Sneak Peek into The Frenchman

Releasing October 24th is the third book in the Legacy Series. The Frenchman follows the origin story for Darren Dubose, the alpha from the Loup-Garou Series. Read how Darren met his mentor, John Croxen, and learned to grapple with the reality that he is a loup-garou.


Preorder today! 


Chapter 3

When Darren entered Warminster, he didn’t consider the attention he would draw. Every one of the townspeople knew who he was by reputation, either of himself or his mother. They all knew him as the bastard child who could barely lift a basket full of grain. Even though he snitched a shirt from another farmer’s clothes line on the way into town, it did little to hide the change that took place in him.

Heads swiveled in his direction and he could feel their shocked and frightened gazes as they assessed his new body. What he didn’t expect was to hear their whispers. Every word they said, whether in hushed voices or simply masked by their own hands as they talked to their neighbors, he could hear them loud and clear, even if they were across the street or behind closed doors.

“Look at him!” they silently jeered. “What happened to him.”

“That’s not the same boy.”

“That can’t be Martha Dubose’s son.”

“What did he do to himself?”

“It must be the work of the devil.”

“An angel must have blessed that poor boy.”

Darren’s steps slowed as he turned to listen to each of them with a fluttering heart and uneasy stare. Their voices of dissention, ridicule, and disbelief crowded in until he was ready to give up on finding George and run for the quiet safety of the forest. He could scarcely hear himself think through the cacophony of noise, from the townspeople’s chatter to the rumble of carts and stamping of horse hooves on distant streets.

He could hear the merchants toiling away in their shops and laborers talking with their fellow workers. Children laughter and baby cries screamed in his ears as if they were close enough to touch. Smells of all kinds from the putrid stench of dung to the perfumes of ladies in their homes strangled his mind and sometimes made him retch and cough for cleaner air.

The town had never seemed so odious, so revolting and unkind a place as now. Darren thought he could take no more until a new sensation pierced through the chaos. A tight and prickling feeling in the back of his skull. He sometimes felt this when he rushed out of bed too quickly or took one sip too many of the brandy that Arthur offered him to ease his stomach ailments. This, however, was much worse and more intense than any of that.

He touched the back of his head to make sure he wasn’t bleeding or hadn’t been inadvertently struck by something. Darren did wake up on his back, so perhaps some bug or insect had bitten his scalp during the night. However, there was no blood or bump to indicate an injury.

Continue reading

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The Frenchman Available For Pre-Order

Book three of the Legacy Series is here! Check out Darren Dubose’s origins, how he became a loup-garou, how he met John, and how he had an unexpected run-in with Jane (Katey’s mom). If you love the alpha from the Loup-Garou series, you won’t want to miss this! Pre-order today and have the ebook directly sent to your Kindle on October 24th!

The-Frenchman-KindleEngland, 1623

Darren Dubose was born a sickly bastard child. Often confined to his bed, he knows nothing of what it’s like to be healthy and well. His mother raises him alone, but not even she can ease his suffering and longing for a normal childhood. One night, he’s stricken by unexplainable pain and agony. Thinking this is the moment he dies, he doesn’t expect to wake up the next morning after he blacks out. But, he does. Only now, he is unnaturally fast and has the strong body he has always wanted. Able to run miles within seconds and throw heavy boulders across rivers, it seems that Darren’s prayers have finally been answered.
His new, phenomenal abilities come with a heavy price when the superstitious villagers of Warminster accuse him of being in league with the devil. How else could he have grown twice his size overnight? The truth lies with a friendly baker who tries to tell Darren that he’s a werewolf, a man who can turn into a beast by moonlight.
Frightened and skeptical, Darren must find his own way as the world he has known and loved his whole life begins to crumble beneath his feet. Everything he knows is called into question. Will solace lie within himself, with a mysterious alpha in France, or in the slate blue eyes of a girl who is trapped in a similar fate? His life, and the lives of those he loves are now at risk, but can he find the courage to outrun death?

