New Covers - Aren't They BEAUTIFUL!

I published Run Away Charlotte & Ask Me Again back at the very end of 2014 and the end of 2015. I used the same designer for both, but as a newbie in the business, there were some glaring mistakes to the cover that should have been corrected. However, funds prevented me from making those changes.

Until now. 


The original covers still hold a lot of love from me, but now they are new and improved, fitting within the correct looking genre. This is uber important because a lot of people believed I placed the book into the wrong category (for those wondering, in an anonymous survey respondents overwhelming thought the book cover indicated a SCI-FI story).  Run Away Charlotte and Ask Me Again were listed in the right category but the cover simply did not reflect that.

So now we go from original to new and improved:



            

Oh WoW right?? Check out the difference with Ask Me Again: 




              

Completely different looking, isn't it?? 

And the best thing, the thing either the original designer or myself should have caught, was to make them look similar, as they are a set. Now, thanks to the utterly brilliant work of Judi Perkins and Concierge Literary Design  they look as if they belong together! 

What do you think?? Do they feel more romantic to you?
If you are a romance reader, does this cover grab you and make you want to find out what it's about?

BONUS

For a limited time, you can get a copy of each from SMASHWORDS for only $0.99 US using the following link and coupon code. 

RUN AWAY CHARLOTTE coupon code: DZ26H
ASK ME AGAIN coupon code: SSW50

There are limited quantities of each - so don't delay.
Share with a friend and please RT.

Thanks so much for reading.




A Blast from MY Past...

Yesterday's #WIPRevelations asked :

What is the first story you remember writing? 


I couldn't wait to answer. Tucked away in a safe spot in my house are the only copies of my first two official novels. The pink one I wrote at 14, the green one according to the copyright date inside, I was 17. I call them official because they had been handwritten (oh the days before we could afford a typewriter or even a computer!). 


The covers were designed from the best stock photos out of a Sears catalogue. They were complete with reviews from Readers Digest and STAR Magazine (don't ask, I can't remember why specifically that magazine... heheh) They had copyright notices and a biography on my author-pen name. Even back then, I never used my real name, 
Oh, apparently my 'looks' changed drastically in a couple of year, from short blond to long brunette. Hahah!! 



Thankfully, my epilogues are MUCH better. 

My penmanship was pretty terrible, but it reads: 
Shawni and Joe had a great date that night. They found out alot of their differences. Shawni realized her dream had betrayed her by distorting her future. Her future was not like that in her dream but different and that is another story. 

OMG - I'm dying of laughter here. 

They're amazingly funny. But it's fun to see how far I've come since then. 
Thanks for reading, and hope you got a giggle. If nothing else you got an insight into my 14 year old brain. 

Can you help me choose?

I'm working on re-blurbing a novel. I've come up with two and I like them both, but for different reasons.

Which one do you prefer?? Help me decide which one to use. (#1 or #2; This one or That one).



Charlotte doesn't think she deserves happily ever after... And she's determined to prove it.

She believes in true love about as much as she believes there is life on Jupiter. After all she’s dealt with in her nineteen years, she’s unwilling to further expose her soul to more heartache and surrenders the idea of ever finding eternal happiness.

Until she meets him.

Andrew Wagner challenges everything Charlotte ever thought she knew about love. Taken by his charm and patience, she becomes drawn to him in a way she’s never known and doesn’t understand. However comfortable and at peace with him she is, she struggles with her intensifying feelings. 

But Andrew wants more than secrets and stories. He wants a piece of her heart.

With every assurance he’s different, she allows her heart to run away with her strengthening emotions. For the first time in her life, she believes in a happy ever after. With him. However, Andrew’s not ready, and his admission has devastating consequences. Crushed by a broken heart, her emotional stability spirals out of control and in her weakness, another man sweeps in.


Now Charlotte must prove if she really believes she’s deserving of a happily ever after or not? She needs to decide if she can forgive Andrew, or if she should give away what’s left of her heart to another?


Nineteen year old Charlotte Cooper knows she’s unworthy of happily ever after. Her troubled childhood leads to her inability to trust people, and without trust, how can she ever love?

Until Andrew Wagner walks into her life.

His charm and patience make her question if love might be possible after all. Despite the intoxicating pull to him, she pushes him away, believing he won’t handle her past shadows when he sees her for who she really is. When he doesn’t bolt at the first sign of trouble, her walls come crashing down. In it’s wake, she gives him the key to her heart.

He is her forever.

