Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Suddenly Continues and Through This Together




I'm running very late on posting this month. It's been a crazy month as August tends to be. My grandkids from Colorado had to go home. My grandkids who live here in Kentucky had to go back to school. I'm trying to get stories out there for my fans. Just busy, busy busy. Plus, I had to mow the yard a couple of times this month. And it's my birthday today. Officially a senior according the the library I work at. But, at 55 I can't get any real senior discounts yet.

But, I finally slowed down long enough to write this post and share some exciting news with everyone. So last month I posted that I had made Through This Together available on the new Kindle Vella program. Well, it's not getting much attention there. So, since it's been over a month since I posted in on Kindle Vella, and it has more than 10 chapters, I can publish it to Kindle Unlimited now. I've been listening to the story again on Natural Reader. I've tried to catch any mistakes that have slipped past my editor and me in the several rounds of editing and reviewing. I'm sure I'll miss something, but that's the great thing about being self-published, I can always go back and fix it later. 

The plan is to stay up as late as necessary this evening to finish formatting Through This Together for Kindle and get it loaded so that it will available for readers before the end of this week. 

The other thing that I've done this month is start posting episodes to Suddenly Continues on Kindle Vella. So far I've only got three episodes up, but more will come. I think this is going to be a great platform for me to continue Jamie and P. J.'s story. I've had such a hard time trying to write a sequel to the story and this way I can post the sequel an episode at a time. And then after I get enough episodes put together, I can publish it on the long form of Kindle Unlimited. 

On top of all this, I've sent my next book, Learning to Love Again to my editor. Hopefully, that will be out sometime in November. At least that's the goal.

I hope everyone is staying safe. Covid is not done wreaking havoc. It's been interesting listening to Through This Together, which I finished writing last August and realizing things really have not gotten much better in the past year. In fact, they've gotten worse. But, we must all try to do our part to make things better so we can through this crazy time together.
 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Through This Together is Available on Kindle Vella!

 


Hi! How's everyone's summer going? Or winter, depending on where you live in the world. I hope everyone is keeping safe. This new Covid delta variation is making me nervous. I've been vaccinated, but I still worry that I could catch Covid and bring it home to my family members who are not vaccinated. Depending on how the numbers here in Kentucky start looking and depending on how nervous I get, I may go back to wearing my mask at work. Please keep safe out there!

Speaking of Covid, I've released my new book, Through This Together, on the new Kindle Vella program. You can read the first three chapters for free, but apparently only if you live in the United States. I guess I didn't realize that when I put the book in the program. It really sucks because I know I have fans worldwide who might want to read this story. I have to leave the book in the Kindle Vella program for 30 days before I can expand it to the regular Kindle program. That means it will be the middle of August before it will be available to everyone. But, have no fear, I will make sure it becomes available to everyone. 

In the foreword, I tell why I wrote the story and how it came about. It's one of my stories that I felt needed to be written, like Finding Jenna and Standing Her Ground. Sometimes a story comes to me, and it won't let me go until I write it, even if I know it may not be a fan favorite. I just hope that each one of my stories touches at least one person, then I will feel like I've done my job as a writer.

I'm working on the last edits of my next lesbian romance before I send it off to my editor. I'm hoping that will happen by the end of August, but I'll keep you all posted. 

I'm also planning to start posting episodes of Jamie and P. J.'s continuing story on Kindle Vella because I need feedback. I've had several fans ask for a sequel to Suddenly, but I keep getting stuck, partially because it's been so long since I've been in college and partially because some of the characters I've put in Jamie and P. J.'s life don't seem to want to be fleshed out. Since Kindle Vella is a platform where people can leave notes for the author for each chapter, I'm hoping my readers will help me through the blocks, and then I can make the story available to everyone.