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Book Obsessed Babes, Author Branding, and Hurricanes

21463029_873618552804602_8770725380492940851_nBefore I get to gushing about how awesome this past weekend was, I want to send my deepest condolences and sympathies for those who were in the path of Hurricane Harvey and Irma this past month. I’m from Florida, so I know that hurricanes are no joke and the pictures flooding through Facebook (no pun intended) are evidence of the kind of destruction mother nature can dish out. If you were severely affected by the storms, I hope you and your loved ones are safe. I live in the Panhandle of Florida, so the hurricane had down graded into a tropical storm by the time it reached me. A lot of my friends (who are not Florida natives) were panicking that the power would go out and the area would be flooded. I bet they’re glad they bought all that water and gas.

I will be “that person” and say that I did not prepare for the storm whatsoever. We kept an eye on the storm, but we didn’t do jack squat because we knew we’d just get a lot of wind and rain. Nothing was damaged, we didn’t lose power, nothing. The only cool thing that came out of it was that I got a three-day weekend and used that precious time to work on the fourth book in the Loup-Garou Series. We’ve had worse storms hit in a single afternoon out of nowhere.

21370941_1708585682487687_308161575881954344_nBesides writing while the wind howled outside my writing room window, we spent our Saturday in Destin with a group of fabulous authors at the Book Obsessed Babes Author Signing Event. This was my second major event and it was phenomenal. I had a new (smaller) banner and once more, I nearly sold out of my vampire romance novel, Passions. I don’t know what it is about that book, but everyone seems to love it. Because of this, I now only have a couple of copies for the signing event coming up this weekend in Texas. Ruh-Roh. I wasn’t able to get them shipped fast enough to arrive before we leave, so people are just going to have to make a bee-line for my table if they want a copy.

This was the first event where I had my husband serve as my assistant. Next weekend, we’re going to have to lay some ground rules because he was ALL over me. He is normally a very affectionate man and I couldn’t ask for a better husband, but it was rather distracting to have him hugging and kissing one me while I was trying to talk to readers. They, of course, thought it was cute and funny, so I guess it might have worked in my favor. My line was “This is where I get my inspiration!” Which is the complete truth.

21462271_1708722465807342_6460953648781531168_nThe only downside to the event was the fact that the hurricane frightened many authors and readers away. We were planning on having over 60 authors and only about 40 were able to turn out. This sucked because a few of the authors I met in Sarasota in July were not able to come, so this was almost a completely new crowd for me.

(Caption for this photo: The carpet was super comfy so I took my shoes off. No one complained about the smell)

That worked out just fine because I made tons of helpful connections and even promoted a few other events that I would be attending next year.

With that being said, I want to take a moment to talk about a marketing concept that I’m finally beginning to grasp. Author branding. For anyone who has taken a business course or marketing course, you might have an understanding of this idea.

Author branding is basically the answer to the question “What are you known for?”. It’s what readers will instantly know “Oh, ‘so and so’ writes this” or “That person is an expert in this”. I’ll give you a few examples from this weekend alone.
I met plenty of authors who have found their brand and it’s phenomenal.

21432837_10213337147599138_6725246404310716634_nPaige Tyler is a paranormal action/thriller author with a specific focus on wolf shifters. Her brand would be her two main series, X-Ops and SWAT, which feature paranormal creatures as SWAT team operatives or spies. That’s what she writes, that’s what she is known for. So, if someone came to me and said they like thrillers, but they also like werewolves, I would direct them to her table. I can say beyond a doubt that they will find the genre and type of entertainment they want. (This is Paige to the right with her wolf signing buddy, Remy)

Another example is Ditter Kellen. She has her Enigma series (no relation to my own) and it features sea-creature/alien/sci-fi sort of feel. If people like the idea of Atlantean creatures with a good dash of romance, I would send them her way because that’s what she writes and that’s what she’s great at.

If someone was looking for a cat-shifter series, I’d send them to Theresa Hissong. If they were looking for a sweet, small town romance series, I’d refer them to Mary Jane Hathaway. If someone wants a good YA paranormal action series, I’d point out Jennifer Siddoway. Vampire novel? Go see Anne Rice. Victorian/Western werewolves? Go read Susan Krinard. Want World War II fiction? Go see Ellie Midwood.

