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Taking Heart Playlist


Reading is personal. Every single one of us will have a different reaction to the same book, which makes for a nervous-wreck of a writer right here! I just never know what people will like when I'm writing.

Take for example, in Taking Heart, when Eric does something in the middle of the story that might very well mean the end of his romantic relationship with Ren. Some people don't like it, don't like that the hero would do something like that, and that's okay. Eric's a stubborn guy, add to that his drive to impress his stepfather, so his actions are understandable under the circumstances. He just lost his way was all.

Sorry for getting sidetracked. This wasn't about defending Eric. This was about the Taking Heart playlist!

When I write, I usually compile a playlist in iTunes that reminds me of various parts of the story. When writing this novel, however, I didn't even think about music until the end, long after the story was published.

Here are the songs that makes me think of my story:

We've Got Tonight / Bob Seger
Home / Phillip Phillips
Be Still / The Fray
Pride and Joy / Brandi Carlile
Gravity / Sara Bareilles
Down / Jason Walker
Glowing / The Script

And the two songs that I am currently obsessed with that just go so well with the novel:

I Won't Give Up / Jason Mraz

This song, for me, just hits the right note and tone for the story.  I especially love this part:

And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn

Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up

And for the second song:

Shake it Out / Florence and the Machine

When I hear this song, the story comes alive in my head like a movie:

Regrets collect like old friends...

Ren drives Eric to the airport near the end of the story. Cut to her living her life, working at the bakery, just performing the motions of day to day life.

It's always darkest before the dawn...

When the drum beats begin, cut to Ren running in the streets on cloudy morning.

I can never leave the past behind...

She turns a corner and the sun peeks through the clouds. She feels the breeze on her face and closes her eyes for a moment as she pauses at a stop light.

Tonight I'm going to bury that horse in the ground...

She looks at the envelope in her hand and slips it into her purse. She goes to the Blairs' house.

Shake it out, shake it out...

When the music swells, cut to Ren walking inside the airport with a sense of purpose. She's carrying her duffel bag and a box from her bakery.

I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart...

Eric eating dinner with his family. He's enjoying himself but his smile doesn't quite reach his eyes.

Cut scenes between Eric with his family and Ren exiting the airport and getting into a taxi.

And I'm damned if I do, I'm damned if I don't...

Ren exits the cab and looks up at the apartment building.

And I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope...

The doorbell rings and Eric gets up from the table.

Well what the hell, I'm gonna let it happen to me...

The music swells once more when Eric opens the door. Ren hands Eric the box and a second later, he kisses her.

Shake it out, shake it out... music fades.

Sorry if that was a little indulgent. I have had that playing in my head nearly all week and I just needed to write it down!

That's it for now. Thank you to those who are reading this humble little blog of mine, and of course, thank you to those who read Taking Heart.

Time is a precious commodity, and I appreciate the time you have granted me.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

I suck, I know.

I'm a terrible blogger. The first step is to admit you have a problem. The second step, for me I guess, is to write a stinkin' blog once in a while.

Well, dear friends, my newest novel, Taking Heart, has been out for nearly a month but I just realized that I haven't even debuted it here yet! What neglect!

So here it is, in all it's glory...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FREE Kindle Book: Corona

The fabulous MJ Heiser is offering her book for free today in the Kindle store!


Long past the Age of Wonder, several thirty-somethings form an unlikely band of adventurers in the fair land of Jaenrye. Can they keep at bay the seemingly unstoppable power of a creature determined to destroy the magic they can't bring themselves to believe in?

Tom Strausser is a lonely failed musician with a day job he hates. Rose Smith thinks she could be a best-selling novelist, but can't be bothered to spend time writing. Father Rey Lopez was a rising star in the Catholic church until depravity got the best of him.

All three of these everyday nobodies are pulled from the world they know and are forced to find out what they're really made of, confronting their own cowardice, malice, and complacency. Will they rise to the challenge, despite themselves?  


