Friday, May 22, 2015

Catching Up: Graduation

My graduation week was a whirlwind to say the least. And so, rather than to overwhelm you with one really long post, I am going to break things up into a few smaller posts.

Last week, I graduated. That still sounds weird to me because I cannot believe I am out of high school already. I am definitely glad to be out of school, but it really does feel weird. Texting my friends who aren't out of school yet feels weird. My best friend rejoicing about entering her senior year feels weird. (I've known her since she was in kindergarten!) Planning my next year at college feels weird. Everything feels weird, actually.

But I've already had a ton of fun. At 4:00 AM in the morning, after I had gone to bed at nearly 2:00 AM, I left for Dallas to attend the RT Writer's Convention. On Sunday, I flew home bright and early in time for my performance at the Coterie Theatre. Despite the many nights with little sleep this last week, I have had a blast. (This counts the day after I got home when I fell asleep on the couch at 1:00 in the afternoon watching The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It's a good show. Really.)

Anyway, my graduation night was a blast. I got all dolled up and ready to head to the country club where my graduation was being held. (Don't you just love my glitter shoes?)

After I arrived at the graduation in style, I got to devour (Ahem, I mean dine on) some yummy food, chat with friends, and eat two desserts. The school staff presented awards (I got the Presidential Award and a perfect homework award and attendance award.) Then, I went up onstage (I guess there wasn't really a stage there, but you know what I mean.) and I gave the valedictory speech to the Class of 2015. It was a totally fun experience to write the speech and deliver it to the crowded room. After my hopefully-not-boring speech, the Class of 2015 received our diplomas. The room erupted into a flurry of cheers, tossed gradation caps, and flashing cameras. 
Aww, look at me throwing my cap in the air.
After receiving many congratulations from friends, family, and teachers, and stopping for photographs with my friends, my graduation night was over. And it was on to another adventure.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Hey everyone!!! Just a quick, friendly blog post to let you know that:

CARRIED HOME IS PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Doesn't it look so pretty on Amazon??

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I am pleased to say that I have revealed the cover art for Carried Home, sequel to Swept to Sea, which will be released and ready for you to read APRIL 28TH! I am so excited!

Here it is!

About the book
   The Caribbean is no place for a society lady of London, yet after a daring quest to save a friend, Lady Ivy Shaw finds herself trapped far from home.  Now, driven with worry for her young brother, she is determined to return to England in all haste. So, when a new acquaintance offers to sail her to her brother’s side, she jumps at the offer, scarcely caring that the man is a privateer.
   Captain Gage Thompson is just learning how to be a captain.  He sailed for years under the command of his longtime friend, Caspian Archer, but serving a captain and being a captain are, as he soon discovers, two very different roles. While struggling to gain the respect of his newfound crew, he now faces the distraction of beautiful Lady Shaw.  He finds himself entranced by her and promises to give her passage home.
   After a brief stop in Port Royal, Ivy and Gage discover an abandoned child. They both decide to bring her with them on their voyage to England. But problems soon arise in the form of hurricanes and enemy pirates, and Ivy and Gage find themselves scrambling to not only care for a lonely child, but also gain command of a motley crew.  
   Will love bud between Ivy and Gage as they journey home?
Here's my two babies side by side. Eden and Ivy!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Interview with a friend: Emily Rachelle

Hey everyone! Today I have an interview with my friend Emily, in honor of her self-pubbing her second book, Rain in December, a poetry book. So...straight to the interview!