This has been kind of a weird summer because I haven't had all of my grandchildren with me as much as I have in years past. They are all getting older and have their own things going on, especially my two oldest grandsons, Jacob and David. Jacob is working as a lifeguard at a waterpark this summer, and David is at football camp. I just can't get over how big they are all getting. Even the youngest, Deborah, turned four last month. She'll be starting school soon. Crazy how fast they grow up. 


Well, I'm going to wrap this up for this month. I'm only a few days behind my schedule for posting on my blog. I sincerely hope my fans in the U. S. will check out Through This Together on Kindle Vella this month. And I hope my fans worldwide will check it out in August when I make it available to everyone. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Coming Soon! Still.






I'm running about a week behind on my posting schedule, and I'm still trying to wrap up my newest book, Through This Together. I'm on the 9th or 10th round of editing and ready to get it out there. It's going to be interesting to see what kind of feedback I get from this story. Even though the story has a young adult romance that I think is very sweet, my readers so far have thought the story was a bit dry. I guess we'll see after more reviews come in after I publish it. I'm shooting for the 4th of July, but we'll see if that happens. It's one of the nice things about self-publishing. I can change publication dates if I need to.
Some of the books I've written have been very deep and a bit dark to some degree, but I'm ready to write something happy and light. I think we've all had enough darkness for a bit. I guess that's why I'm concerned about how well Through This Together will be received. It takes the reader through the pandemic's darkness and into the light of how many people came together for each other during this last summer.   
I have to admit that I'm ready to be finished with the story so I can move on to the next one. I've written a new lesbian romance about a woman learning to love herself and finding love after a very long-term relationship ends. That one is in the beginning editing stages, and I hope to get it out this fall. And I'm going to revisit a holiday story I started a few years ago. Hopefully, it will take on new life, and I can get it ready by the holidays.
The picture with this post comes from my recent trip to Ouray, Colorado. I went out there the last week of May with my daughter, Michelle, to get her boys who live with their father in Montrose, Colorado. Michelle rented this house for the week with the most amazing views of the mountains. We both hated having to leave. The new lesbian romance that I'm editing takes place in this part of Colorado, and I can foresee more romance stories coming that will take place in the same area. In fact, I think the picture I posted would make a perfect book cover.  
I've done a bit more reading in the past month, although still pretty slow. I finished a book titled Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. It's a wonderful fantasy LGBTQ tale, so I strongly recommend it if you get a chance to read it. It was recommended to me by my friend, Cecilee, who also recommended Pulp by Robin Talley, which is what I'm reading right now in print. I'm also reading Love's Encore by Miranda Macleod on my Kindle app, which I have enjoyed very much. I have added several books to my to-read list. Hopefully, I'll get to read them and post recommendations for my followers. 
I'm going to wrap this up for this month. It's been a good month to be outside and enjoy visiting with people now that the Covid restrictions have been dropped. I hope that everyone continues to stay safe and healthy. And hopefully, by next month's post, I will have released Through This Together and can tell you about its reviews. 

 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Blurbs Are So Hard

 

I would bet that almost all of the writers reading this blog agree that writing the blurb for you book is a daunting task. Sometimes it feels like it's harder to write the blurb than it was to write the book. I've been working on the blurb for Through This Together for several weeks and I'm still not happy with it. Partially because I have to decide which audience I want to target. The book is mostly about a family's challenges that they face because of the coronavirus shutdowns and the racial tensions caused by George Floyd's death. But, there's also a deep family story about a young woman being rejected by her family for being gay, and another young woman's fear of being rejected by her family for the same reason. The story is about friendships, relationships, and a sweet romance that blooms. So how do I put all of that into three hundred word advertisement?

Here's the most current blurb for Through This Together. I would love to get some comments and thoughts. 


Seventeen-year-old Natalie Weatherby, like most teenagers, didn’t give the news about the flu-like virus in China much thought. It wasn’t something that affected her life, and then the virus began to spread worldwide. Soon after, Kentucky, where Natalie lives, saw its first in early March, Natalie’s world turned upside down because the nursing homes stopped allowing visitors, and the school went virtual-only. 


