Sunday, November 9, 2014

Update and Announcement!

Hi everyone!

I did something I said I didn’t want to do. I went a long time between posts.

We demolished the boys’ bathroom and rebuilt it knowing once our daughter was born, it would be a challenge to complete a huge project like this with 3 young kids. I thought this would help clear the deck, so to speak, so that all I had to do was take care of the kiddos, the day-to-day stuff, and write. I thought I could work on book 2, Endless Evening, during naps and times they cooperated (by playing nicely) because it would be somehow magically easier if we had less to do. The problem with that thinking is, there’s always stuff to do. All these little projects continued to pop up. Some were absolutely necessary, some were necessary for sanity’s sake. ;)

Working on book 2 was always on my mind, but I could barely find the time to do it. This became very stressful and frustrating, not only because I couldn’t get into the space to write, but also because I had ideas I wanted to explore. I needed the time to be able to expand on them but I wasn’t getting it.

I had originally planned to submit the rough draft of Endless Evening to the editor before she was born. That didn’t happen. I wanted it to be released in November. November’s here, and it’s not ready.

I surrendered and let go of my self-imposed deadline. I just let it be.

The creativity returned.

I have the rough draft mostly done. I have details to add among which are a few needed scenes but I don’t know exactly what they are! Yet. LOL.

The other exciting announcement is that I’m writing short stories from both Trevor’s and Landon’s point of view!!

The way Midnight Runes reads is the way it had to be written. I struggled with the format. I wondered if there was a different way to tell the story. In the end, it’s told from Brynn’s point of view because it’s her story to tell. The challenge with that is, there’s SO MUCH going on behind the scenes that she isn’t aware of. I entertained the idea of having very short chapters told from either Landon’s or Trevor’s point of view inserted into Midnight Runes. The reason that couldn’t work (for that particular book, at least) is that once you get inside either of their heads, you immediately know their secrets and it would totally spoil the journey with Brynn.

Another path I entertained was writing an entirely separate book, told from Trevor and Landon’s points of view, happening in parallel with Brynn’s timeline.

Perhaps these short stories are the beginning of a separate book. Perhaps telling a few scenes from the guy’s points of view will suffice. We will see!

Cyber Hugs,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Searching the Sand

Took a trip to Tawas yesterday. Perfect day at the beach! Walked along the shoreline, but didn't find anything as special as Brynn's bracelet!  What's the most interesting thing you've found in the sand?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

ebook File Conversions Made Easy

Hi everyone!

There are 3 ways to read ebooks sold on Amazon:

1) directly downloaded onto a Kindle
2) using the free Kindle app for smartphones, computers, and tablets (more below)
3) a free program called Calibre (more below)

If you'd like to read MIDNIGHT RUNES, but don't have a Kindle, an option you have is to download the free Kindle app specific to your device, which can be found hereIt's available for many makes of smartphones, computers, and tablets. If your device is older and can't handle this app, Calibre might be another option. 

This is what Calibre's site says about ebook conversion: "Calibre can convert from a huge number of formats to a huge number of formats. It supports all the major e-book formats. The full list of formats can be found here.
The conversion engine has lots of powerful features. It can rescale all font sizes, ensuring the output e-book is readable no matter what font sizes the input document uses. It can automatically detect/create book structure, like chapters and Table of Contents. It can insert the book metadata into a "Book Jacket" at the start of the book."

I opted to leave the book DRM-free, which means you can convert it with a program like Calibre into another format to read on devices other than a Kindle, such as a Nook. Check out the website for more info. There's even a demo video to watch. It's been around since at least 2008, and has been mentioned in The New York Times, CNN Money, Dear Author, and more. I have no stake in the company; I'm merely sharing knowledge in the hopes that this will help someone, somewhere.

hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Midnight Runes Now for SALE!

I seriously can't believe I forgot to post this, but what can I say? It's been a busy week!
6 days for sale, and it hit 28,000 in the paid store, which is encouraging since there are millions and millions of book available.

The link is here.

Also, once you've finished reading it, please rate and review on Amazon!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Midnight Runes Chapter 2 Teaser

Gearing up for the official release Wednesday, May 21st if all goes to plan!

