Happy Monday!

Wow, two posts in one month?

Yep. I am doing my best to pop in and say hi on a regular basis. It gets rather secluded and quiet as a writer. Left by myself too long, the voices start getting louder and it gets harder to think! Ha! And I miss you all!

Anywho, this month, I’m finally participating in Bethany A. Jennings‘ hashtag game, #WIPjoy, where we share about our current work-in-progress and encourage each other to keep on keeping on. So I will be sharing bits and pieces from Curse Bound. The game was made for Twitter, but has spilled to Instagram and Facebook. I plan to post to all three as much as I can.

Here are some of last week posts I think you might enjoy. Hope you have a great week!


Categories: Love of Reading, Nälu | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning Writer Challenge

Happy Monday!

It’s definitely time for some spring cleaning around here. So when DJ Edwardson tagged me in this Spring Cleaning Writer Tag Challenge, I thought it the perfect opportunity to let you all know how things are going here, especially regarding Curse Bound.

1. Dust bunnies and plot bunnies: Reorganize your writing goals or make new ones.

Well… my goals are a bit fluid at the moment. I am about two months behind on my original plan, but I am hoping to catch up. That said, Curse Bound is in the middle of revisions. I am making progress, just slower than I like.

I have taken time off from the novella, Clans Divided, to focus on CB at the moment, but once CB is off to the editor, I will dig it back out again.

I have another story and characters pestering to be written, but it isn’t anything like I’ve ever written before, so it’s been percolating in the background. I’ve been reading, researching, gathering bits and pieces of this new world, which I hope to tackle next.

Also, I’ve begun brainstorming for Curse Bound‘s launch. It will probably be a bit smaller than Darkened Hope‘s now that I am working full-time. So we shall see. I’d love to start blogging again on a more regular basis. I miss you all!

2. Which stage am I at?

According to Deborah O’Caroll’s metaphor:
a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

I am busily painting walls and polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors of Curse Bound, and hopefully adding some flowers in vases. Ha!

The new work-in-progress, which isn’t exactly new, because I have notes on the story, characters, and world dating back from 2009. :-0 I don’t’ think it’s even at the blueprints stage. I can’t decide which architecture I’m wanting to go with. The story seems to demand a more contemporary style than what I am used to.

Those are the projects that are occupying my head space right now.

3. Treasure from the back of the closet: Snippet Love.

From a scene in Curse Bound that may or may not make it past the editor’s axe. 😀

my work space 🙂

“You’re not going to kill me, are you?”
Semine laughed. Her voice bounced off the surrounding wall and buildings.
“You have Vian, why would you need anyone else’s blood?”
“To build a bigger and even greater army.” Semine clucked her tongue. “I can’t waste Vian’s precious blood for that.”

3.5. Bonus: Do some actual spring cleaning of your writer self. (And share a picture!)

Well, I haven’t done much “spring cleaning”, but with revisions looming over my head, I have straightened my office space a little and managed to keep the house some what decent. Ha! Nothing like living life balanced between reality and dreams, eh?


That wraps up the Spring Clean Writer Challenge for me! Thank you DJ for tagging me!

I tag Ralene Burke, K. M. Carroll, and Kyle Robert Shultz! And if any of you’d like to participate in the challenge, consider yourself tagged!

Here are the rules:


1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Share the picture
3. Answer the questions (naturally…) or even pick and choose which ones you answer
3.5. Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them (via comment/message/email or hey, even carrier-pigeon or smoke signal; I’m not picky)


1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

2. Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

3. Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

3.5. Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (And share a picture!)


Have a great week y’all!

Categories: Just for Fun, Life's Journey, Nälu, Snapshots, Writer's Journey | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Cover Reveal: Phoenix Fire

Hello dear readers!