But, you get what I’m talking about? An author sometimes writes in the genre they are best known for and they have a theme. Paige Tyler (who is the sweetest lady on the face of the planet, by the way), writes about military and special ops sort of stories because that’s what she knows best through her husband who is retired military. Ditter Kellen’s books take place on the Gulf Coast where she grew up, which lends to the theme of her series with sea-people. And they all write within the same genre that works for them. Those who like sweeter romances may not want to read Theresa Hissong, but they will eat up Mary Jane’s books because that’s her niche.

Successful marketing involves finding your niche in the industry and running with it. What this has taught me, if that I haven’t found a conventional brand just yet. All of my books are paranormal, to be sure, but they vary in heat-level from super sweet (Silver Screen) to a little dash of sex (The Legend). The general genre of paranormal stays the same, but I’ve written Young Adult, historical, and romance, and then there’s Clouds, which is my Christian Dystopia (totally left-field).

What my husband recommended is that I brand myself around the fact that my werewolves and vampires are unique to the industry. They have a history, a culture, an ancient language, and a specific biology that sets them apart from the typical interpretation of what werewolves and shifters are commonly known for. However, this is still hard to do because I can have a fantastic YA series, but they may not like the historical novellas that go along with it (such is the case with the Loup-Garou series vs The Legacy Series). Those who love the sweet romances won’t want to read the steamier books.

Now, you may be saying to yourself that this makes an author more rounded and can reach a wider audience, but it can also spread one too thin. It’s hard to market a YA series that gets a little provocative and it’s even harder to convince people that it’s a SWEET paranormal romance, when the very term seems to contradict itself. Believe it or not, it’s hard to find a paranormal romance without an erotic sex scene ever other chapter. As a result, my books tend to entail two or three genres that don’t mesh well.

To remedy this, as soon as I’m complete with the last book of the Loup-Garou series, I’ll be turning my attention towards narrowing down my brand and figuring out what I want to be exclusively known for. I’ve got a few series ideas in mind, but once again, they kind of jump all over the place so with the help of my new author buddies, I’m going to trim the excess and fly this puppy a little straighter.

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The Next Installment of the Legacy Series

The second installment of the Legacy Series Novellas is up for preorder!

We’re taking you across Europe to the desert oasis of Egypt in this next novella, highlighting the origins of a new character to my universe, Tor, who is an Egyptian priest of a dead religion. He teams up with Michael and Jane to find the lost civilization where werewolves and vampires used to live in peace. They also discover the myths of the spirit of Tanatia and the War Beast, which is gone into further detail in the Loup-Garou series.
For those who love the Loup-Garou series and are eager for more of this dynamic, multi-facetted universe, you’re going to want to check out the Legacy Series. Don’t forget to also look for the first novella, The Legend, now available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

The-Guide-KindleThe Guide

Egypt and Middle Europe, 1570

Tor had known nothing else of life outside of his lonely temple in Asyut. The last priest of the half-man, half-wolf Egyptian god Wepwawet, his days are filled with pious rituals that celebrate the union between his spirit and the gift of transformation his god had bestowed upon him and his family from birth. The sole survivor of his priesthood, he believes he is the only one who can maintain balance between Ma’at (order) and chaos that would inevitably consume the world.
All of that changes when Giovanni, an Italian explorer under the payroll of the vampire lord, Michael Gennari, finds Tor in his temple and asks for his help to find the lost civilization where vampires and werewolves once lived in harmony thousands of years ago. Knowing something of the mythical Arnathia, Tor agrees to help.
Jane Gennari, Michael’s young and mischievous daughter, has another plan for Tor. Inadvertently, she makes a long and arduous journey to the Caspian Sea even more dangerous. Drawn to his raw, savage, and sometimes uncivilized character, she lusts after him with a fervor that seems revolting to other vampires. The vampires and werewolves have been at war for centuries, but Michael’s small coven do not adhere to such prejudices.
With hunters, traitors, and the unforgiving elements working against them, vampire and werewolf must unite for a common goal: to seek the truth of what happened to upset the balance between their races.