However, Andrew struggles balancing the needs of family and school, and tries to be everything he wants to be for Charlotte. When he admits to a mistake, Charlotte gives him an all or nothing ultimatum, and he begs for something in the middle.

Devastated, Charlotte runs into the arms of Jack, an older man who can successfully balance what Andrew failed to do. He gives her everything... except Andrew.

Now, Charlotte must decide between the man her head tells her she needs, and the man her heart tells her she wants. 

So I did something today...



 For quite some time, I've wanted to cut my hair. Not just an inch or two, but LOTS. My hair (when straight, because I have naturally springy curls) is long. To the crook in my elbow long - which for me is really super long. Aside from regular maintenance trims, it hasn't really been shorter than shoulder length since just after the birth of my second child -- about 10 years ago. After deciding I wanted to make the cut, I started shopping around for a place to donate my hair to. If it's going to get chopped off, I'd be happier knowing it's going to go to good use.

Commence Operation Hair Donation.

A quick Google search yielded several options.
The first was the Brain Tumour Foundation - which listed several organizations. Sweet - so many choices.
The Canadian Cancer Society, Pantene Beautiful Lengths and others popped up in cross referenced searches. However, as I checked out their requirements, I started crossing them each off my list. And each had different length requirements - the majority being 10 inches. That's a fair amount of hair -- maybe not on the receiving end, but for the person with the donation. But it's hair - I'd be able to grow more (with any luck) and maybe that drastic a change would be good. I continue reading the requirements.
Damn - another roadblock.
NO COLOURED or PROCESSED hair.
Well, double damn. My hair's coloured.

Crossed many off my list due to that restriction.
Posted on Twitter and Facebook for recommendations.

Familiar names came in, and a few I hadn't checked out. As my list narrowed down, I found two I could donate to, where both our requirements could be met (length for me, and coloured hair for them). Then to be sure, I contacted both.
My top choice (shorter hair length - 8 inches) never got back to me (I tried Twitter, Facebook and email.) My second choice, was a longer donation - could I handle that? So I measured. Which is hard to do with curly hair. LOL.
Yep, decided I could handle 10 inches - which was probably closer to 11 by time the hairstylist cleaned up the cut.
Gulp!


 I took my kids for their haircuts and inquired with my own stylist. Could've saved myself so much agony. She explained how much they needed (9 inches) and they totally accept coloured hair.

No point in delaying what I wanted done. Booked my appointment for the very next day (and brought my kids along for the fun.) Why not? I've sat through enough of theirs. 😉

It's so long. 
Oh my. It's in a ponytail now.

Here she goes. 


 And just like that - my hair was gone! 

So short now. Where's my hair?

Oh my! That's incredible. 
But I did it. And hopefully someone will benefit from the donation. 
Did you know it takes between 10 -15 ponytails of donations to make ONE wig? You do now. 

 My hair's so short (to me) and it will take some getting used to. But I'm glad someone else will hopefully get it in 6 - 10% of their wig. I can't donate blood and until I die, I'm keeping my organs. In the meantime, I can do this.

Thanks for reading my journey.

Been awhile...

I checked. It's been 6 weeks or so since my last post.

What have I been up to?

For starters, I've finished the last book in Aurora's story. Two beta readers got a copy yesterday, and I'm waiting a couple of weeks before I hear back from them. Then I will know where things lag and sag, or where something more is needed. If I'm being optimistic, I'd like to see a September/October release, but for sure before the end of the year. While I wait to hear back from my betas, I'm shopping! Checking out cover ideas, but something in line with Duly Noted and That Summer. Should book 3 be darker or lighter? So much fun to decide.


And I'm about to make some changes - some major, some minor - to the first two books I released.
Run Away Charlotte & Ask Me Again are going through the process of something new and fun. Stay tuned.

Other than that, not much professionally has been going on. My author friends have released some amazing books, some are revamping, and some I just finished beta-reading/critiquing, so it's been keeping me busy.

Until next time...

Vapour Pucks

Had to try this out. I suck at making bath bombs, but these are for the shower. Perfect for colds, and a nice, hot, steamy shower. I wish I could give credit to the owner but I found my chickenscratched note under a pile of books. 😖


Gather together:
Vapour rub
hot water
baking soda
cornstarch
essential oils
mixing bowl
mini muffin pan

Scoop out 3 tsps vapour rub and add to 1/2 cup hot water. 
Mix these together. I found it took a vigorous beating to get them to mix well.
Add in 1 cup of baking soda. Blend together.
Add in 1/2 cup of cornstarch. Mix well. Will become thick.
Add 2 drops of essential oil. Continue to mix.
Pour into mini muffin pans and let harden overnight.

