Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
Today is a very exciting day for me -- the release day of my newest work, and the next book in the Snowflake Triplet, entitled The Christmas Compass!
This book was a surprise and a joy to work on, and I'm really excited for my readers to be able to enjoy it now. I had a lot of fun putting it together, and seeing how my characters, who I have been working with for six years now, have changed and grown, just as I've changed and grown.
Despite my happiness, though, I have to admit I'm feeling a little bit teary-eyed right now. It's both amazing and strange to think that there is only one book left in this series! I'm working on penning it, and it's as fun a ride as The Christmas Compass, probably more so, but it's strange to think that soon I'll be done writing this series, and can move on to something else...
That's a bit a ways away, though! For now, I really hope you enjoy reading The Christmas Compass, and seeing what new things this world has in store. There are some surprising turns ahead!
Links to the e-book retailers are below. Unfortunately, there was an unexpected delay concerning the paperback, so it is not available on either Amazon or BN.com quite yet. However, if you would like you can purchase the paper version of The Christmas Compass via my provider, Createspace; I have added a $2.00 off coupon code below, as well as the link (code expires October 31st). I apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding.
UPDATE: The paperback is now available at Amazon.com, and will be available at BN.com shortly. The coupon code is still valid, however, if you would prefer to use it. Thank you.
Thank you for your support, and happy reading!
There are many paths in life, but only one can be tread, and the best directions come at the aid of a compass…
Finding herself a captive of the Rogue Immortal, Eclipse, Clara searches for answers to her most curious questions: what does he want, and who is he really? But she may get more than she bargained for as she is pulled into the most unlikely of places: an alternate dimension that Time has kept secret.
In this dimension, Clara is Snow Queen, and has grown up in the North Pole, never knowing a mortal life—and consequently, Jack Frost lives as a mortal, never discovering his destiny. When the two meet, Clara sees faces both old and new, and finally begins to feel at home.
But when the terrible truth about Eclipse is finally revealed, it will change everything: the past, the world that could have been…and the future.
To Purchase 'The Christmas Compass':
Nook: BN (US) -- BN (UK)
iBooks ~ iTunes (US) --- iTunes (UK) --- iTunes (Australia) --- iTunes (Canada) --- iTunes (France) --- iTunes (Germany) --- iTunes (Japan) --- iTunes (Italy) --- iTunes (Spain)
Amazon -- US -- UK -- Australia -- Canada -- Germany -- France -- Italy -- India -- Japan --
Mexico -- Netherlands -- Spain
Inktera: Coming Soon
Scribd: Coming Soon
The Christmas Compass will be available in paperback at Amazon and BN.com shortly. Apologies for the delay. If you would like to purchase your copy directly through Createspace, my provider, here is the link, and a coupon for $2.00 off. Thank you for your understanding.
Createspace Paperback Code: 6REVHG8J (Expires October 31st)
Createspace Link: The Christmas Compass
New To The Snowflake Triplet? Read The E-Book Edition Of Book 1, Clara Claus, Free Via These Retailers:
Clara Claus was a Bestselling novel in "Young Adult fantasy" four years in a row (2011 - 2014) on Amazon! Thank you so much to the wonderful readers who supported this novel!
"The world was given the greatest gift, and that's what started Christmas."
Jack Frost is about to lose everything. After attempting to again destroy Christmas, the Holiday that he hates more than anything, he is threatened with losing his job, and his Immortality. But, he is given one last chance at redemption.
That last chance lands Jack in the North Pole the week before Christmas, in order to help Santa Claus prepare for his busiest night of the year. There, Jack is tasked with the job of "Tour Guide", in order to show Santa's granddaughter, Clara, the sights of the Pole.
As Christmas draws nearer, and Jack's time begins to run out, he finds himself becoming fond of Clara, who attempts to show him the real meaning of Christmas, all while shocking him with her unique view of the world.
But, the past proves hard to reconcile, and soon, Jack hatches one last plan to destroy Christmas, a plan involving Clara, which may prove fatal not only for the Pole, but for her, as well -- unless Clara can melt his icy heart in time.
The first book in the Snowflake Triplet, Clara Claus is a fantastical adventure that reminds us of the importance of hope, and the real meaning of Christmas.
Nook: BN (US) --- BN (UK)
iBooks: iTunes (US) --- iTunes (UK) --- iTunes (Australia) --- iTunes (Canada) --- iTunes (France) --- iTunes (Germany) -- iTunes (Japan) --- iTunes (Italy) --- iTunes (Spain)
Amazon: US -- UK -- Australia -- Canada -- Germany -- France -- Italy -- India -- Japan -- Mexico -- Netherlands -- Spain
Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
So, November is creeping ever closer to us yet again, and that means it's naturally time for me to think about NaNoWriMo, because it's been part of my life for the last six (going on seven, now) years.
