A Taste of The Rose

Here’s the first bit of chapter 1 from my new release, The Rose, coming March 25th!

Preorder Here! 

For the first time all day, Belle could finally breathe. As she curled up her feet on the sofa, a steaming cup of lemon jasmine tea between her hands, she basked in the comfortable silence. The rain outside had picked up and she had already spotted a few flashes of lightning through the speckled windowpanes, but that didn’t bother her. The thunderstorm added just the right ambience to help her relax.
The last hour had been spent actively trying not to go over the events of the day. She didn’t want to rehearse every word, every action, or overanalyze all that had happened to her in the bookstore. All she wanted to do was let her mind go blank. With the christening sip of her tea, its aroma soothing her anxious mind, she resolved to do just that.
On the coffee table sat her laptop and a lit lavender candle that added to the whole calming atmosphere she strived to create. She glanced to the screen and watched the four security camera windows with the black and lime-colored images of her animals in the barn. Three horses and a small flock of sheep all rested peacefully through the storm. There was the occasional stirring from an ewe or head toss from one of her mares, but nothing alarming. Just how she preferred it. A quiet night recuperating from the chaotic, stressful day.
Belle sunk lower against the mass of pillows and let the tea take effect on her rattled nerves. This was just another end to a long day that, to anyone else’s eyes, went off without a hitch. But to Belle, clad in her soft pajama bottoms and baggy Longhorn shirt, it was one of many that left her tired, drained, and in need of recharging.
All day, every day, she put on the mask. The one that gave a friendly smile to everyone, the one that spoke the right words every time, and never showed how truly terrified she was to be facing a perfect stranger. She spent so much energy keeping that mask firmly in place to hide her true self that at the end of the day, all she could do was crash on the couch with her tea and wonder if this would ever get easier.
Continue reading

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Decimus Trilogy on Audio!

DecimusTrilogyAudio_EditedAs y’all know, I’m slowly working my way through producing audio for all of my books. The Decimus Trilogy is no exception and I’m over the moon excited to share this one with you! The road to making this audio started almost a year and a half ago, but several balls were dropped in the beginning, which seriously delayed things. Long story short, the awesome and talented John Fehskens stepped up to the challenge of narrating this three part series set in both modern and ancient Rome. And let me tell you, he nailed it. Every part of it. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out and I hope you, as the listeners, will adore the story as much as I do.

For those who loved reading the trilogy, or have yet to experience my first paranormal historical fiction endeavor, this audio rendition will entrance you from start to finish. So much care and attention to detail went into the writing of it, and an equal measure of that devotion was put into the audiobook production. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample!

Link to Audible

The Decimus Trilogy on audio is available wherever audiobooks are sold!


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A Story of Trust and Redemption


This one has been a long time in the making. The Rose was first penned over ten years ago, originally over 200k words long, and the first novel I had ever completed. A few years ago, I decided to tackle the monumental task of reworking it (because it wasn’t all that great, to be honest). Now, it’s been split into a duet (two book series) and ten times the novel it had once been. The characters are the same (for the most part), but the plot took a lot of adjusting.

I’m so incredibly proud of this piece. Not only because I adore the story and the characters, but because of its meaning. Those who personally know me that in the past, I’ve had problems with anxiety, depression, and self harm. While I’m not that person anymore, writing this duet has brought about an abundance of healing and revelation in my life and how I see the world. Packed with humor and introspection, The Rose is the first book of the duet that teaches a lesson about mental health and the value of self care.

Releasing March 25th, 2019!

The-Rose-KindleBelle lives her life from day to day, nearly crippled by her social anxiety. But if you ask anyone in Levi about it, they’d say she’s a sweet, quiet girl who works hard to keep up her family’s small ranch while holding down a job at the bookstore. No one knows that beneath her smiles lay a shy introvert who wants nothing more than to stay at home. It was easier to stay alone, stay isolated. That’s when she was the happiest. But during one thunderstorm, all of that changed and she met the first man she ever actually wanted to spend time with.
Leo made a habit of avoiding people when at all possible. Getting tied down, making friends, having a life only meant suffering. The darkness that followed him since his adolescent years never left, not really. It’d show up and ruin any hint of happiness that came his way. Running from his past and the brother that cursed him with this demon, Leo never expected to find something like home in the little country town of Levi. And he didn’t expect one storm to bring him to the barn of a girl with fire in her eyes and a face as beautiful as a sunrise. A sunrise that could chase away all the shadows.

