Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Big Thank You

I cannot even tell you how grateful I am to connect with so many readers last week during the free promotional download for BETWEEN. I get a big thrill when I think about people enjoying the characters in this story. I even received my first fan email who called BETWEEN "a fun uplifting book" and couldn't wait to read the sequel. I can tell you this, the feeling is mutual. I'm SO anxious to get it out to you guys! I had originally planned on APART being released in the spring of 2013 and will try to move it up once Rumspringa (my YA debut) is finished. But I will not sacrifice good writing in order to do so. Creating a novel is a process, that's for sure.


Last week BETWEEN climbed to #3 on Amazon's Children's Top 100 Free Bestseller List and #1 in the specific category of Social Situations and Emotions and Feelings books. 

Thank you for that. I mean it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

BETWEEN #1 on Amazon Top Free 100 Children's Friendship Books!!!

BETWEEN is #1 Best Seller on Amazon's Top 100 Free Books for Children on Friendship!! Woo-hoo! This is what the free promo does folks - it gets your name out there and results in lots of downloads and eventual sales.
Also, BETWEEN is featured on Cents-ible eReads Free Feature today. Please check out the link here. Thanks a bunch for spreading the word! Also, download and enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Teaser #1

At the pumpkin patch...

Maybe I’m too old for this now. This used to be fun.  Turning the corner by the barn, I spy endless rows of pumpkins making a haphazard pattern in the field.  
     I want a really giant one this year to fill this expanding hole in my chest.  When I find the biggest one, I try to lift it into the wagon.  Which isn’t working out so well.  It’s seriously heavy.
     “What are you trying to do, sink the Titanic with that?” 
     Startled, I turn to face Ryan staring down at me from underneath his long eyelashes.
     Oh, man.  I haven’t seen him since the note writing incident.  But now I know that he knows that I might like him.  Especially after what Joey said to me in the hallway.  Ryan knows.  He must know. About the note. Especially considering the fact that he and Joey hang out together and everything.
     “That was a joke. Earth to Peaches.” He lifts his eyebrows questioningly.
     I feel my cheeks flame.  “Um, yeah,” I say, squinting up at him, helpless.  
     “Would you like a hand with that?” he offers.
     “Um, yeah,” I say again, because evidently that is the extent of my vocabulary.
       He grins.  “Ma’am,” he tips his imaginary hat my direction and speaks in a western drawl. “I’d be honored if you’d lemme help you with that.”
     Goofy but cute.  
     So I decide to play along.  “Why, thank you,” I say in my best demure voice and flutter my eyelashes, then crack-up because I feel so ridiculous.  He chuckles, too.  Amazingly, through a fit of laughter, we manage to get the ginormous pumpkin into the wagon without crushing our fingers.  But then it’s like, mission accomplished, and things get quiet.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Teaser #2

 My new schedule looks like this:
     1st period—Advanced Math
     2nd period-–Advanced English
     3rd period–-Social Studies
     4th period–-Beginning Band
     5th period-–Science
     6th period–-P.E.
     7th period- Art
     It sure is going to be weird not to have the same teacher all day, not to mention any recess.  
          While Ms. Brown calls attendance, Jeanie taps my shoulder and we quickly compare schedules.  We have Advanced English and Art together.
     “Geez, are you a brainiac?” she whispers, but not unkindly.  “You’ve got all the advance classes.”
     “Um, I guess I like to get good grades,” I admit, wondering if that makes me sound super conceited. 
     “I’m not very good at math,” Jeanie confesses.
     “Joey McGregor?” barks Ms. Brown.
     “Yep.”  Joey’s voice is muffled because he is slouched down in his chair.
     Ms. Brown peers over her bifocals apparently studying Joey.  In a steely voice she adds, “Mr. McGregor, you will respond appropriately with “here” when called.  Is that understood?”
     The class is dead silent.
     Joey makes a big production of sitting up, ram-rod straight in his chair.  “Here!” he shouts.
    He is such a doofus.  I would never consider talking back to a teacher.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Teaser #3
This is crazy.  Evidently each of us; Mom, Dad and me have to be interviewed by a court appointed advocate.  I don’t even know what kind of questions they’ll ask.  What if I mess up?  What if I give them the wrong answers and they give me away to the next passerby?  
     This is the kind of thing I used to run over to Wren’s place and consult with her about.  I really miss being able to do that.  Sometimes, I really just want to talk to my best friend.  So instead, I try to call Jeanie on the phone.  Her mom answers and says that she’s out at her Dad’s.  I grab Bert and go to my room and listen to my new iPod.  Some stupid song with a repetitive chorus lasts an eternity.  I turn it back off and fall asleep early.  
     That night, I have a dream that I’m late for class at school and can’t remember my locker combination.  Joey is the only one who knows it.  In the dream, he tauntingly holds the scrap of paper with the combination of numbers high above his head where I can’t reach it.  When I wake up, I feel irritated.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