Natalie loves school, and she and her mother visit her Grandma Tremmel in the nursing home every day. Like many people, Natalie assumed that things would be back to normal after a few weeks, but things continue to spiral out of control.


Being forced to work with her nemesis, Jill Harper, on a virtual school project and developing a crush on Jill is just the beginning of Natalie’s problems. Her grandmother has Alzheimer’s. After not seeing Natalie in person for several days, she starts thinking that Natalie is her sister, Bertha, a sister Natalie’s mother, Jennifer, didn’t know existed. 


And then, the racial tensions in the United States explode after the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Natalie didn’t think anyone in her family was prejudiced, but the protests bring out a side of Natalie’s brother, Ben, that she never knew existed.

   

The truths revealed during these family crises will have lasting effects on Natalie and her family. Are they strong enough to get through this together?

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New Book Cover!


Happy April, Everyone! I come to you bearing good news. Amygdala Design has created another fantastic book cover for me. I started writing Through This Together about this time last year as we started our journey into life with the pandemic. 


I wrote this story from a seventeen-year-old high school junior's point of view. The main character, Natalie Weatherby, is a combination of teenagers in my life and a reflection of how I think I would have handled things if I were seventeen now and going through this crazy time.


When I was a teenager, we didn't have computers available to the general public, let alone social media. We did have prejudice and fear about what the future held, and we dealt with it to the best of our ability. I listened to my grandchildren and their friends talking about how they felt about what was happening around the world, and here in the U. S. They were more concerned about not getting to see their friends initially than they were about the virus. As time went on and the death toll rose, they started becoming afraid about what would happen if someone they knew got the virus.


On top of the virus, the United States was going through one of the most turbulent political times that I can recall. All of us who are over 50 have seen many good and bad changes in this country, but I've never been more afraid of where this country is headed than I am now.  


I touched on the George Floyd story and the politics because of changes I saw within my own family. There were already some issues about who liked Donald Trump and who didn't, but the tragic death of George Floyd brought out prejudices I didn't realize people I knew had. It's been an unfortunate discovery. 


I'm excited about releasing this story soon. I'm working with an editor to make sure there aren't many booboos. I was hoping to have this new book out by the end of April, but it's looking more like the end of May. But that's just around the corner. I hope you all will be watching for this story to become available. 


 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Spring Renewals

 

Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons. Not only does it mean that winter is ending, but it's a time of renewal. Everything starts feeling fresh and new. Baby leaves begin to form on the trees. Bright green grass is growing. Flowers are blooming, and the world seems to be awakening. This is more true this year than ever. Last spring was the beginning of the extended shut down put people in a state of panic and fear over the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the grass grew and the flowers bloomed last spring, everything was tainted with a dark hue. 

This spring, there is hope in the air. People are getting vaccinated, and the number of Covid cases and Covid deaths are going down, hopefully for good this time. For many people, especially older people, this may be the first time in a long time that they feel safe enough to venture out to see family and friends. Sadly, visiting family and friends will mean going to their gravesites and memorials for too many people. I'm always sending my prayers to those who have lost people to this awful disease and pray that we will soon have it behind us. 

Spring is also time for me to renew several business contracts. I have to renew my GoDaddy contract for my website. I'm renewing my subscription to Grammarly.com. I'm also renewing my advertisement contract with Robin Lowey's e-zine, Epochalips. If you have not had a chance to check out this online magazine, I hope you will. There are some really great articles about lesbians we should know. And things we should know about lesbians. 

I've been advertising on Robin's page for several years now. It's helped a lot of readers find my books, which of course means new fans. 