Last year, NaNo and I had a bit of a fallout (if you're interested in reading about my NaNo 2014 experience, check out: What I Learned From NaNo 2014: It's Okay To "Fail"). I decided then that I didn't really need NaNo, and that I probably wouldn't participate for a while. And though here I am, a year later, excited for NaNo, I can honestly say that I'm holding to my declaration from last year...somewhat.
Last year, I realized that I spent so much time worrying about "winning" NaNo (that is, reaching 50K) that I completely lost track of the real winning I was supposed to be doing -- enjoying writing. I realized that I didn't need NaNo in the way that other writers need it: to reach that 50K, to know that they can write a novel, to feel like part of a community. There is absolutely nothing wrong with needing NaNo in this way -- needing a challenge, which really helped me my first year; it fueled my confidence, when I saw that I had won -- but I think I've reached a writing maturity where this isn't what I need anymore...or maybe I've just done NaNo too many years.
Whatever the case, a little bit ago, I realized something else about NaNo that I wasn't able to see last year: I do still need it.
I, personally, don't need the 50K challenge. I've learned that the number of words matters far less than what those words are saying, though those words will never be perfect the first time, and that's alright. Not that a full-length novel isn't great. I love novels. And I also love to write long novels (the story I am working on this year is a re-write, and the original was 76K...I imagine the rewrite will probably be at least 90K, if not twice as long as the first draft). But for me, writing a novel in a month doesn't really cut it anymore, because I feel like I'm rushing. I'm somewhere between a Pantser and a Plotter, but I've learned that if I try to write a novel fast, I only become frustrated, and my thoughts derail. I want to integrate the NaNo thought of "getting it out", of not worrying about how strange an idea may be, or how unlikely, but I want to do that in all of my writing, not just for November.
But just because I don't need NaNo for the 50K doesn't mean that I don't need NaNo at all. This is what I have realized, and it's good to give myself permission to enjoy NaNo again, without feeling like I'm betraying either myself, or NaNo.
I'm at the point in my writing where I just want to fall into the story -- to shape it, to have a relationship with it. Our society likes to accomplish things fast, and then get quickly to the next thing, and while that isn't always bad, it no longer works for me so far as novels. My stories are taking a while to write, but the good thing about NaNo is that it brings me back to the beginning -- and that's why I need it.
We all need to be reminded of why we write in the first place. We all need to be reminded of those times when we were starry-eyed and excited for a new story, no threat or loom of where that story would go hanging over our heads, and (in my case) no worry about how long a final draft would take, and then how long before publishing. We all need to be reminded that other writers have the same joys and sorrows as we do. We all need to be reminded that stories are more than words, that they are able to change lives, to really speak to people.
We all need to be reminded that stories are magic.
NaNo has a way of bringing this thought into focus for me, of reminding me of the important things. When I think about NaNo, now that I'm not worried about the word count, I think of the story -- nothing more, nothing less. And as long as I can enjoy sitting down with my story, the number of words, the state of my first draft, and the time don't matter -- only the story does.
This year, I am revisiting an old story, which I wrote 5 years ago, shortly after I released my first novel, Clara Claus, into the world. I just recently celebrated my 5 year publishing anniversary, and so I am really excited to rework this novel, as a dual way of honoring my five years. I definitely won't finish it in November, but I am going to try to write at least 20K -- I know I said the word count doesn't matter, and it doesn't, but I still have ambitions (lol), and goals never hurt; it I reach it, great, and if not that's perfectly fine, too, and I'm glad that I've come to a place where I can truly be comfortable with "failing". I will be writing longhand, as I have been doing for a while.
Whether you're new or old to NaNo, shoot for the stars, but remember that having fun is the most important thing--
Remember that to win -- really WIN -- means to enjoy your time with your novel.
Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
Today I have some exciting news to share with you! Not only is the release of The Christmas Compass one week away - so excited! - but I also have some new Christmas shorts that I will be releasing in the weeks following.
Some of you may be familiar with these titles, so let me take a moment to tell you a bit about the shorts, and where they've come from, and how they're "new" (though one is 100% brand-new).
When I re-released the Clara Claus paperback with an updated cover in 2012, I also included in the paperback an exclusive short story called North of Perfect. The short popped into my head one day, mainly due to my two best friends gushing about North - a.k.a. the North Wind - who is their favorite character in the Snowflake Triplet (sorry, Jack; I still love you). The short was very fun to write, and was mainly a chance for me to pen a "what if" story for North, who I could probably write a book about if I wanted to (don't tempt me). I intended to keep the short as a paperback-only piece.