Sneak Peek into Chapter 2

“Signorina, we should not be spying on your father,” Francesca whispered.
Jane swatted at her blood servant as she kept her gaze fixed on their dark-skinned visitor from behind the sitting room door. “Silenzio,” she hissed. It was difficult to block out the potent stench of Francesca’s fear, while Jane strained her senses to assess the strong looking lupo mannero standing in the vestibule.
She appraised his tall stature and the way he held himself with pride and confidence. Everything from the way his arm muscles flexed when he gripped his staff tighter to the way his shirt and tight-fitted vest stretched over his back and chest made her weak.
“I imagine you have many questions,” her father said as he approached the man who called himself Tor. Michael’s boots tapped loudly on the tiles, his hands behind his back and chin high to assert his own importance. Tor did not seem fazed.
“Many,” Tor replied and Jane had to catch her breath. She had never seen a lupo mannero before, but if they were all like Tor, she knew she would like them immensely. She liked him already and she hadn’t even seen the golden eyes they were so famous for.
Her father grinned, showing his sharp vampire fangs. “And I will endeavor to answer each of them.” Tor leaned forward, his eyes narrowing upon her father’s face. “Something wrong?”
Tor straightened. “Giovanni said you were a vampire, one who drinks the blood of the living.”
Michael rocked back on his heels. “I am,” he replied with a nod. “You will also meet Yaverik, my apprentice. He is otherwise disposed at the moment, but I imagine he will turn up soon to discuss the plans… What else did Giovanni tell you?” Continue reading

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There Are Two Strengths

There are two types of strength.

There’s the bold strength.
It’s when hard rock is your anthem
You shake your fist at the world and spit in the devil’s face
You make your list and you get it done
You walk with pride because you know you’ve got this
You’re beasting through life at break-neck speed
There’s not a doubt in anyone’s mind that you’re doing just fine
You laugh at adversity and thumb your nose at your troubles
Because in the end, you know you’re strong and nothing can hurt you.

Then there’s the quiet strength
When you nod your head to a soulful, sad song because that’s where you’re at
You stand your ground as the foundation of your life crumbles beneath you
You smile as salty tears glisten on your cheeks
You face the storm and don’t run for cover
You take breath after breath, even when it hurts
Because you know it will pass
The dark days may be here now, but the sun has never failed
Just when you think you can’t take any more,
You realize that you can
And you keep going

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The Enigma on Audiobook! Coming This Fall

Guys, I have been busting to tell you about this awesome news! I finally took the leap and decided “You know what, I’m going to try and make an audiobook”. They seem to be gaining in popularity and why not? It’s the next logical step in my journey as an author, right?
Then I discovered this lovely and talented lady, Katie Billings! We’re working together to bring you the audiobook for the first of the Loup-Garou series! THE ENIGMA!
It’s still in the works, but we’re planning on being done by this fall, probably around October. We don’t have a release date yet, but I will certainly let everyone know 😉 I have been gushing over the first few chapters she’s completed, so I know the finished product is going to be amazing! Oh, did I mention this is her first audiobook production! Check out this little teaser from chapter 2!

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Let’s get real for a minute…

So, I wanted to do this in a live video on Facebook, but I didn’t have the time, which only proves to validate what I’m about to confess.

I’m burned out.

Image result for exhausted

Not on writing, but on life. I work a full time job, going in at 8:00 am and working hard core until 4:00 pm, and some days even later because I hate to leave when I have unfinished tasks sitting on my desk. I get home and I have two lovely dogs to take care of, one of which is a total cuddle bug and wants attention just about 24/7. The other one whines for treats and food, even after I’ve fed her. The house needs a serious deep-clean, and the clutter is starting to creep in over my workspace. I am enrolled part-time in school, taking two online classes currently. Both are science classes and the material is extremely dense with lots of exams and lots of textbook reading. On top of all that, I have a husband who loves to spend time with me and I love to spend time with him, but we often find ourselves on opposite sides of the house in the evenings, engrossed in our own hobbies and tasks that the only time we spend together is during dinner and those few moments before going to bed at night. You’d think that I’d have a lot on my plate already. Add in the fact that I write novels, do my own promoting for said novels, and I’m just starting to get myself involved with going to author events, one might wonder if I even sleep.