Here's the beginning of Chapter 2 (Chapter 1, in it's entirety, is in the previous post):

I startled awake, sucking air into my lungs. My heart pounding, I looked around my room and shook off the recurring dream. I had dreamt of the guy in the woods several nights since the party. It seemed to be haunting me. Or taunting me. It was too early to tell. He stood in the safety of the shadows, watching from a distance. But unlike at the party, I stared directly at him. I strained to discern his features. I felt no malevolence from him. He seemed to be waiting for me to realize…something.
I waited for him to do something. Or say something. Or give me some clue what he wanted. Why he was there.
Why couldn’t I shake this dream? Why couldn’t I forget about it?
I knew the answer. I was intrigued. And I had known Trevor wasn’t honest about the Woods Guy, but I didn’t know why he would lie.
I glanced over to my alarm clock and pushed myself out of bed. I had to get ready for the last day of school. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Midnight Runes 1st Chapter Teaser

My phone rang at the precise time Trevor said he’d pick me up.
I predicted our conversation’s outcome without any special abilities.
“I hate to cancel on you so last minute, but—”
“You have to,” I finished.
These types of calls were becoming more frequent. I’d asked him what was wrong, but he said it was nothing. He was happy in our relationship. He wasn’t bored of me. And there was no one else. I’d worded the questions different ways to see if the answers changed. They didn’t.
And how could I force the answer? I didn’t have anything to go on, but there was something going on. There had to be.
“I’ll call you as soon as I can. If it doesn’t take too long, we’ll still go to Zach’s party tonight. Or we’ll get together tomorrow.”
“Sounds good.”
“Really?” he asked hesitantly, obviously expecting a fight.
“Yep,” I said. I meant it too.
I had to pretend it wasn’t a big deal for him to cancel our plans for the second time this week—pretending was the fastest way to end the conversation. I knew I couldn’t change his decision to cancel once “something came up.” It didn’t matter if I complained, begged, or bargained. I just ended up looking as pathetic as I felt. Whatever this “something” was that he was always taking care of, it was more important than plans with me. I had contemplated following him, or hiding a GPS on him, or hiring a PI to tail him. But thinking those thoughts and following through were two different realities. It made me feel like a paranoid girlfriend. And what high school girl hired a PI to tail her boyfriend anyway?
I sighed and stared at my phone. Another Friday night cancellation. I pulled my long auburn hair into a ponytail while contemplating my next move. I was grateful my dad’s company had landed a big new contract and my parents were out celebrating. I was spared their questioning looks about Trevor’s cancellation. I was an only child, too, so I didn’t have any brothers or sisters to harass me either. The only one home with me was my dog, Roxie, and I knew my secret was safe with her.
The thought of showing up to the party alone made his rejection worse. Elyse, my best friend in the world, and her boyfriend, Jared, were out celebrating their one-year anniversary and would be at Zach’s later.
My resolve solidified. Normally I would wait for him, which usually meant I wasted an entire evening at home. But this time I would stick to our plans, even if it meant I drove to the party alone. I really hoped it didn’t, though. I sent a group text to see who hadn’t left yet and could pick me up on their way.
I pulled my flat, dark grey boots over my jeans and fought with the left zipper until it reached the top. I loved the comfortable boots too much to accept that it was time to retire them.
My phone chimed. I glanced at it, wondering who responded to my plea, grateful to whoever it was. Lauren and Samantha were on their way. I smiled.
I grabbed my favorite hoodie from the front closet—it matched nearly everything I owned. I left it in there because I used it as more of a jacket than anything else. The bright flecks of color in the fabric stood out like confetti against the cream background. I hated the thought of covering up my favorite two-toned purple v-neck, but I’d want the hoodie when the temperature dropped. Fifteen minutes later, I was on my way.
The open sunroof let in the cool night air. The radio blared Sirius radio’s BPM, our favorite dance music channel. My mood lifted as we entered the small downtown of Lake Orion. This was definitely better than moping at home.
Lauren pulled her straight blond hair over a shoulder while we waited at the only light. She looked so petite in the driver’s seat of her Explorer. “Did you see they’re adding to the mall?” she asked.
The next city over had our go-to mall. A few years ago, they had built a sprawling outdoor complex with big-name stores and small boutiques. It had a variety of restaurants and a movie theater. We spent a lot of Saturdays there.
“I did! And the list of new stores is awesome!” Samantha said, no doubt wanting to add to her impressive collection of high heel shoes. Running shoes didn’t cut it with her.
“I hope they’ll have it done by the end of summer,” I said. “We can all go together. I know Elyse can’t wait.”
We passed through Lake Orion’s small historic district. Businesses had rented out both buildings and houses, creating an eclectic look that matched the vibe of the area. The costume shop occupied the space next to the upscale hair salon, and the natural health store was next to the tattoo parlor. The town was casual and relaxed, yet dressing up at night worked too.
Just like the downtown, our entire city was a mix of new and original subdivisions. My friends lived in houses that ranged from historic to new. It didn’t matter where anyone lived; there was only one high school.
We turned into Zach’s sub, which had been built around the same time as mine. It had both sprawling ranches and two-story colonials, with big yards separating the houses. It’s funny that, in movies, when the parents are away, students always throw elaborate, loud, bass-pumping, parking-on-the-lawn parties. In reality, it was much more subdued, with instructions to scatter the cars throughout the sub. Like there wouldn’t be enough to answer to if the house was trashed. Like there weren’t neighbors. As if the parents hadn't asked the older couple across the street to keep an eye on things.