Hi, Emily. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I'm an aspiring journalist and a bit of a nomad, having grown up moving every three or four years. I love chocolate, cats, and Netflix, so if I don't manage to wrangle a husband in the next decade or two, I'm the perfect modern spinster in the making. I also quite enjoy a good rain.
What is your book about? Target age range? It's a book of poetry sorted into four categories, but overall I'd say the book sort of chronicles my own coming-of-age experience. The target age range for readers is about fourteen-twenty years old.
Emily, can you tell us about the publishing process? Was there anything in particular that surprised you or that was easier (or harder) than you expected? I was surprised by how much easier it was to publish this book than Sixteen. I mean, technically, I followed all the same steps. But with Sixteen, everything was new and foreign. For every single decision, I had to do a ton of research and make sure to keep the costs as low as possible. With Rain In December, I spent a lot less time and money and ended up with a book just a beautiful and professional that I'm happy with. To anyone struggling after deciding to self-publish -- it's getting started that's the hard part. Once you've done the work the first time around, things are so much easier next time.
Nice! Which are you - panster or plotter? That's actually a really interesting question for this book. Normally, I'm a huge plotter. I seriously write out an average of 5K words in notes before ever starting the rough draft of any novel. But for poetry, I'm the polar opposite -- I sit down, I write until it feels finished, and then I go back and make a bunch of changes until I'm happy with the result. Either way, though, my writing schedule is always sporadic. I might spend an hour or two writing prose or write five poems in one sitting, and then go a month without writing anything besides blog posts and school papers.
Awesome! Are you planning any other books? I am! Right now, during Camp NaNoWriMo, I'm working on the first draft of a Snow White retelling titled Mirror, Mirror. As for books coming out this year, the first in a series of fairy tale retellings (Mirror, Mirror is not part of this series) will be out later this year if all goes as planned. The series is called Once Upon a Dream, and the first book is an urban fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, titled World of Shadows.
That sounds interesting. I love Snow White! Well...I love all types of fairy tales.What genres have you written? Concerning pulished works, I have one Christian contemporary YA work and this new book of poetry. If we consider all genres I've ever written, several types of fantasy YA, historical YA, and childrens' works are added to the list, as well as a handful of short stories. However, the childrens' and historical works are definitely not books I ever intend to publish, so my published works will probably be restricted to poetry, contemporary YA, and urban fantasy YA.
When you read, what is your favorite genre? I actually read from quite a few genres. Which is my favorite depends on my mood. I've switched between adult and YA works, contemporary and historical, sci-fi and paranormal, romance and suspense. Overall I'm most likely to enjoy a YA speculative fiction work, but right now I'm on a contemporary YA kick. I just finished re-reading The Fault In Our Stars, and now I'm re-reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Where can I find you online? My blog and website are located at, and there's contact and about pages with links to all my social media pages.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Love Being Busy: Operas, New Covers, and Fifth Graders

Hey everyone! So, I've been extremely busy lately, but that is a good thing. As long as I have time to write, I enjoy being busy! 

Two weeks ago I had Spring Break. The weather was nice, and I had fun attending rehearsals for something called Words + Music, which was a collaboration between the Coterie Theatre, The University of Missouri-KC, and the Lyric Opera. Six writers from the Coterie wrote pieces that were turned into opera moments by UMKC composers, and performed by Lyric Opera performers. During Spring Break, I was able to attend rehearsals for this every day, and on Thursday, the pieces were performed in a Master Class led by opera professionals Mark Adamo and John Corigliano. My opera moment, which is inspired by the Salem Witch Trials, will be performed again several times in the future, including at the Coterie Theatre Young Playwrights Festival.
My composer and my performer for "It Was Only A Joke" after the performance!

Also this week, I got to see the cover for Carried Home (out April 28th). Oh. My. Goodness. The cover is spectacular!!!! I cannot wait to share it with you. Ahhh! :D

On Friday, I had the honor of speaking to a fifth grade class at Prairie Point Elementary. This was an amazing experience, and I would love to do it again. Those kids were really special, and they were so excited about me and about writing. I was greeted with huge smiles from the moment I entered the room, and I felt a little bit like a pop star. The kids asked me tons and tons of amazing questions about writing. Their questions were better than what most of the high-schoolers I go to school with would ask! I loved their inquisitiveness. And at the end, my hand was tired from signing so many bookmarks for every child and my cheeks hurt from grinning so much, but I was the happiest I had been all week. I left the school after getting a few hugs from the kids, and receiving a card that they had made me as a thank-you for coming that day. I'm going to keep that card forever as a token to remember that special day. 
Me speaking to the awesome class.
The card they made me! Everyone signed it on the inside, too.

I hope to have the opportunity to speak to many more school groups like this in the future!

So how have you all been? Are you excited to see the cover for Carried Home? What's new with you?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Review:Thief of Glory

Hey everyone! I finished a book, so here's a book review. I didn't love Thief of Glory by Sigmud Brouwer very much, but maybe you would like it, so I suggest you check it out and give it a chance if you think you might enjoy it. 

Here's what I thought:

I have to admit that I was not completely in love with this book, while the general idea of it was interesting. I didn't like that I was made to believe that this was a romance, when it really was not. I hate to write a negative review, and I don't think the problem was with the book, but more so with the marketing involved with it.
I felt that the main character, Jeremiah, was able to do way more things than a ten year old should have been able to do. Since he was 10 for 2/3 of the novel, I had difficulty taking this book seriously.
However, the historical aspect of this novel was great. I never knew Dutch POW camps existed in Indonesia. I liked reading about the history here. All in all, this novel was very rich in historical ideas, but I didn't love the actual story.