Have I treat for you all! I am so excited to share another gorgeous cover with you. This time from the lovely S.D. Grimm. She is a fellow Realmie and cool chic with several novels under her belt. AND she will be one of the guest authors at tonight’s Facebook Party! (Are you coming???) Her latest, Amber Eyes, just released, and she is gearing up for a second release this year. Phoenix Fire coming this March!


I know, right?

So without further ado, may I present to you:



After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Pre-order it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

About the Author

S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. That’s to be expected from someone who looks up to heroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, has been sorted into Gryffindor, and isn’t much taller than a hobbit. Her patronus is a Red Voltron Lion, her spirit animal is Toothless, and her lightsaber is blue. She believes that with a little faith, a lot of love, and an untamed imagination, every adventure is possible. That’s why she writes. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog (and sometimes a virtual pocket monster). You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com

Categories: Love of Reading | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Progress Report & A Bookish Party

Happy Monday!

How are you?

Can you believe it’s already February? Time for our quarterly Facebook party, and I have yet to mention it on my blog. *hangs head in shame*

Life may be kicking my butt right now, but I am pushing through! 5 am comes way too quickly for me and inch by inch–more like two steps forward one step back–I am moving forward!

Curse Bound. It is still out for critiques, but I should be getting some feedback very soon.

Clans Divided. Wow. What was supposed to be another short story for the Tales of Nälu collection has now turned into a novella. Here’s hoping it will remain a novella. Ha! It’s kind of like a Romeo and Juliet, but with dwarves. While Curse Bound is out, I’ve been working on this one. I hope to have it available soon. 🙂

Ladies of Spec Facebook Party.

Got cabin fever? Escape the wintery blues with a good book or two and come hang out with us! We have THREE special guests joining us!

Joshua A. Johnston, check out his seven question interview with Enclave Publishing. Into the Void, the sequel to his sci-fi novel The Edge of Oblivion, just release this month.

DJ Edwardson, we recently celebrated the release of his beautiful novel, The Last Motley.

S.D. Grimm, also with a new release. Amber Eyes came out at the end of January, and she is gearing up for another release next month! Keep your eyes on the horizon for a cover reveal this Thursday! Check out her seven question interview with Enclave Publishing.

Hope to see you there!

Categories: Giveaway & More, Love of Reading, Nälu | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Cover Reveal: Minstrel’s Call

Happy Thursday!

I am excited to help Jenelle Leanne Schmidt in revealing the cover to the fourth and final book in The Minstrel’s Song series. So without further ado:

Minstrel’s Call

War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing…

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all…

Minstrel’s Call is available for pre-order on Amazon.

If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, check them out!

You can find them on Amazon.

Author Bio
Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their four adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

Connect with her here!
Amazon Author Page

Categories: Love of Reading | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog tour: The Last Motley

last motley fantasy book tour

Welcome to the virtual book tour for The Last Motley by Grace Award nominated author DJ Edwardson.

To celebrate the book’s release the digital version is being offered at the special discounted price of 99 cents, now through February 17th. In addition, you’re invited to come along on a virtual treasure hunt visiting some of the places featured in the novel. And to help you along your journey, we’re giving away a few prizes, too. So how ’bout them apples?

Today’s stop is:

Brackenland Province

The central “Helm” of Halicon, Brackenland Province gets its name from the dusky color of its soil, rich in clay and other minerals. Though waving grasslands blanket the northern half of the province, to the south lies a ruddy land of mines and smithies which supply much of the empire’s wealth.

Brackenland is also known for its stonemasons. The greatest architects of Arinn alive today are trained in the provincial capital of Havensward in Oryx College, the only school to rival the Anthem Academy in Evenspire.

Though Barrondale to the south has perhaps richer mineral deposits, those of Brackenland are more accessible and the tunnel system of Brackenland is said to run for miles in places below the surface.

