Cover Time…Almost

It is official. OF SCIONS AND MEN has a cover. It is amazing. Everything I was hoping for and more. The artist truly captured both the urban fantasy and the dystopian feel in a new way. I can’t wait to share it with you.

What does it look like? Is Rowan on it?  These questions and much, much more will be answered soon.

What does it look like? Is Rowan on it? These questions and much, much more will be answered soon.

But not today. Today I will continue writing book TWO and working on marketing. I will warn you, THE SCIONS OF WRATH has taken a much deeper and darker turn than one, and that’s saying something. But there is also love and growth. Balance right. An author’s work is never done.

Also, next week my official author photos will be taken. My least favorite action in the world is being in photos, but my photographer has scouted an amazing location I think you will all love, so there’s hope.

So, yes, there’s lots coming down the pipe. I can tell you on November 30th, I will share a preview of my cover. Then on December 7th, I will be a part of a joint double-trouble cover reveal with Jessica Gunn and her exciting book GYRE. More to come on all that soon.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

As I child I can remember watching the show Cheers with my mom. Everyone would smile, both on and off screen, whenever Norm would walk in and the bar would erupt with “NORM!” That sense of belonging and the village coming together, even in the heart of the big city, warms even the most distant heart on a cold Boston night. Isn’t that right, Dr. Frasier? In New Orleans, a big city in its own right, people are extremely loyal to our regular spots. The holes in the wall that become a part of home. It’s why we loved the Saints even when they were the Ain’ts and a lot of chains have so much trouble staying alive. I still don’t think the city has forgiven Rite Aid for taking over the K&B spot when I was a kid.

Being a true child of my hometown, I love finding my spots. Plus, once I’ve found them, I stick to them even way up here in the frozen north of Maryland. Today, my Cheers isn’t a bar. My favorite routine spot is a little hole in the wall Greek restaurant: Greek Aroma. This place drew me in because it is amazing. For such a small venue, they serve the freshest and cleanest food. I have brought people in from out of town there all the time, not to mention the locals, and everyone loves the food. But for me, it’s more than that. Good food is of course key to any successful restaurant (and this place is successful with people there waiting from open through all afternoon) but what made this my place, my regular place, is the people. The people there are so friendly. Especially the main manager, her smile could power a city and her open and welcoming nature makes you feel at home even on the roughest of days. The combo of the two…they had me at gyro.

This is a job for a Super Gyro. Comes with his own cape.

This is a job for a Super Gyro. Comes with his own cape.

Here, I get to feel that warmth deep inside when I walk in and am greeted with cries of recognition. Often, my order is put in before I ever make it to the counter. I may never be rich and famous, but for this one place to remember me from the hundreds that eat there every day. I want to go back for that as much as the food.

But this got me thinking about routine. People each have their own places. They may not have “Norm” moments, but a place they make a part of their everyday lives, giving them that same sense of comfort and belonging. It could be a coffee house or a restaurant or the gym where other “strangers” comment on your progress and keep you going on the hard motivation days. We are social creatures (even the introverts) and thus even if it is just a person or two, we enjoy a momentary easy connection.

So why do so few written characters have these places. Where does Bruce Wayne stop for coffee on the way to Wayne Enterprises after a long night of vigilantism? Does Jean Grey have a quiet bar she goes to when Cyclops is just being too much of a jerk? We see regular hangouts in sit coms because it’s easier for set design, but what about in books for character design. The few times I’ve seen it in books, a character having a “place” (not their job space or their home space) where they felt safe, really made that character much stronger to me.

Thus, a new space in my book world is born. They say don’t piss off a writer, or they’ll kill you in their book. The reverse is also true. One of the highest honors a writer can give someone is to write them well in their book. So, Greek Aroma, my place, has inspired me to create such a space in my series. Rowan has just developed a taste for Greek.

The Black Cat Interview

Hey Black Cat Blog interviewed me. It’s full of puppies and zombie hunting and cake. Go check it out!

Ann Anderson Noser’s Hard Hitting Interview

Writing Wednesdays- Part III- Trendy Talks

This week marked a major first. In my #WO2016 group, a group for authors how have books coming out in 2016, I volunteered to lead a twitter chat. The subject I came up with for the chat was all about villains. What could be better?