Image result for insomniaCan I tell you a secret? I don’t. I don’t sleep. I may lay down at night, but even though I’m exhausted, both mentally and physically, I don’t doze off right away. I think about royalty stats, new ways to get myself noticed in the world of indie authors, about all the things I have to do the following day at work, and rehearsing facts about anatomy so that I won’t bomb the next test.

To put it all into perspective, I’m going to get real and talk about juggling. I can’t juggle, either realistically or metaphorically. When I just had my writing, I felt like I had one ball. It was rubber, blue, pretty, cool to the touch, and it felt good in my hand. I could toss around that ball all day. Then I got married. This new ball was equally pretty and I loved to hold it tightly. I could toss both of these balls in my hands, and even get a little clever and switch hands every now and then, which is my version of juggling.

Image result for juggling college lifeThen you add dogs. This ball is a little slimy (dog slobber), and hairy. It doesn’t feel great, but I could hold it with my husband in one hand while still tossing around my writing ball. The school ball was thrown my out of nowhere and now I’ve really got my hands full. The school ball doesn’t feel good at all, covered in spikes and prickly spines that is uncomfortable to hold. Now, I have to learn to juggle and quick, or it’ll start to really hurt. Work is a hot ball, scorching and unpleasant to hold for longer than a second or two. I hustle, I have to get creative with holding these balls while keeping my cool and taking care of myself.

But something happens. I start to slip. The slobber on the dog ball makes my hands slick. The thorns on the school ball make my skin raw and when I try to touch the work ball, it burns more and more because I have to hold it longer to get a hold on everything else. I drop my husband and he rolls to the wayside. The writing falls flat on the floor and bounces out of reach as I try to make sense of the other burdens in my life.

You want to know something? I can’t do it.

Image result for falling apartIt is physically, mentally, and emotionally impossible for me to juggle everything and succeed at everything all at the same time. This is similar to the video that went viral about a philosophy professor’s lesson about putting a bunch of different sized stuff in an empty jar. Long story short, make sure you put the big things (family, health, passions) in first, then you can add the small stuff (job, car, finances). If you try to put the small things in first, giving them priority, then you won’t have room for the things that matter.

I came to the conclusion some time ago that my life cannot continue this way. I need to pick out what I need to do to maintain my sanity and my family life. That means, we’re going back to the bare minimum. I’m throwing away the one ball I know I can go without. School. My career as an author is growing, I’m learning more about the craft every day, and I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else. When we eventually have kids, I’ll have to quit my job to take care of them and I’ll write on the side. That’s it. I love my current job too much to ever try to go anywhere else, and I already have my career mapped out. It’s been mapped out for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to be an author and that’s the dream I’m chasing. For the first time, I feel like that dream is finally within reach.

With school taken out, I can manage work a little better, and the dogs aren’t as pesky as they seemed before. I can always stop for a moment to pet Sharla or toss Tammi a treat between writing paragraphs, but I can’t do that while I’m studying. If I don’t have exam deadlines, I can make the choice to leave my writing room and watch a movie with my husband, because it’s not as imperative that I study the bones of the human body or how tornados form.

Image result for happy writerAbove all, I’ll have more time to write and therefore, I will be happier. I can go to bed and sleep, knowing that I’m doing what I love instead of what I resent.

Next semester, I’ll be seriously knocking down on my course load and if something changes in my attitude by spring semester, I might take an extra class that I know will be lighter material. If not, if I’m enjoying my freedom, I’ll drop out altogether. That may not go over well with some people, but I need to put myself and my family first, and not the expectations of others.

If you are in the same situation as me, I encourage you to take a step back and assess your life. Don’t add more things in, thinking collecting more stuff will fulfill you. Don’t buy off your loved ones by sending them apologetic texts or cards saying “sorry I wasn’t there”. Don’t neglect the things that need your attention just because you have this “one thing” you have to do. Look at what is an absolute necessity. Don’t listen to the other voices in your head saying “If you don’t do this, so-and-so is gonna be mad at you”. If their opinion, in the end, doesn’t matter, don’t listen to them. If what they are pushing on you is bad for your health (physically or emotionally), is making you unhappy, or will not be rewarding to YOU in the end, drop it in the trash like a tattered and smelly pair of shoes and walk away. Devote your time to the things and people that you love.

Life is too short to live stressed and unhappy.