With such wealth it is little wonder that Brackenland is home to many of the great merchants of the empire. For all its material abundance, its people do not have much of a reputation either for politeness or congeniality. The sad faces one sees among its inhabitants are testimony to the general grumpiness which is the one commodity which fortunately no one visiting ever seems to want to buy.

last motley map world of arinn brackenland

We hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into the world of Arinn. If this taste has you curious, be sure to check out the full length novel set in this world.

This unique tale is not your typical fantasy novel, Yes, you’ll find monsters, dungeons, harrowing escapes, magic portals, a humor, an ancient artifact, and much more but above all This is the story about the importance of family, faith, and the courage to do the right thing.

Here’s the official teaser:

The Last Motley

The Last Motley Fantasy Book CoverMotleys. Candy-colored creatures with dark powers to drain the souls of men. That’s what Roderick always thought. Until he met one. Now he’s not so sure. But with seemingly everyone in the province hunting the motley down, he must quickly decide which side he’s on.

Is the motley the living nightmare the legends say? Or just a child cursed by magic? Should Roderick save him from an awful fate, or turn him in? Either way, it seems like everyone wants to make sure that this will indeed be the last motley.

Be one of the first to read this unique and original fantasy novel, available now for the first time in digital format at the following online locations:


Treasures along the way

As you follow along on this virtual tour of Arinn, be sure to enter the giveaway to make your journey a little easier. Maybe you’ll be one of the ones to find treasure at journey’s end.

Here’s what we’re giving away:

last motley giveaway treasure hunt

A lovely leather journal, an autographed copy of The Last Motley, and a coloring book from the Chronicles of Narnia

You can use the journal to record your travels, the novel as your guide, and the coloring book to, well…for those rainy days when you’re stuck in the inn!

PLEASE NOTE: By entering the giveaway you agree to receive occasional email updates about DJ Edwardson’s releases, sales and book reviews. He will not share your email for any reason and you can unsubscribe at any time. Entries accepted until February 23rd.

Enter the Giveaway

Now if you’re feeling especially adventurous, there is a separate giveaway for the truly dedicated treasure hunters among you. All you have to do is collect ALL TWELVE location names on the tour (e.g. if this were for Middle-earth the answers might be Rivendell, The Shire, Mordor, Gondor, etc – basically we’re looking for the names of the places featured on each of the maps at every stop).

Once you’ve got them all, send them to:


will be entered in a drawing to win this one-of-a-kind poster of the World of Arinn. Measuring 36″X24″ it is nearly movie poster size, printed on thick, glossy paper, and suitable for framing. In addition, the map will be signed by the author. This is a prize you won’t find anywhere else!

motley fantasy map poster world of arinn

(actual photo) It’s even more impressive in person. It’s huge!

You will not be added to the email list for this drawing. Entries accepted until February 23rd as well.

Winners for both contests will be contacted within three days of the closing of the contests.

The journey continues

There are many stops along this virtual tour. Be sure to check them all out.

Feb 6 E.E. Rawls
Feb 7 Angel Leya
Feb 8 Elise Edmonds
Feb 9 Jennette L. Mbewe
Feb 10 Jess Elliot
Feb 11 Rachael Ritchey
Feb 12 Deborah O’Carroll
Feb 13 Karlie Lucas
Feb 14 Abbey Stellingwerff
Feb 15 Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
Feb 16 Jessica Groom
Feb 17 Steven Moore


Thanks for joining us on this journey!

Categories: Contests, Giveaway & More, Guest Posts, Love of Reading | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Bookish News

Happy Thanksgiving, if you’re celebrating this week’s holiday here in the U.S.A.

I am happy to report this round of book three’s revisions are complete and the manuscript is off to get its first outside feedback.


It’s always a time filled with anticipation mixed with excitement and dread. Ha! But to keep my mind off of that, I’ve dived into a new secret project. I am so excited about it and can’t wait to share it with you all. (Of course, dear readers, there will be a tiniest hint or two in my next newsletter.) I had hoped to be able to knock out the first draft this November, but we shall see. There has just been too much going on.