Go download it now while it's still free! Corona: The Chronicles of Jaenrye

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some Thoughts

(Warning: There may be spoilers ahead. Please do not continue if you have not read the book.)

While I was writing my novel, The Origin, I was also reading a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal books for research. And because of that, I formed ideas on what I liked and didn't like in the genre, and on cliches that I wanted to steer clear of.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where the heck?

I'm sorry that I've been MIA from this blog. The success of the free promo brought about a rise in sales, and with it, readers who are eager to read the sequel. Having people impatient to read your next novel is definitely a problem I LOVE having! So I've been busy writing, writing, plotting, writing, plotting again, and yes, more writing.

But I've hit a limit! So I took a break from The Forsaken and revisited a novel I was writing during NaNoWriMo 2010. It's a contemporary romance (chick lit, if you will) and I fell in love with it again. So I've been working hard at editing and finishing up. My wonderful beta readers are hard at work, trying to help me make the story the best it could possibly be. I'm just riding the motivation train right now and once I reach Burn Out Station, I will jump on The Forsaken once again, promise!

So here's the cover for the contemporary romance, Taking Heart. It might be a little premature to show this to you now because I have no idea when the novel will be released (I'm guessing in about a month?), but what the hell. So without further ado...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 1 of the KDP Select Promotion

Well, where do I even begin?!

The free promotion began last night at around 12:20 a.m. and it was slow going for a few hours, during which I was seriously questioning my promotional tactics. Had I not done enough? Was the product not worth even getting for free?

But slowly and surely, the downloads started trickling in. Thank goodness.

I went to bed at 3:40 a.m. at #57,000+ ranking. And that's not even the worst that the book's fallen.

In the morning I checked the two major websites for free kindle books (PixelofInk.com and Ereadernewstoday.com) and discovered that I'd been featured in the latter. And along with a bunch of shares from my wonderful facebook family and friends, the book was getting some major exposure.

By 10:21 I was #240 in the Free Kindle Store (the same one you see on the right side of the page in the Kindle Store). Here went the rest of the day:

10:26 - #178 in the Free Kindle Store
11:00 - #178 in the Free Kindle Store
11:48 - #130 in the Free Kindle Store
1:00 - #81 in the Free Kindle Store (broke the Top 100, did a happy jig, took a nap)
3:00 - #61 in the Free Kindle store (the power of naps has been revealed!)
4:00 - #56 in the Free Kindle Store
5:00 - #58 in the Free Kindle Store (ordered a pizza to celebrate... put on ALL the toppings!!)
10:46 pm - #38 in the Free Kindle Store
11:59 - #38 in the Free Kindle Store
And now, at 12:48 a.m., I will be heading to bed at a lovely #35.

I can't tell you how giddy this all makes me! I didn't make any money – hell, I gave away a lot of books! – but aside from the exposure, it also gives me a lot of satisfaction (joy even) to know that many more people will be reading my story. I know not everyone who downloaded the ebook will read it, but at least a small portion of them will. And I really hope they'll enjoy it.

That's how I know I was meant to write: when it didn't matter if I got paid as long as someone reads my story.

So to my friends and family and to friends of friends and family of family (wait, that's still my family...), I THANK YOU! I will close my eyes tonight with a smile on my face.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A teaser from The Forsaken

Just posting this because it cracked me up:

"Three, two, one..."

He leaned down, his heart pounding in his chest. But just as their lips were about to touch, her head swiveled to the side and she kissed his cheek instead. "Happy new year," she said huskily and pulled away.

That will not do, he thought a second before he grabbed the back of her head and pulled her towards him for a mouth-searing kiss.

When she pulled away, their eyes were locked in a heated exchange and, for one moment, he wondered if he was going to be eating floor again. But he didn't care if she beat him to a bloody pulp; he'd had his say, and his say had been damn satisfying.

"Happy new year, Mei," he said and, like a boss, walked away.


The Forsaken will be out in 2012.