In Four...

Teaser #4

But a school dance?  I have never thought of that.  Of course, Lori and Jay will go together because they’ve been going together ever since the end of fourth grade.  If you ask me, Jay is girl crazy.  When we first moved here, in the beginning of fourth grade, he put a gumball machine ring in my lunchbox.  My dad about had a cow over that!  Dad said I was too young to be going with someone.  He didn’t have to worry, I didn’t want to go with Jay.  I don’t think he understood that in fourth grade, going together means you basically play together at recess and that’s about it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Free Promotional Count Down Begins... In Five...

As I mentioned before, I chose to publish with Kindle Direct Publishing Select for the use of some exceptional promotional tools, one of which is that BETWEEN will be listed for FREE on Amazon for five days in a row, beginning Monday, July 16th.

As we all know, the best advertisement for a book is word of mouth. This is why editors and agents can’t exactly predict which books will be the next big thing (that’s not to say there aren't some good indicators, because of course there are and folks in the publishing industry are experts at this). It may seem counterintuitive but numbers have shown that the more free downloads of a book, the better the sales. So this is why I will be offering a teaser per day in a five day count down to five days of free downloads!

Teaser #5
By the time I get to school the next day, the rumor mill has completed its circuit.  Everyone now knows that I think Noah Johnson is cute.  Well, so what?  Half the sixth grade population thinks he’s cute— and that’s not news.  But now Wren is really mad at me.  She’s not at my locker before Social Studies, like usual.  She never told me outright she liked Noah, but it’s pretty obvious to anyone with eyeballs.  And now, everyone thinks I like him, too.  Which I don’t.  Not on your life.  And I’m feeling miserable about the part about Ryan.  How I wrote his name in that note also.  I really don’t want him to know I might like him.  Actually, I don’t even know if I do.  It’s just that, now I’ll never know.  I just thought it was nice when we played basketball together, and my name sounded so good when he said it.
     I’m beginning to think middle school is more like a battle field than an actual learning environment.       

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm an INFJ, what are you?

Yesterday, on a whim, I took a personality test that categorized me as INFJ (introvert, intuitive, feeling, judging). Apparently, only one percent of the population tests at this level. I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about that. I mean, for obvious reasons, it validated how I can really feel so outside the box with my unorthodox views. But on the other hand, it left me feeling a bit lonely, because I don’t always connect with the rest of the world.

After all, here are some infamous INFJ types:

Adolf Hitler
Osama bin Laden
Mel Gibson
Ayatollah Khomeini

All of a sudden, my #axisofevilpickuplines tweets don’t seem so funny anymore… Are you sure you're not a terrorist? Because you've just captured my heart and are holding it hostage. #axisofevilpickuplines or Was that an explosion or did you just rock my world? #axisofevilpickuplines. When I am in heaving editing mode, I pretend I am an evil dictator that has to “kill my darlings”, i.e. get rid of prose I love if it does not advance the story plot. I like to play Napoleon with a guillotine. But it’s pretend! Really!

On the brighter side, here are some more idol worthy INFJ types:

Mother Teresa
Oprah Winfrey
Martin Luther King Jr.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Agatha Christie
Dante Alighieri
Edward Norton
Cate Blanchett
Noam Chomsky
Carrie Fisher
Billy Crystal
Mahatma Gandi
Jimmy Carter

INFJ’s are pretty even in terms of utilizing both left and right brain talents (case in point: I’m an aerospace engineer turned novelist). And here is an excellent description of the INFJ personality. Pretty amazingly accurate, I think.

What type are you?  Go here to find out.