Such as the Ladies of Spec Facebook Party!!!! Next week Thursday y’all! Will you come? The evening promises to be full of bookish fun and prizes. And you may even catch a glimpse of yours truly singing off-key or a hole bag of oreos disappear or Ralene Burke doused in ice water. Stop by the event page for more details!

Also, be watching the cyber world for tons of bookish deals. Due to life, I did not get my info gathered in time to submit to these organized events, but stop by and check them out. There is something for everyone!

And for the holidays, Secrets Kept will be .99. So if you haven’t had a chance to read the book, now will be a good time to dive into the trilogy. Book three will be coming next year!! Summer/Fall, still a little early to select an actual date, not that I don’t have one in my head. 😀

Hope you all have a great rest of the week! Any special plans for the upcoming holidays?

Categories: Just for Fun, Love of Reading, Nälu, Writer's Journey | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

New Release: Marked by Fate

Howdy readers!

I’m popping in from under book three’s revisions (less than 80 pages to go!!) to share with you all this new release.


The cover is gorgeous. There’s more than 20 science-fiction and fantasy novels in this set, AND it’s only $0.99 this week only. But that’s not all! Have you heard of augmented reality?

I was blown away by what the publisher created. I just had to share it with you all. Read on and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

From Amazon:

Marked by Fate is now enhanced with Augmented Reality! Read, Watch, Listen. The new ultimate reading experience!

Step into adventure with Marked By Fate; the ultimate reading experience. Be immersed in twenty-six fantasy & science fiction worlds with state of the art Augmented Reality technology. Read, listen, and watch bonus content inside to bring the characters and story to life around you.

Enjoy the added features of this special edition, which allow you to enjoy bonus content right from your reading device. See character artwork. Listen to your story’s soundtrack. Watch book trailers and bonus videos. Experience behind the scenes like never before, thanks to Augmented Reality technology. Immersive Fantasy™; bringing fantasy worlds to life.


Embark on fantastic journeys through magical realms, dystopian lands, and faraway galaxies in this exciting collection of fantasy & science fiction novels brought to you by some of today’s hottest authors. Encounter werewolves, robots, angels, time travelers, shifters, and more in this action-packed box set that will leave you breathless.

Find it on Amazon.


Alright, back to work! Hopefully, you all will be hearing from me very soon! 😀


Categories: Love of Reading | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Book Haul & Facebook Party!

Happy Wednesday!

At least, I hope so! Today, I start back up at our local school as a special needs teacher’s aide, but the kiddos won’t start until next week. We have a whole week to get ready for the new school year. Here’s to 2017-2018!

And to finishing book three. I’m more than halfway through marking it up and will commence applying, revising, cutting and polishing very soon. Already, I have characters and story worlds clamoring for attention, which may or may not have influenced my book haul from Realm Makers this year.

Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland. I hope to be able to apply this and everything I’ve learned from him on my next project. 🙂 If you’re a writer, check out his awesome newsletter. If you’re a reader, check out his plethora of books!

The Crossover Alliance Anthology, Volume 1. I had the opportunity to meet David N. Alderman of the Crossover Alliance, a small press specializing in edgy, Christian fiction. He’s a great guy and had a great time chatting with him.

The Author Collector by Teddi Deppner. I think I have a problem. I’ve been in such a rut in regards to reading and watching movies. Lately, I’ve been drawn only to stories and shows that center around authors such as Murder, She Wrote and Memoirs of a True Assassin, which was enjoyable by the way. So it was no wonder why The Author Collector caught my eye. That, and I’ve been collecting ideas for a fantasy mystery series that is begging to be written. Plus Teddi is an amazing woman and the brain behind the SpecFicCollective (awesome resource for writers, go through the Archives!) and the Christian SpecFic Reader, a hub for blogs by Christian fans of Speculative Fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and all their subgenres). And she knows how to rock the costumes. 😀 I can’t wait to dig into this book.