Now when I made mine, some weird chemistry went on. The mixture actually softened and I could pout it out of the mixing cup into the tins. To me, it resembled slime. But it's been a couple of hours and it's hardening nicely, so maybe it's supposed to do that?


One day later, we popped out the disks/pucks and now have a stash for the shower whenever someone's stuffy. And they work really well.
Put them at the back of the shower, as the splashing will slowly release the vapours. Our first one we put under the shower head and it disintregrated rapidly. Ooops. 😕


Books I've read in 2017

This is a list of the books I've read so far in 2017.
My rating system
😊😊😊😊😊 - Awesome story, couldn't put it down
😊😊😊😊 - Great story
😊😊😊 - Good story
😐😐 - Meh, was easy to put down
😒 - Did not enjoy
😡 - DNF


  • Shit My Dad Says - by Justin Halpern 😊😊😊
    Easy read, made me laugh out loud a few times. Based off his tweets. 
  • The Right Equation - by Tracy Krimmer 😊😊😊😊
    Nice easy novella, got me wondering about high school reunions
  • If the Shoe Fits - by Laurie LeClair 😈
    Could not finish this. Couldn't get into this Cinderella type retelling. 
  • The Ghosts of Sundown - by D.C. Hooke 😊😊😊😊😊
    Great book - kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning. Local Edmonton author - needs to get his butt in gear and write another. ;) 
  • The Maid of the South Pole - by Demelza Carleton 😊😊😊😊
    Nice romance read. Main characters were nice. 
  • PS - I Like You - by Kasie West 😊😊😊😊
    A YA romance. Sweet and easy. 
  • Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar by Kelly Oxford 😈
    A local Edmonton author, so I had high hopes for this. Genuine let down. Her story was unbelievable - although maybe that was her plan. However, I had a hard time believing she took a trip from Edmonton to LA at 16 (pre 9/11) without her parents knowing. That's when things started going south for me, and I put the book down not long after. 
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - by Jennifer E. Smith 😊😊😊😊
    A YA romance. Sweet and easy read. 
  • The 12 Tribes of Hattie - by Ayana Mathis 😒
    Not a fan. Depressing. Each chapter was about one of her children, but the chapters didn't really seem to mesh together. I did finish it, however, as it was a book club read. 
  • Jedi Academy - by Jarrett Krosockza 😊😊😊
    A fun read for the MG ages. Read it as a work requirement, and because I've read the others in the series. 
  • Sweet Valley Confidental - by Francine Pascal 😐😐
    Grabbed this as I thought it would be fun to relive my SVH memories. Well, that's all is basically did. A complete flashback book essentially. The actual new plot took up about 40% of the book, if that. 
  • Yes Please - by Amy Pohler 😊😊😊😊
    Laugh out loud funny. Don't read late at night if your hubs is sleeping though. 
  • The Winner's Curse - by Marie Rutkoski 😊😊😊
    Enjoyable read. Took issue with a lot of telling, and not so much showing, which pulled me out of the story, but engaging enough that I needed to keep reading to see how it would all work out. 
  • After You - by Jojo Moyes 😊😊😊😊😊
    Loved it's pre-cursor so I was hesitant to pick this up. Did a book swap with a friend, and found myself unable to put this down. Read in two days. Can totally be a standalone. Lacked the emotional punch of the first book, but still had my hooked in. 
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 - by Ruth Ware 😊😊😊
    Was super hard to not compare it to "Girl on the Train" as it seemed eerily similar with the same protagonist who witness something she's not 100% sure of because of her constant drunkenness. Although the killer (and that's not a spoiler) isn't who I thought, I was pretty sure leading up to it who was involved. And the very end, I did see coming. ;) Easy read though. The last 100 pages are where it's at. I could do without all the backstory/fillins before that.
  • What About Me - by Emma Tharp 😊😊😊😊😊
    I read this in manuscript form for an author friend and let me tell you - it's AWESOME! But that's all I'll say until she releases it. 
  •  Always Was - by Amabel Daniels 😊😊😊😊😊
    Another wonderful MS I beta read. It was a romantically sweet story. Watch for that soon! 
  • Forevermore - by Cindy Miles 😊😊😊😊
    A YA read. Took me 3 hours from start to finish, as I was trapped in a car. Nevertheless, it was a page turner, and easy to get into. It was charming, although it had a few minor plot holes (I thought), I won't hold it against the story. If taken as it is, it's a cute story. It won't be a literary classic, but an enjoyable read all the same.