Lauren parked six houses down, on the opposite side of the street. I set my feet onto the curb, safely reaching over a puddle, and walked along the curb until I reached a driveway. It had been a rainy May week, and it was still soggy. Lauren and I waited for Samantha to walk through the shallow water with her three-inch heels, then we crossed the dark street.
The rule was that if you wanted to keep getting invited to parties, you had to keep showing up. And I liked being with my friends. I knew I’d miss them next year after we graduated and went in different directions. The distance might be too great to maintain some friendships, but hopefully we’d adapt to fit our new lives.
I shook myself. Enough thinking about things out of your control, I thought.
Music and voices drifted to us as we walked up the side path to Zach’s backyard. Small patches of water were scattered like dark pools over the uneven lawn, and it wasn’t a surprise to find everyone on the sprawling, multilevel patio. I smiled as I remembered how much Zach had complained about all the gravel he helped his dad shovel into the space for the foundation.
The sun hadn’t officially set, but it was low enough that the surrounding trees and houses obscured its light.
Lauren, Samantha, and I joined Kayla, Brittany, and Paige on the highest level of the patio. We sat on the comfortable, oversized furniture. I checked my phone and read a text from Elyse while they talked about their weekend plans. She said Jared had just parked on the next block and they were walking over.
When they arrived, Elyse sat next to me while Jared went to talk to Zach, Logan, and Wayne. Zach greeted Jared with a nod and his usual wide smile. Zach had sculpted his thick, dark hair into a faux Mohawk.
“You look cute, E,” I told Elyse. She had curled her highlighted hair into soft ringlets around her oval face and wore the heeled sparkly sandals she bought for the occasion.
While the boys talked, Elyse told us that Jared had showed up with a dozen of her favorite flowers, fire-and-ice roses. Then she showed us the small gold heart dangling from the dainty necklace Jared had bought her. They had gone to a local, family owned Italian restaurant for dinner.
My phone chimed. It was Trevor, texting to say he was free. I responded to meet me here.
I caught Elyse’s eye as I put my phone away.
She raised her eyebrows.
I nodded. “He’s on his way. Something came up.”
“Oh, well, I’m glad he’s available now,” she offered. I knew she was just as upset as I was about his behavior. She didn’t like seeing me hurt.
Just before the sun set, the fire pit roared to life—the result of using a bit too much lighter fluid. I roasted and ate marshmallows until I was full, then rejoined the group. I felt the absence of the heat from the fire when I walked away, and I picked up my sweatshirt. I threaded my arms through the sleeves and prepared to pull it over my head when movement in the shadows at the far edge of the property caught my eye. I froze with my arms in the sleeves, my hands holding the neck open. The light barely reached the dark trees. My eyes strained to distinguish shadows from branches. I blinked.
The silhouette of a person stood between the trees.
“Hey, Brynn! Your man’s here,” Elyse taunted.
I spun around.
“Decided to come without me?” Trevor teased.
I mumbled something and turned back toward the tree line, scanning for the shape. Of course I couldn’t spot it…him?…again. It seemed like the shadow of a guy.
“I thought you’d be happier to see me.” I felt Trevor’s arms go around my waist as I turned to face him.
I reached up on my tip-toes and gave him a quick kiss. “I am. I just thought I saw someone back there.”
Trevor’s hands grabbed my shoulders and gently pushed me back so he could see my face. His medium build frame was strong enough to hold me without letting me fall. “Back there, just now?” he asked, inclining his head to the back of the yard. I noticed his hair. Usually he kept his sandy hair slightly wild, but it was short. It made him look older, more sophisticated.
I nodded and finished putting my sweatshirt on. “Your hair cut looks good. It’s a nice change.”
Trevor brushed past me with fury in his blue eyes.
I trailed after him to the lowest section of the patio; it curved out into the yard. He scanned the trees and stared hard where I had spotted the lurking figure.
He started to step off the dry patio onto the water-logged lawn, but I grabbed his arm.
“Trev,” I said.
He turned around.
“I have to check this out, Brynn,” he said.
“Don’t you think it’s weird someone’s out there?” he said, using his other hand to remove mine.
“I do, but why is it up to you to check it out?”
“It just is.”
His footsteps made soft, squishy sounds on the grass, and his jeans absorbed some of the standing water.
I started after him.
“Stay here, Brynn. I’ll be fine,” he shouted over his shoulder as he stalked toward the spot.
“This is ridiculous,” I said. “You’re not going by yourself.”
Trevor continued walking, but it was his voice that froze me in my spot.
I stood on the very edge of the patio, rooted in place, watching him walk toward the dark corner and disappear from view. I blocked out the music and voices behind me. I needed focus to hear if there was a struggle. I couldn’t let anything happen to him.
I don’t know how long I stood there—it seemed like an hour, but only minutes passed before he sauntered back into the clearing.
I kept an eye over his shoulder since he didn’t seem to care to watch his back. He shrugged a shoulder. “It was just a neighborhood kid who wanted to sneak away from his house and smoke. There’s nothing to worry about.”
I gave the area a last glance. The profile had seemed much bigger than a kid. “Is he going to come out?”
“He’s not invited.”
We rejoined the group. If anyone noticed what Trevor did, they didn’t bring it up. I pretended to be invested in the conversation. His explanation seemed reasonable, even if it didn’t sit right with me. I’d always known how Trevor felt, whether he was anxious, happy, stressed, or deceitful—like he was in this case. It had been a natural evolution of our relationship, and he’d teased me relentlessly about it…part out of resentment of invading his emotions, part out of curiosity of how I could. Plus, with his recent behavior, I no longer took what he told me without question, and I constantly checked what he said against how he felt.
I checked the woods multiple times that night. I couldn’t be positive, but I was pretty sure I spotted the form back there a few times, trying to blend in with the shadows. Quiet. Still. Observing.
Not once was there the unmistakable glow of a lit cigarette anywhere around his body.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Midnight Runes Cover Reveal and Synopsis