If you can’t juggle, don’t try or stuff will get broken.

Image result for Life is too short

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The Legend, Available For Preorder

The-Legend-largeSo, while everyone is waiting for the next book in the Loup-Garou Series, I decided to deviate a bit and start on The Legacies, a novella series that follows the character backgrounds through history and events that lead up to the climax of the Loup-Garou series. To kick it off, I decided to focus on an underappreciated character that is introduced in Becoming the Enigma, John Croxen. He later becomes a prominent loup-garou and mentor to thousands of loups-garous across the globe, as other books in The Legacies will explain. But, how did he get started? Not so good. The Legend tells his beginnings and how a Romani (gypsy) woman changes his life forever. This was a little bit of a steamier read than I anticipated, but as I’ve said previously, my characters have a mind of their own sometimes.
The Legend is releasing August 19th and you can preorder it for $0.99!
A possessed man wandering the country with no hope for salvation.
A brazen woman determined to rescue her family.
They’ll come together and help each other in the most unexpected ways.
*England, 1555*
John Croxen, convinced that he is possessed by a demon, takes a risk when he saves the life of a beautiful gypsy woman one night while roaming the forests of England. However, Annalette is not as she appears. She knows that John is not demon possessed, but in fact a loup-garou – a werewolf. Alone and in need of his unique kind of help, Annalette strikes a bargain with John. If he can help rescue her condemned brother from prison, she will tell him everything he needs to know about being a loup-garou. After living in ignorance for over a hundred years, he’s due for a lesson or two.
With the rural population on the lookout for gypsy vagrants to turn over to the authorities for execution, John and Annalette must do something they have never done before. Trust a perfect stranger.
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Beast Within is Live!

So, along with having an amazing weekend in Sarasota, something else epic happened! BEAST WITHIN WENT LIVE! Guys, I’ve been promising this book for over a year now and it finally hit Amazon. I’m beyond thrilled and excited to see how everyone likes it. Here’s what some reviewers are saying already!

AmyTeri

 

So, what are you waiting for! Head on over to Amazon and continue the journey!

12640319_10205890128034762_8301146021615080675_oBeast Within on Amazon

Becoming a loup-garou—a werewolf—is never easy. It’s especially hard if you’re still in high school, the first female to survive the transformation, and the embodiment of an ancient prophecy, expected to bring peace to warring factions. But Katey McCoy, even more stubborn and rebellious than she was as a human, has the comfort and support of her pack. Or so she thought, until she discovers they’ve been keeping secrets from her. At least she still has her mate, Logan Keith on her side. But Logan is fighting demons of his own. If he can’t learn to control the wolf within, how can he ever be a worthy alpha and mate to Katey?
Then the hunters come, assassins determined to exterminate the loup-garou. Her pack insists Katey stay hidden. Safe. But that’s not in her nature. Isn’t this what she was born for? To protect and aid the loups-garous? On the run and in a battle for their lives, Katey’s new world begins to crumble around her. With werewolves, vampires, and human hunters at war, and Logan distracted by his own battles, how can Katey activate her full potential and fulfill her ancient destiny?
Their world—and the lives of those they love—depend on them. If Katey and Logan are to withstand this final onslaught, they must each embrace their true powers and learn to control the beast within. If they can’t, no one may survive.

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Sarasota Author Event!

 

20170715_070307I’m writing to you from sunny Sarasota Florida. My feet are aching, my face feels a little burnt and I smell like the beach, but I wanted to get this all down before I sleep and forget (believe me, it happens).

For The Love of Books and Florida Signing Event was my FIRST event as a signing author. Apparently, I was not the only one because plenty of other authors there were signing virgins, but we had a few best sellers as well.

We left the house at about 9am Friday morning and we didn’t pull up to the Ritz Carlton until about 7pm or a little later. Now, Google said it was a 6 hour drive, but there were several wrecks on I-75 that delayed us almost three hours. Insane.  Bonus: I got clever with Amazon Unlimited Music and we got to listen to Nsync, Backstreet Boys, ABBA, 98 Degrees, and Ricky Martin on the way. I had my mom with me as my assistant, which was cool because she got to be there and support me. She’s also a great singing partner to Savage Garden. It was just like the trips we took to Disney when I was a kid (almost the same route too).