The Villainous Advertisement

The Villainous Advertisement

So this past Saturday, instead of writing for an hour, I got to spend it with some really amazing authors and bloggers and others. We got to tackle such important questions as:

  • Who was your favorite villain of all time?
  • What made that villain stand out above the rest?
  • Who would you consider the weakest villain of all time?
  • What made that villain so ineffective?
  • It’s been said villains are the true reflections of the hero, do you agree?
  • What makes a villain a villain instead of a protagonist?
  • How to keep empathy with a villain without surrendering their evil?
  • Wounds: how MCs and Villains treat them differently.
  • A good villain forces the hero to evolve: what do you think?
  • Villains generate the primary conflict in stories: how do you make that happen?
  • What are the worst villain clichés?
  • What is your current villain’s GMC?
  • What inopportune truths does your villain reveal to the hero/world?

It was the fasted hour in my life. I could barely get questions and thoughts out before responses flooded in. I learned a great deal, and I will be a better writer for it. But after only ten minutes something incredible happened, something I didn’t expect. Our discussion was popular enough it was categorized as trending on the main twitter page. I’ve never been a part, let alone leading, a trending twitter chat. So many talented views and thought compounded together to get the notice of such a worldwide program. I am humbled.

Writing also went well. I got through some major hurdle chapters and wrote about 13k words. I also got through about half the interviews.

I will finish the interviews by this weekend and write through the next two attacks by next Wednesday’s check in. Thanks for keeping me working and going, guys.

Now, go check out my fellow writers’ updates as well. The list of those on this Writing Wednesdays Blog Hop are below.

  1. Jessica Gunn
  2. Emma Adams
  3. Suzanne Van Rooyen
  4. Ann Anderson Noser


Ann Anderson Noser tagged me to share seven lines from the seventh page of a work in progress.So here’s an insider preview into THE SCIONS OF WRATH, book 2 of the American Scions series.

Devon’s anger coated my thoughts laced with something else. Turning up the volume between us I could feel him creasing his brow and tapping his fingers on the dash of the car. Devon was suspicious. Then I caught his last thought of demanding me off the case.

Ease up there, bucko. I don’t like be shot at…

Being shot.

I don’t like being shot, but don’t start thinking of pulling me off the case.

That’s not what I was doing and get out of my head, woman, and let me figure this out.

I smirked. Sucks don’t it.

Now I’ll tag 7 other authors to play this game:

JP Sloan

Meredith Bond

Michael Shean

Vicki Leigh

Suzanne van Rooyen

Pat Esden

Louise Gornall

Writing Wednesdays- Part II- The Projects Strike Back

This week has been extremely productive, just not quite in the way I meant. I have several hobbies that I pursue passionately. Writing is obviously one. I love it, but not my only love. This week I have had to focus on another pursuit just as dear to my heart.

Martial Arts

Recently I have gotten back into martial arts, Korean styles. And by me, I mean I have, my writer-husband, JP Sloan, and my son has been in it for a while. My husband and I have had to play catch up and have been under scrutiny to determine where we fall in our abilities. This week we earned our green belts. We couldn’t be more excited.

Bring on the Fight Scenes

Bring on the Fight Scenes

Piggybacking on this, we decided we needed a more dedicated practice space. So all of last weekend was dedicated to organizing and redoing our basement to create a dojo space just for us. As a good New Orleans girl, basements still freak me out. I expect the water to rush in at any moment. But I after 10 years, I have to admit the extra space is really nice. It was a lot of work, but so, so worth it. No we have everything that the basement held before in one area up on shelving. On the other, larger end, we have a full dojo complete with mats, mirrors, artwork and an amazing heavy bag we get to hit around whenever we want. So without further ado, the fruits of my labor.

Oh, the fun to be had here

Oh, the fun to be had here

Lastly, yes, I did some writing as well. I wrote just over 10k words this week. That is one the low end of my weekly goal, but I hope to do better this coming week when I can dedicate more time to writing. And for those of you who has been bugging me to have Rowan in a relationship, there may or may not have been a first kiss. You’ll just have to wait for book two to find out with whom.