Brynn Emerson has always been in control of her life—until a mysterious stranger invades her dreams and her boyfriend, Trevor, suddenly dumps her.

Life gets more complicated when secretive newcomer Landon shows up at school. The playful and handsome Landon is somehow connected to Brynn’s ex-boyfriend.

Determined to find out how they know each other, Brynn draws closer to Landon…only to realize too late that she's risking more than she thought possible.

Meanwhile, a person of power has his sights on Brynn. Will Trevor and Landon work together to keep her safe? Or will she be pulled against her will into their mysterious world?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First Blog Post!

Wow, what to write about for the very first entry? Lately it’s been a whirlwind coordinating timing leading up to the release of my debut novel MIDNIGHT RUNES, The Bestowed Ones Book One. On one hand, it’s hard to believe I’m here, and on the other, it feels like it’s taken forever to get here.

I worked on this story on and off for 5.5 years, and am super anxious to release it to the world. Don’t worry, the next release won’t take as long! The world has been built and the characters speak clearly now. Well...mostly. Some have stubborn moments but I like them that way. I did a lot of learning and growing in order to bring you the very best story possible, and I have a good jump on the next installment!

Surprisingly, what took longer than expected was coming up with a title. Nothing seemed like the right fit, and it was something I’d tinkered with for about two years. So…although I had the cover designed and ready October 2013, I couldn’t have the finishing touches put on since I didn’t know the titles until two weeks ago. It’s going to be complete in the next day or two, and I’m crazy excited to do a cover reveal.

And it’s looking like the formatters will finish the conversion to an ebook this weekend. Meaning, the book will be ready this weekend.


The next part is marketing. I’m hoping my friends and family help me in this area by sharing my Facebook author posts on their wall and telling their friends and family about the book. The most challenging part of publishing a book is getting the word out about it. With literally millions of books available, it’s easy for one to get lost in the shuffle. I gathered a list of book bloggers a few months ago who read YA paranormal suburban fantasy (or some combination thereof) and will contact them to gage their interest and availability to read and review my book. The downside of this is waiting to officially release it until another month or more out, hopefully creating a good buzz in the meantime, or make the book available and just take it as it comes. I also hear that releasing the second book in a series is a good way to promote the first one, so I’m going to work on that too.

I gave myself a lot of expectations when I started this journey, and I’m going to state them here to keep myself accountable. I don’t want to turn into one of those authors who wait 4 to 6 months before posting any news on their website, or even one of those authors who don’t post that often once they get a fancy book deal, or movie or TV rights purchased. (We all can name some, right?!) Even if/when that happens, I intend to keep this site active with updates, excerpts, cover reveals, etc. This is why I’m starting with this site here, and an author FB page. That’s enough for me at this point. I promise to always give you the best story possible, with actions and events that are true to the characters and plot. I will not use meaningless fillers to take up space in my books. I know it’s impossible to please every single person with the ending of a book or even a series, but I sincerely strive for them to be believable and satisfying based on all the pages leading up to THE END.

All of the above is the result of personally feeling burned by some authors who either get too big to interact with readers or keep them updated, or play with reader’s emotions (not saying that I never will, however it’ll have a payoff worth suffering through and not pointless torture like the ones I’ve experienced). ;)

XOXO, Celeste