Unfortunately, I don't have a new book coming out yet. I'm still waiting to hear from the publisher about the young adult lesbian romance story I just finished. It will probably be a few months before that book will be out if the publisher does take it on, so I'm going to be promoting my favorite Happy Ever After stories on Epochalips. It's been over eight years since I published my first young adult HEA, Suddenly, and it's still a fan favorite. Last year I published Sheltered by Love right around this time of the year, but as we sunk into the Covid depression, I didn't do much advertising for it. And I still haven't put it in print form. Something I hope to get accomplished before the end of this month. 
Both books will be a part of the I Heart Lesfic Mega Spring Sale next week, so this would be a perfect time for you to check them both out. 

As far as my writing, I'm still working on my adult lesbian romance that features women in their fifties. I hope to finish the first draft of that book, tentatively titled, Learning to Love Again, by the end of this month too. My goal is to have most of my writing projects tidied up by the end of March, so I can participate in NaNoWriMo's April writing camp and hopefully get another 50,000 words of a new story written. 

I've been so proud of myself because I've managed to post to this blog every month so far this year. Maybe I'll finally get into an excellent monthly trend. Until next month, I hope you'll stop by Epochalips and check out the stories there. I also hope you'll stop by I Heart Lesfic's Mega Spring Sale and load up on some good books. I know that's what I plan to do. 
Happy Spring, Everyone!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Patience

 




Patience is not one of my virtues. Although, if you talk to the people I work with at the library, they would tell you I have it in spades. If you ask my family, they will just laugh because they know I don't have any patience. But, it's one of those demons I deal with on a daily basis.


I mention this because I'm still "patiently" waiting to hear back from a traditional publisher about my next young adult lesbian romance. If I were self-publishing this story, I would probably already have it available. Still, the reason I want to publish traditionally is to get feedback from professionals about my writing. 


Yes, I have fans who love almost everything I write, and I so appreciate them all. But, I guess I want the industry recognition now. Not that I expect to win any awards or anything like that. There are far too many other more talented authors in the lesbian fiction genre for me to compete. But, I would like to have an editor or publisher say, "Your story is something we want to publish."


This is totally an ego thing, I guess—kind of like going to college for someone from a family like mine. I could easily make more money and not have student loans that I will never get paid off if I would have just gone to work in a factory. That's where many of my family members have made a ton of money. But, I desperately wanted a college degree, and now I have two. 


Even with my college degrees, I could go to work in a factory and make a lot more money than I do now, but I like my job at the library. And as much as I don't like people in general, I enjoy helping people, especially in times like these when everything is so uncertain for so many people. 


While I'm "patiently" waiting, I'm also working on my next adult lesbian romance and a genderqueer story. 


The genderqueer story has come about because of a friend who identifies this way. I've known him since he was a very little boy, as he is the son of friends of my ex-husband's and mine. The young man's parents were Godsends during very tough times brought on my ex-husband's eccentricities, and I will forever be grateful for the love and charity they showed my family and me. 


As I've gotten to know this young man as an adult, he's opened my eyes to a part of the queer community that is often disdained by many. He has been lucky enough to find a girlfriend who is comfortable with who he is, but I can only imagine how hard that must have been. As he said, "It's a minefield out there." That's true for everyone, straight or gay, but I can imagine it's even more so when you don't fit into one of the pigeon holes society and our communities want us to fit into. 


So I'm writing a tale based on his story because I think it needs to be written. That's how I got into this business to start with. More than ten years ago, when I began writing, Suddenly, there were very few HEA for young gays and lesbians, and that's why I wrote that story. I wrote Finding Jenna because there are precious few stories about transgender characters and even fewer that I not solely about coming out. I feel compelled to write this story for my friend and all the other queers like him who may not feel they fit into queer or normal society but who deserve to find the love of a soulmate.


I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday and was able to share it with someone they love. And I pray that everyone stays safe in the next week to come since most of the U. S. is under a winter storm warning, including us here in south-central Kentucky. 

Suddenly Continues and Through This Together

I'm running very late on posting this month. It's been a crazy month as August tends to be. My grandkids from Colorado had to go hom...