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Something About Sheritta #34

46434300_2250894181590165_199684686132281344_nQ: What makes a good story?
A: Relatability and Believability. For some things, you can suspend believability, but for the most part, you can’t. And if there is no relatability between your readers and the characters, they won’t read past the second chapter. So, if you stick to those two basic, but profoundly important guidelines, I think the story can be great.

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Tips from the Traveler

A little cross posting from my Civil War Traveler Blog. Follow and like the post to see more on that channel! Packed with historical and Civil War things.

Belle on the Battlefield

52153176_2390913937588188_563159148393398272_nI thought I’d take a break from research for a moment to impart some of the wisdom I have earned over the last six months when it comes to traveling to these battlefields. When I started to plan my first big Civil War expedition, I was going to Virginia and I thought I was pretty good at knowing what I should or shouldn’t do, what I should bring, etc. Experience has a funny way of telling you that you’re wrong. And there wasn’t a whole lot of help on the internet for exactly what I was doing, so I wanted to share these little tips and tricks for you.

First Things First – Research

Deciding to make plans

If you’ve got an inclination to travel to a battlefield, or perhaps you’ve heard about a demo or reenactment event in your area, but it’s going to be more than a “day…

View original post 4,078 more words

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Something About Sheritta #33

44771148_2216505058362411_4927506877941547008_oQ: Who designed your book covers?
A: An absolutely talented and fantastic woman named Angela Rivera. She’d been my go-to gal for covers for quite a while and thought there are some covers she hasn’t done, I rely on her heavily for many of my graphic endeavors. She’s made banners and bookmarks for me for events and has proven herself to be immensely talented, reliable, and I just can’t say enough good things about her, honestly.
If you are looking for a cover designer, I highly recommend her.

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Something About Sheritta #32

47379495_2269271253085791_8886062944857620480_oQ: What are you passionate about these days?
A: History and writing. If you took a look at all the book orders that have been coming in over the last few months, you’d wonder if I was trying to start my own Civil War reference library. Of course, I’m getting my collection prepped for when I’m ready to start the historical fiction series, too. And the other half are books about how to write. Creative writing is an ongoing learning experience. You’re never really “done” learning. There’s always other authors to learn from and stories to write. It’s like being a doctor who practices medicine. They’re still “practicing” even up to the point when they retire. Same for writers. Never stop learning.

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Thanks for the Memories…

ThImage result for car night drivingat new car smell, the one that sticks for a good few months and then fades as you dirty up the car and get your own signature scents all over the place. But there are some days when that new car smell returns. And it takes me back to a year and a half ago when we first bought the car. It was our first road trip with it, driving through the night to go to Louisiana for family pictures.
A Monster energy drink was in the cup holder. Burger King wrappers on the floorboards. Jared sleeping in the passenger seat. Headlights glare in my rearview mirror. My only company is my narrator for Silver Screen as I proof the last of the files before approving. Stopping at Waffle House for a bathroom break. Arriving at my dad’s at eight in the morning, just in time for breakfast. The day that followed was exhausting, but unforgettable.

Image result for playing video gamesIt’s a few simple notes. Hummed or sang without words. Played on loop, but never old or monotonous. Dramatic music follows, and I watch my husband play his videogame. As much as I love the storyline of Assassin’s Creed, it’s dangerous if I play. So, I’ll watch him parkour and assassinate historical figures for the betterment of The Creed, preserving the Apple of Eden and the fate of humanity. Those few notes put me back on the couch, watching Ezio or Connor run through the crowded streets of medieval Italy or colonial America. It never gets old and it probably never will.

Image result for sharpsburg mdWhen I hear “Good Morning, Heartache” by Ella Fitzgerald, I’m back in Sharpsburg Maryland on September 17th, 2018. It wasn’t the first time I had heard this song and it wasn’t the last. But each time it plays, I remember the way the rain speckled my windshield. Hurricane Florence had passed through that weekend, but I was determined to go to Antietam for the release of my Civil War novel. I was on my way back from Burnside Bridge, driving back to the visitor’s center for one more look through the museum.
I was hungry because it was close to dinner time, but I didn’t know where to eat. The street was lined with parallel parked cars. Pedestrians on the sidewalks. I had a long drive through the Shenandoah mountains ahead of me that evening, but I knew I had to make one last stop. If I didn’t, I’d regret it. I didn’t know when I’d ever pass by these plaques again, or when I’d see that field of soybeans where tall stalks of corn used to grow. I sang to the song, letting myself feel the lyrics and it imprinted somehow, knowing that my trip was near its end.