And last, but definitely not least.

The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz. THIS! This book was everything that I had been searching for for the past couple of years. A detective, fairy tales, mystery. And yes, I did read the Sister’s Grimm Detective series. You see, I have this story world and characters that came to me several years ago, combining my two favorite loves mystery and fantasy, with a connection to our world and fairy tales. So we shall see! That said, The Beast of Talesend did not disappoint and I cannot wait to read the sequel! You can learn more about Kyle and his books on his website here.

Which brings us to the Ladies of Spec End of Summer Book Bash!

I loved The Beast of Talesend so much that I had to convince the Ladies of Spec that we just had to invite him to be one of our special guests for our upcoming Facebook party.

And we have another awesome guest joining us, Bethany Jennings, who I finally got to meet in person at Realm Makers! This lady has just astounded me as I’ve followed her online. From letting go of a dream to discovering new ones and watching her bloom online. She is an editor, author, and artist. Stop be her website to learn more about her awesome t-shirt designs and her latest books.

The evening promises lots of fun, book talk, prizes and more. So I hope you’ll be able to join us and don’t forget to invite your friends!

Oh, and we’re reading Dragon Lyric in Spec Haven right now! So if you’d love to join us, hop on over to Facebook and join the community! 

Have I shared about Spec Haven yet? If not, I will!

Until next time!

Categories: Love of Reading | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Realm Makers & Beyond!

Saying farewell to Realm Makers 2017!

Hey you guys!

How is your summer going?

Well, mine will be over with in eight days. I’m trying not to hyperventilate, so we won’t talk about that.

If you’ve followed me via Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that my family and I have just returned from an epic adventure. Two weeks worth of sight-seeing and driving forever in Ms. Hedwig through epic landscapes consisting of deserts and mountains and monsoons. And the kids did amazing. So did Ms. Hedwig.

First, Realm Makers. If you are a writer/wanting to write and love all things speculative fiction, then this conference is for you. This year was amazing and I can’t wait to apply everything that I’ve learned. And I got to meet Mary Weber! And James L. Rubart, Ted Dekker, and Robert Liparulo. Not to mention connecting with fellow authors and lovers of books.

These guys are such troopers!

Why is this important? Because it helps propel me forward in my writing journey and getting book three to you all as soon as I can. Plus all the good advice on writing and life. There is so much I’d love to highlight, but it would take too long today. Watch for future spotlight posts on creative endeavors and some of the awesome folks I met. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures like I should have. I was just so in the moment, I forgot. Oops! Now I’m kicking myself because I can’t share any with you. So you’ll have to scour social media with the hashtag #realmmakers2017. You’ll find a bunch. 🙂

But Realm Makers was only part of the trip. My family and I visited the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Roswell’s UFO Museum, Carlsbad Cavern, the kids got to dip their toes in Lake Tahoe, and we got to meet up with friends we hadn’t seen in 17 years! And we celebrated 15 years of marriage! If you want to see pictures of our adventures out west, visit my Instagram profile. There were just too many awesome pics (of landscapes and not of people. 😛 ) to be able to share here.

Pictures cannot capture the epicness!

Well, that brings us today. The kids are registered for school, school supplies have been bought, can’t say the same about the clothes, but we are as prepared as we can be for this next season in our lives.

I take that back. I’m not prepared at all. 😮

But I will be making strides in the next couple of days.

I’m about halfway through reading and marking up book three. I hope to have a title for you all soon! And there is another Ladies of Spec Facebook party in the works! End of Summer Book Bash! Join us for some bookish fun, special guests, and giveaways.

That’s all I have time for. Off to make dinner and finish unpacking. Hoping to dig into book three tonight. 🙂

Now that summer is drawing to a close, what are you most looking forward to this fall?

Categories: Just for Fun, Life's Adventures, Life's Journey, Writer's Journey | Tags: , , | 2 Comments