20170714_184233Anyway, we went in and set everything up and checked in with the event coordinators. I was like a spoiled toddler and wanted to do almost everything on my own, so my mom did little assisting, but that’s my fault. When I get in the zone and I’m focused, steer clear or you might get your head bit off. Because we got into town late, we didn’t get to hang out at the mixer with the other authors, bloggers, and VIP readers. It looked like everyone was having fun though. We went back to the hotel to recoup from being stuck in the car for ten hours.

We stayed at the Hyatt hotel just down the road from the Ritz and y’all, they had a window seat that is to die for! I would love to come here every weekend to write just so I could sit here and stare at the ocean. The view was amazing as well. I snapped a picture of the sunset from Friday night.

 

The next morning, I got up before the sun and had to wait for it to come up so I could put on my makeup for the day. We got to the Ritz for a quick breakfast and the VIPs started to flood in at 9am.

20170715_084956Y’all, I used to be a salesperson at a furniture store. I switched to an office position for a reason. I’m not great with head-on confrontation and talking face to face with people. My mother, on the other hand, is an extrovert and loves to gab. Today, our roles got switched. I was putting on my game-face and just did it. I talked, I laughed, I screamed across the table because the rest of the room was noisy (that’s a good thing), and I did my author thing.

Now, my banner, as gorgeous as it was, happened to also be taller than everyone else’s. It was like I was trying to overcompensate. I swear I wasn’t! Might invest in a shorter banner to dedicate to a certain series or something. I also got many compliments on the bookrack my husband made me. It breaks down and it’s easy to put together. No one believed me when I said this was my first event because I had tons of stuff and a well prepared setup. It made me feel great that I put on a good show for everyone.

Mom did a great job of assisting and talked to the readers here and there. A few came over because they noticed she was reading one of my books (Silver Screen) and that was a conversation starter. I think we both need to work on giving a quick and dirty description of each book though.

20170714_191833To my shock and amazement, the Loup-Garou series did not sell as well. I think that’s because the event was geared more towards adults and the series is YA. Passions and Silver Screen actually dominated the event, so I’m not complaining. I came well stocked, so no one had to leave my table empty handed.

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Me with Aubrey Parr, author of Love on Ocean Drive. Her table was caddy-corner from mine. So friendly!

I made a ton of connections and referenced my amazing graphics designer a few times too. I met a few authors and bloggers as well. Overall, it was a great event, and Danielle and Red did a fantastic job on making sure everything ran smoothly. Honestly, it was just like an SCA event. There were assistants running around to make sure everyone had everything they needed and as far as I could tell, it was like clockwork. No hiccups or hitches. I’d gladly come to any of their other signing events in the future. I’ll be investing in a wheely cart to carry my stuff on, though. That was the only pain the entire weekend, but that was because I had too much stuff.

After the event, we hung out with the other authors at the after party on the beach. Sweet baby Jesus, it was hot! I took one of my shirts off just to let my upper arms get some sun. Downside to working in an office, you get a little pasty after a few years. With having a pool in my own backyard, you would think I’d lay out more often, but I don’t. I’m inside writing pretty stories.

20170715_185156I will say something that has been on my mind. I envy some of these seasoned authors who have such close friendships with other authors at signings. I’m not the kind to invite myself into a group or go someplace without having a reason or going along with someone I know. It’d difficult for me to form relationships sometimes and there was such a great camaraderie amongst these ladies that I couldn’t help but feel like a black goat among psychedelic sheep. I wished I could have been part of the fun, but my timid personality would have none of it. I’m sure that will change over the years as I go to other events, but it just breaks my heart a little that I don’t have many close author friends in the writing world yet.

All in all, it was a great event and I look forward to my next. It won’t be nearly as big as this was, but it’ll be fun nonetheless. Today was also the release day for Beast Within, which made the event all the more special. This was my most successful release to date and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Tomorrow, I drop mom off at the airport and I’m sneaking over to Tampa to go to the Florida Holocaust Museum. I haven’t been there since I was in middle school and I’ve been aching to go back. Since I’m on this side of the state, I need to take advantage of it.

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