When it came time to release the second Snowflake Triplet book, Clara Snow, I decided to take a leap and penned another short for North, a continuation of the first story, and again included it as an exclusive in the paperback. With what happens at the end of Clara Snow, I knew that the happenings of the second short (North of Trial) would play into the final Christmas book, Clara Frost, but I didn't think that the short would take on a life of its own.
After I released Clara Snow, I begun work on Clara Frost...and realized that the North shorts were more important than I had originally thought! It's amazing how writing can surprise you, even when you think you have everything planned out.
These North shorts introduce a character named Holly, who I originally wasn't going to include in the Clara Claus books, and who, after I finished writing the second North short, I thought might only make a brief appearance in Clara Frost, for fans who had bought the paperbacks. But as I begun writing Clara Frost, I realized that Holly had a bigger role in the story than I thought she would! She has plowed her way through the snow and ice to become a main character, and I want all of my readers to be familiar with her when they read Clara Frost, and to hopefully love her as much as I do.
So, I've decided to release the North shorts in e-book too, to complement their release in paperback, and so that my e-book only readers will know Holly. The shorts will continue to be part of the paperback books (Clara Claus and Clara Snow), but for those readers who prefer e-book, I will be releasing e-book copies of each short, so that everyone can read in their preferred format.
And there's more exciting news! After I finished writing The Christmas Compass, I penned one more North short, the third in the series (North of Dreams), which will be available in the paperback version of The Christmas Compass, releasing next week, and in its own e-book come November.
I hope you look forward to the new shorts! I had so much fun writing more about North, and his world. Holly is such a fun character, too, and if you haven't read about her already, I hope you'll enjoy reading about her now!
Release dates, synopsis, and covers are below!
North of Perfect ~ Tales of North #1
The Wind blows however it wants to, and is free...
The North Wind -- simply North, thank you -- travels the world with his duties as an Immortal. He is never surprised, and he does not break the rules--
On New Year's Eve in New York City, however, North has a surprising encounter that will change everything...even the direction of the wind.
Available in e-book November 3rd
Now available in the Clara Claus paperback
North of Trial ~ Tales of North #2
Even the Wind must learn to bend...
After the events of Clara Snow, North returns to New York City with the resolve to undo all of the change that has occurred in his life since that special New Year's Eve.
But, Holly has other plans.
With a surprising twist of events, North finds that sometimes, new beginnings are found even in the midst of endings.
Available in e-book November 3rd
Now available in the Clara Snow paperback
North of Dreams ~ Tales of North #3
With a new day, the Wind moves forward...
Another New Year's Eve in New York City brings interesting happenings as North and Holly prepare for what is to come, and look back over what has happened thus far.
What must they cling to, if they hope to prevail in the fight against Eclipse?
And when the clock strikes midnight, what magic will be born?
Available in e-book November 10th
Available in The Christmas Compass paperback October 27th
Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
Today is the day: a day I imagined would come, but that still seems impossible--
My 5 year publishing anniversary.
Before I get started on this somewhat strange publishing anniversary post, I would like to dedicate this post to:
My family and friends, who have been there to support me through every inch of this journey, and who have never stopped believing in me, even when I stopped believing in myself. And for my dear readers and fans, who lend your support and interest, and who bring smiles to my face with all of your excitement over my stories. I thank you so much for continuing to read, and for continuing to lend me your support and enthusiasm.
I couldn't have reached 5 years without the aid and support of everyone who has been by my side, from the beginning and before.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
It took me weeks to figure out what I wanted to write about for this post -- months, even.
Every anniversary, I try to write something to inspire other writers and published authors, who struggle with the same ups, downs, hardships and excitements that I do. Writing can be a lonely job, and it's always wonderful to get a helping hand or word from another author who has been where you are now -- or who is where you are going. But, as the date of my anniversary grew closer and closer, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to post.
Sitting here now, at my desk, wondering why on Earth I forgot to make tea before I sat down, and if anyone at all will read this post anyway, I'm still struggling with what to write...only I know that I want to talk about what has happened in my life lately, what has completely changed me.
We all have moments of epiphany, I believe. Sometimes they come at the oddest moments, too, when we think that we are doing alright, and we don't need an epiphany at all--
Or at least that was my case about a week and a half ago.
I can't say what exactly brought the epiphany on. I started listening to the soundtrack for the musical Finding Neverland (I am, after all, a gigantic Peter Pan fan). I begun writing a scene of what I like to call my Monster Story (because it's so, so long...sigh). I went to a new restaurant with family. I went to a book fair, and listened in on a panel, with NYT Bestseller Jason Mott speaking about writing, which was a fantastic experience.