In geeky gaming terms, my writing did gain a new feat this week. My husband reads some of my work when I torture him with it, I mean, ask him to. Now, you have to know something about my husband. He does not feel or show emotion for anything. Everything that makes everyone on the face of this planet have feels, he simply goes “eh”. I have teased him about this for over eleven years. Last night I gave him just a couple of paragraphs to read. The feels nearly killed him. This accomplishment I feel needs to go down in the chronicles of my writing. I’m not sure it will ever happen again.

So, there was my week. For next week I want to up my word count to at least 15k. I also want to fill out the author interviews I have been asked to do and schedule my author photos. I hate all photos, and I’m scared of these most of all, but they have to be done. So that’s my plan.

Now, go check out my fellow writers’ updates as well. The list of those on this Writing Wednesdays Blog Hop are below.

  1. Jessica Gunn
  2. Emma Adams
  3. Suzanne Van Rooyen
  4. Ann Anderson Noser

Our First Writing Wednesdays

These last few months I have been a part of a talented group of writers who all have books coming out in 2016. These people are as amazing as their upcoming books. Together we are pushing each other to be greater and get more done by blog hopping once a week. Basically every Wednesday, we’ll post what we’ve been doing writing or publishing-wise during the week, anything we’ve learned, and what we hope to get done in the next week. It’s just a fun way to keep on track with writing goals week-to-week and push for more.

This week has been amazingly productive and busy.

1st– For the last few weeks the publisher and I have been working like crazy artistic bees on cover ideas for Book One of The American Scion series, OF SCIONS AND MEN. We’ve decided to push the envelope and not do a traditional style cover. As of the end of last week, we have settled on concept art, and it’s off in the hands of an exceptionally talented artist. I now know who the artist is. I cannot wait to share this amazing idea and work with the rest of you.

2nd– I am hard at work on Book Two of The American Scion series, THE SCIONS OF WRATH. So far I’ve written about 10k words this week. So, it’s going well and my structure is shaping up well. I was having some trouble with chaptering my inciting event chapters. But I lucked out and this week was my critique group’s meeting. Not only did I get some great suggestions, I also seem to have made some fellow writers white-knuckle as they read the events of this chapter. So, yay!

I’ve gotten a lot done, but I’ve got to push for more. Time to crack the whip, and I’ll hope you’ll all join in.

Yes, Readers, may I have another.

Yes, Readers, may I have another.

From now to next Wednesday, I want to get another 10-15k written. Also, I want to get some more marketing ideas under my belt and set up. This is the part I need to learn the most about. It’s a strange new world, and I need to jump in educated but with both feet.

Cover Reveal – FIND ME IF YOU DARE by Vicki Leigh

Today is an exciting day… it is time to share a cover reveal for one of my book siblings, who also happens to be my editor mama, Vicki Leigh. This cover is amazing and is the twisted work of one of my favorite horror genre cover artists: Conzpiracy Digital Arts. Dean has knocked this one out the park, and Vicki has written a book that is equally amazing.

The second book of Vicki Leigh’s Dreamcatcher series is coming out October 23rd. So without further aggrandizement, here is this masterpiece:

I told you, out of the park and into the next state.

I told you, out of the park and into the next state.

Now that you’ve seen this, I know you want to know more about this book. How does this dark figure fit into the picture. Well, I can’t give away state secrets or Vicki would have to hunt me down but I’ll give you what I can.

They may have won the first battle, but the Apocalypse has just begun.

Five weeks have passed since the battle that left Rome and Columbus in ruins. Sheltered in the hidden city of Caelum, Daniel and Kayla train alongside over one hundred Magus and Protectors, hoping that their unified ranks will be enough to take down their greatest threat yet: Richard, his followers, and his horde of Nightmares. Then a fallen comrade is returned to Caelum with a message carved into his chest and a note referencing the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Daniel knows their time for training is over.

Finally understanding Richard’s plans for Kayla and the three other Magus born on Halloween, Daniel and the rest of Caelum’s volunteers scout the U.S. in a desperate attempt to stop their enemy before he can unleash his first Horseman. But when massive attacks claim thousands of lives, people all over the world begin to fall ill—including those Daniel and Kayla care about the most.

With the Horseman of Pestilence released, Daniel knows it’s time to step aside and let Kayla take the lead. Only she has the power to rival her father’s. But when Richard’s plot turns out to be darker than they imagined, their fight is met with more death and destruction—and an enemy who might be unbeatable, after all.

And if all that’s not enough for you, Vicki has more for you, because she is that awesome. Go visit her Tumblr page for more info and free stuff. You heard me right, free stuff. ( There’s an awesome 22 BOOK giveaway going on over there, too!

The list of items people can win: 
  • 20 copies of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL (Book One of the Dreamcatcher Series)
  • a signed copy of CITY LOVE by Susane Colasanti
  • a The Vampire Diaries wall poster of Damon Salvatore
  • a copy of SHADOW STUDY by Maria V. Snyder
  • 5 handmade dream catchers
  • a poster of the SORCERER HEIR series, signed by Cinda Chima
  • 2 posters of the cover of DOON, signed by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon.
  • a poster of the cover of DAMSEL DISTRESSED, signed by Kelsey Macke
  • a poster of Melissa Lander’s ALIENATED cover

And one last taste of that cover in full.

October 23rd can't get here fast enough!

October 23rd can’t get here fast enough!

Dear Teen Courtney

Teenagers of the world, Dear Teen Me is for you.

For everyone who wishes they were on the football team. For everyone who would rather be in the glee club than ever run another lap. For the teens who dream of being far, far away from the small town or big city where they go to school. The prom queens, the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the good girls, the loners, the stoners, the class presidents, the juvenile delinquents, the jocks and the nerds.

The teens who have good days and bad days and sometimes really really really bad days.

This is for you.

A group of authors. some famous – some up-and-comers, who care about you.

Yesterday my letter to “Dear Teen Me” went live. A lot of connecting and truth mixed with a bit of sass (yeah, that’s didn’t lessen with age) and eye rolling to create something real.

Oh and one great picture of teen me on one of my favorite and most ornery horses. Seriously, during training this horse rolled on me, put me into a tree face first, and tried to dump me in the creek, but I loved Goldie and got him to accept most riders. Just to wet your whistle, here’s that pic for you now.

Giddy Up, Goldie

Young love

So, go over and read my letter. Let me know what you think. Tell others. Then click around and hear from other amazing authors as they communicate with their teen selves.


What are you still doing here? Click click.

Bad Pitch Contest

Dear Mr &/or Mrs who want to publish the next AWESOME book,

I know you want to make millions. We all want to make millions. I can make this easy for you. My book is the next Fifty shades of gray meet Twilite. You need to jump on board this express train to awesomeness cause there’s going to be hundreds of agents buying it soon.

I’m not kidding. I’m really good at writing and have spent the last month punching out this bad boy. I’ve shown it to my 3 best friends who also write good and they have told me over and over and over that it is the most awesome thing they’ve ever read. My mother said the same thing when I told her I’d written a book. She said she always new that I would be a New York Author 1 day. Even when I was like 3 she knew it. I even have like 12 followers on so you know that marketing for me is already like totally taken care of. All you got to do is buy this and then we will both be so rich no one will believe it.

So here’s the awesome pitch. Be ready to have your sock blown off.

My story is about this guy, Bromere, who is really tough and super awesome at everything. I mean everything. He can fight bears and sing and fix things and is totally awesome with the ladies. And there’s this other guy, Lousarius, who is super jealous of him and tries all these things to take his treasure and his girl. Oh yeah, they are pirates, you need to know that for the treasure to make sense. Well, No matter what this other dude does, my dude beats him and gets the girl and is awesome at everything. Oh and there’s Bromeres friends, Dudeacleese and Testacleese, who are there trying to do the stuff Bromere does, but they never can be as awesome as him. And there’s also stuff about explosions and aliens, but I couldn’t quite make that go anywhere, but it’s fun anyway. And in the end, Bromere saves the President from 2012 fires and acid rain, so there’s this whole environmental story in there as well.

So, yeah, that’s the story. Oh, it’s called Bromere of Flame and it’s a complete novel ready for you, with just an little bit more work needed (seriously just like a chapter or two more, I think I need to do something more with this aliens, at 29,366 words!!! This awesomeness’s genre is a greek, western, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, pirate, erotica, political thriller. I know that my pitch is over 35 words but it was too mind-blowing to put in only 35 words. I knew once you read it you wouldn’t mind. So send me back the contract and let’s get this money train rolling.

Awesomely yours,



This is a Blog Hop! So read everyone’s bad query’s and then go to between 6/2 and 6/5 to vote for your favorite.


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