Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Enter to Win an eBook for Kindle of my new book, Fifteen-Sixteenths. See previous post for more about the book.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVER REVEAL and BOOK LAUNCH announcement:

My Young Adult Historical Fiction, Fifteen-Sixteenths: One girl's civil war for civil rights, comes out April 1, 2020 in both paperback and eBook on You can pre-order the eBook format NOW. Here's the summary:
Being fifteen-sixteenths white shouldn’t matter.
But in 1963, as a new girl at an all-white South Carolina high school, it does. Discovery of Charlotte’s mixed ancestry would mean her suspension—removing her from friends, a boyfriend, and her best chance for a drama scholarship.
When Gran breaks her leg and moves in, Charlotte’s risk skyrockets. But Gran’s stories of her own grandmother, a slave during the Civil War, give Charlotte the strength to battle those who are determined to unravel her future.
Two time periods—100 years apart—come together for an unforgettable story of freedom and courage.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Writing Journey Love - Current Project

In light of celebrating Valentine's Day and Black History Month, I'd like to share five things I love about the Historical Fiction I recently finished writing, working title FIFTEEN-SIXTEENTHS. It's with beta readers now and I'll be submitting it in a few weeks. The story is set in South Carolina during the Civil Rights era. There's a romance sub-plot and my stamp of "fiction with a touch of faith", of course.

Quick Pitch: Charlotte, the new girl at the school for whites, just wants to blend in—until she gets inspired by her great, great grandmother, a Civil War slave.

5. The YA main character actually has a family and interacts with them.

4. It's historical value. I researched local (here in Virginia) history from lesser known events out of a plethora of Civil War information.

3. A classic theme as relevant today as in 1963 and 1863—the dual timelines of the story. Plus, the challenge of creating an emotional story while striving not to offend or stray too far from political correctness.

2. My first time using deep, first-person point of view for the main timeline. The secondary timeline uses third person limited.

1. Two main characters to love from different but intersecting timelines, and the impact of one’s ancestors.

And to further whet your interest:
Example of the cellar where the Chancellor family stayed under house arrest during the battle that surrounded them.
Cannon replica of artillery used, including a ball that hit the home's front porch.

Photo of Sue Chancellor in her mid-life years, one of the characters in the story who was 14 at the time of the battle of Chancellorsville.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Downside of Boy vs. Girl Books

I enjoyed a fabulous writer's conference, LDStorymakers, in Utah last month. Twelve classes provided great motivation, information, and ways to improve my craft. I reconnected with friends, my critique group, and met my new cover designer for "Samuel's Sword", coming out later this summer.

The keynote speaker was Shannon Hale, who spoke about representing genders and our choices with writing/reading. Boys suffer the most because they are taught not to read "girl books". Stories ABOUT girls (vs. calling them stories FOR girls) teach empathy toward females that males are missing. Girls get to read anything, but boys face social ridicule. We need to change that. Boys who learn to understand the feelings of girls will likely grow up to treat women better than those who don't.

Hale quoted some of her findings with industry sexism. On average, animated movies present 11 male main characters to 4 female. Crowd scenes portray 80% males. Male authors are typically promoted more, even by librarians. Hale has been invited to speak to school groups where the boys were not invited. What are we teaching boys? Hale encouraged that our voices matter. We should teach the ways we are more alike than not alike. We should not pre-select for others but enjoy the whole human experience. Loved it!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why I Write What I Write

Hello, again! After a break and solving the problem of getting into my blog, I'm back. This is the place where I share my writing journey, a few tips or things I've learned, and the writing-related musings inside my head. Today's post will update you on what I've been writing--and why.

The most exciting news is the release of my second book, Survival of the King's Daughter, which came out exclusively as an e-book on June 1, 2017. Karlinah's story continues from Secrets of the King's Daughter, though each are considered stand-alone books. The third and final book of this scripture-based series will feature the love story of Karlinah's son, Samuel, who becomes a soldier among Helaman's stripling warriors. It is currently under review by the publisher. These three books are based on the section of the Book of Mormon that I originally thought I would cover in one book. It took three to tell their story, and with that complete, a change sounded refreshing.

I wanted to do something contemporary and include romance either as the genre or a sub-plot. Who doesn't enjoy a little romance? More importantly, I feel strongly that my writing should include latter-day-saint values, where the characters strive to live as God intends or they learn a lesson from doing otherwise. We need books that uplift as well as entertain, that offer role models of faith and courage within everyday lives. This has become my mission.

My critique group collaborated on a project that fit into my vision--an LDS contemporary romance book of four novellas with overlapping characters. Coming Home hit a snag when our first choice publisher rejected it. We have made some revisions and are getting more feedback before resubmitting. It's a fun story of four couples who are either leaving or returning from missionary service. Readers are going to love it.

My current work in progress is the story of two LDS middle-aged sisters. Romance is definitely involved but I'm calling this one Women's Fiction. I'm halfway into the draft that has seen a round of edits after feedback from my critique partners. I guess you could say that I'm halfway into the second draft. It has it's own set of challenges, but I'm loving it. I'm guessing it will fit nicely with the age 30 plus female audience that desires something more mature than young love.