Image result for touch of the wolf susan krinardTouch of the Wolf by Susan Krinard. The cover alone takes me back. Age twelve. Too young to be reading a romance like that. My first. Curled up in my Granny’s chair. The microfiber rubbed my elbows raw when I shifted to turn the page. It was late, everyone else in the house was asleep. The television was off, the house dark except for the touch-sensitive lamp on the end table beside me. The smell of bacon grease from that morning’s breakfast hung in the air, mixed with the smell of her crocheted blanket over the back of the chair. Her old perfume clung to the fibers.

Image result for man drivingJust a whiff of Salem cigarette smoke puts my dad in the driver’s seat. We’re on our way to Houston to see Phantom of the Opera. My hair’s been highlighted for the first time. My first straightener is in the back seat with the dress my mom and I bought at Dillard’s for the occasion. The wind from the open window in my face. Southern gospel on the radio. My dad’s bass singing voice makes me smile. I feel of the tan leather seat. The interstate is packed, but I’m with my dad and it’s one of the things we will always share. Continue reading

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Something About Sheritta #31

43185861_2187582137921370_2187895334590480384_nQ: Pen or type writer or computer?
A: First off, I mean no disrespect to those who do write with a pen over a computer or a typewriter… But I honestly don’t know how you can do it and be efficient. I type everything. The only stuff I ever hand-write are notes. Everything else needs to be put on the computer, otherwise I’d be lost and confused. I understand the process is different for other people and more power to you, but I can’t wrap my head around it. A typewriter is a neat tool, but we live in the 21st century and if you want to be published and that publisher only accepts digital files, you’re up a creek without a paddle and just created more work for yourself because you have to copy all of that into a new word document. Just doesn’t make sense.

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A Day in the Life…

So, I know I haven’t posted anything terribly new and creative yet, so I decided to write a little about what a typical day looks like for me. It’s not all that exciting, but for those who are curious.

“Good morning! Good morning!”
I blindly reach for my phone on the nightstand. I don’t even need to see the snooze button to swipe it and end the song from Singing in the Rain. I know it’s only a few minutes before my next alarm goes off, but I want that time. God knows I need it. There was some article saying that women needed more rest than men to avoid heart attacks. I can’t remember how accurate that was, but was a good excuse.
Jared’s arm tightens around me and I felt his nose nuzzle against the nape of my neck. I squirmed because his breath tickled my skin, but he only worked harder to pester me. Cracking open my one eye that wasn’t not buried in the pillow, I saw it was just about at daybreak. The bluish gray light filtered through our bedroom windows. The dark brown curtains were too sheer to be of much use.
Then, I heard the tinkling of dog tags. I closed my eye and held very still, hoping that neither of the girls noticed that I was awake. Sure enough, Evie started making her gruff, half-growl, half-bark noises to get my attention.
I let out a long breath and gave up the fight. One tug of the blanket exposed my bare shoulder and I quickly yanked it back up to my chin. Too cold. Much too cold.
Bagpipes blared from my phone speakers and I once more hit the snooze. Just a few more minutes. I need it for my heart, you know.
Jared’s hand tapped on my thigh. “You need to get up.”
I grumbled. Too early for words, for cold, for bagpipes, dogs, and husbands.
More dog tags jingled, and Evie let out a full bark, followed by her paws patting against the door of her kennel.
“No!” I groaned.
Now it was Jared’s turn to pull the covers off of me. I whined and wrestled them back into my possession so I could wrap myself up like a cocoon. Anymore stress this early in the morning and I’ll have a headache before I can get to work.
“Wake up! Wake up! WAKE UP!”
The munchkin voice on my next alarm didn’t help. I grabbed for my phone and brought it under the covers with me, the black cord sticking out as I turned off the alarm. Two more, I think.
Jared craned over, his face just inches from where mine would be if the blanket didn’t conceal me. I hissed like a cornered cat and snuggled deeper into my little shelter.
“Time to get up.”
“I know,” I mumbled.
Now I could feel his nose pressing against the other side of the blankets. I uncovered quickly to kiss his lips with the though that would make him go away. It didn’t. I do it again, and I can feel his smile. Still, he didn’t move. One more time, but I licked his nose instead. Continue reading

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