Somewhere along the line, the epiphany came, and I realized -- I have become cynical.
Cynical isn't a word I use often, just because I never really think about it, although it has plenty of room for application in the world. But it's the only word I can think of to accurately describe how I was acting and feeling up until recently--
I realized, by whatever means, that I've become cynical in my life these past few years -- partially because of getting older, partially because of trying to "fit into" the market and the business world, and partially because I simply allowed it to happen. It's become most apparent when I think about writing or publishing, and I realized, after this epiphany, that most of the time when I talk about either topic, my conversation is laced with: "it's hard", "it's difficult to gain interest", "don't expect (insert hope/dream here) to happen", and other negative words, covered over by "realism" that said this is simply how the business is, how life is. I had come to sound whiny and full of anger and bitterness. I realized, in whatever moment, that I had come to think of my work as a bane...especially the publishing aspect.
Now, it's not easy for me to admit it, and it sounds horrible and unprofessional because it is. But I want to be honest: somewhere along the line, I hadn't come to hate my job, but I had become very frustrated and cynical towards it, and all without realizing it.
My epiphany was a good, old-fashioned slap in the face that seriously made me take into account how I was feeling, thinking, and how I viewed my attitude -- and I discovered, not surprisingly, that I didn't like my attitude or what I had been unconsciously touting to others -- that my hopes and dreams would never come to be, and that theirs wouldn't, either. It made my soul ache to think that I had become so cynical.
The question was: what should I do about it?
I believe that we all have a purpose here in life, that God put us here for a reason, and that if we want to pursue our purpose, we are always going to get a lot of opposition -- and cynicism is possibly one of the worst oppositions we can come across, because it doesn't look like defeat when you first stare it in the face. Plenty of people don't like to talk about hopes and dreams, because those are things for children or people who like to ignore reality, but there's a reason that your hopes and dreams were so important to you once, if they aren't anymore.
As we get older, the "adult" thing to do is to be practical and realistic, and this is where cynicism can come in. Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't be practical or realistic at all, because we need those things, too, but if we become so practical and realistic that "practical" and "realistic" cease to mean what they should mean, then we've trudged into the arena of cynicism instead.
"Realism" in its false form tells us that we shouldn't dream, that we shouldn't hope, and we shouldn't reach for our goals, because it isn't "practical" to do, or our aspirations aren't likely to become reality...and this is cynicism, and it's a lie. If we don't reach for dreams and goals, then how are we supposed to make anything happen in the world -- and therefore have any impact on it? I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of living a life that tells me I can't do things because they're "impractical" or they aren't "realistic" -- that tells me having dreams is stupid, and I should get my head out of the clouds. It's cutting off your feet, and then wanting to run. You defeat yourself ahead of time, before you have a chance to even try.
History is full of people who did what was "impractical" and "unrealistic", and attained their goals, dreams and beyond by doing it -- and in turn inspired others, and made impacts on lives. Some of my favorites are: Walt Disney, Jim Henson, Madeline L'Engle, Steve Jobs, J.M. Barrie.
Isn't that what you want in the end, to at least see someone else smile, or take up their own bat, and go for their own dream?
When did "it's not likely to happen, so I'll just stick with what is likely and safe" become acceptable?
Making dreams reality is not easy -- it's hard work, and that is something you can never subtract from the equation. The fulfillment of any dream requires for you to work hard -- and often longer and harder than anyone else, for years and years before you see your dream fulfilled. But hard work teaches us new things, and prepares us for what lies ahead, in the center of our dream's fulfillment. If we don't work and learn, then we won't be prepared for the fulfillment of our dream when the time comes.
Walt Disney said "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them", and I don't think that's merely a good quote. If you want to reach your goal, whatever it is, you have to have the courage to push past cynicism, and work for it.
I can't say what it was that made me see my cynicism for what it was, but I'm glad that I can see past it now. When I first started writing and publishing, I had big dreams, and somewhere along the line, I allowed them to fizzle out. I lost something, but I want to fight to get my aspirations back -- and I want to work to see them become a reality. It's the person who keeps working, and keeps believing, even when they're disappointed and feel like they'll never succeed, that ultimately makes their dreams a reality. I feel like, now that I've released my cynicism, I can have my dreams back.
I'm going to keep moving towards my goals -- this time, with the belief that I can make them a reality, so long as I keep working and striving. What about you?
If anyone is interested in the music to Finding Neverland, check it out. Here's my favorite number: