From Imagination To Publication

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Morning Sneak Peek - AND THEN I SMILED by Dean K Miller

Did a weekend of reading leave you wanting more? 
Sneaking peeks of your newest novel from under
your desk at work? 

For the eternal is your 
Monday Morning Sneak Peek!


AND THEN I SMILED by Dean K Miller

And Then I Smiled: Reflections of a Life Not Yet Complete finds grace in life’s simplest moments. Through poems, essays and stories, readers journey from beaches, mountain streams and city parks to destinations in realms we seldom visit, both inside and outside the physical world. Seemingly average moments of life create the backdrop for Miller’s keen observations and his thought provoking and personal essays touch on various facets of life, family, nature and the energy that surrounds us.


I rediscovered my writing journey and followed its path. It led to a friend for guidance and advice. She works at a faith-based publishing company and has authored several books and articles. We first met over a decade ago.
We had an initial meeting to discuss my writing. After a few follow-up emails, I was set free like a small bird taking flight into an unknown world. However, after many months on my own, I felt it was time to return to the nest and learn again.
With her typical grace, she found an hour to offer direction to a fledging writer. We chatted about our lives, our kids, work . . . just catching up. Gradually our discussion turned to writing, both hers and mine. I enjoyed listening as she described her triumphs, as well as her struggles. She explained where she finds inspiration and what gets in her way. She, too, has other writers she turns to for help when she gets stuck. The circle was complete as I returned for help with my work.
As I explained my current project, she listened as if I might be the next Pulitzer Prize-winning author. My questions became her quest to find the best answers. She volunteered to do some research for me, even though I knew her spare time was limited. We discussed my first piece more fully and she graciously offered to proof read and edit the first draft, as well as providing feedback about any possibility of publishing the final copy.
As we talked she mentioned the exposure she feels when she puts her thoughts to paper, as if she is giving away a piece of her heart. She spoke of the risk and vulnerability that writing produces, and explained how this risk can become its own prison, preventing her from sharing her words, and herself. When I gave her the flash drive that contained my first manuscript, she said I was giving her a piece of my heart.
That was particularly true, given the content of that first draft. However, I no longer fear sharing my heart. I have learned that if you are afraid to share your heart, you become afraid to love and afraid to live. This I will not do.
Instead, I choose to expose my heart to reap the rewards in the smile of a stranger who may read my words and become a friend.

Moments of a Journey

I’ve journeyed through life, noticing and forgetting, teaching and learning, breathing in and out. I am not lost; so, I cannot be found. A chapter in a just-finished book is titled “Chambered Nautilus.” Two days after reading that chapter, I drove past a tree stump carved into an ocean scene, the curved and segmented form of a large, chambered nautilus shell most prominent street side. For me, tranquility always involves water, and often my thoughts return to the ocean.
Tonight’s heavy rain will soon change into snow. Already I miss its random beat on my bedroom window. Soon the river will flow wildly, as snowmelt and spring run-off churn through the Big Thompson Canyon. Until the river calms, Leaky Boat Lake is my fishing haven and I return to catching largemouth bass. When I am alone on that small lake, the water seeping through a pin-hole in the boat’s bow, I am taken back to when I fished with my youngest daughter in that same leaky boat. She held each fish she caught by its lower lip while I captured the memory on camera. Releasing the fish, she’d laugh when it would flip its tail, splashing cold water on her face. Further back in my memory, I sit with my brother and his son in their boat on a river in Washington.

I watch the interaction of father and son, noticing only subtle differences compared to mine with my three daughters. Our parents taught us well. Still deeper in my memory, I am racing upriver with my father as he deftly guides the wooden craft around logs and gravel bars. We stop to fish, and more often than not, find success. He is a master at the art of fishing and I wonder if I’ll ever possess that much knowledge about anything. Beyond that recollection a younger me, wading with my brothers while we fished the small, icy cold rivers fed by the snow fields of Mt. Hood in Oregon. We knew a freedom without bounds—a freedom like one that allows a rock to skip endlessly across a pond.
This evening’s moisture began its journey in the Gulf of Mexico. It gave birth to the clouds over the mountains and now cleanses the air, the land, and my thoughts. Should not the rain have the taste of salt, since it was brought from the sea? In the sea and along its shores, I have journeyed far: Hawaii, Oregon, California, Mexico, Florida, New Jersey, Canada, Washington, St. Thomas, St. Lucia. The water was always salty, sometimes calm, sometimes violent, yet always calling to my soul. Riding its waves I have experienced joy as unbinding as is possible, and faced my fears over and over again. Now the river and a small pond hold my humanity in loving care. Their waters will someday reach the sea; in their journey, they will transport a piece of me.
I am alive, and so my passage on this planet is not complete. My wistful memories typed out on keyboard and computer brings “back to now” the moments gone before. They are happening with each step I take.
In an email a friend asked of my memories after sharing one of his own. This is what I’ll send to him: “I am lying in the sun amidst a field of green and gold, dreaming of the ocean, knowing I am home . . . and I am smiling.”

~ A Second Day of Gray ~

A second day of gray.
More rain; more solitude.
My senses are soaking up
what the droplets offer
nearly as fast as the thirsty ground.

Standing outside in the deluge
it’s another chance to look within.
Now the rain; a steady beat on my face–
A welcome respite
a chance to learn, to wash away the fear.
To join the flowers of spring
planting our roots deep
in the softened soil.

That is where we find our strength
the flowers and I;
to express ourselves on the next sunny day,
with confidence, beauty and grace.
Welcoming all who seek
what they think we may hide.
Only to find we truly are
what we appear—
And so much more.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Morning Sneak Peek - INTERRED by Marilyn Almodovar

Did a weekend of reading leave you wanting more? 
Sneaking peeks of your newest novel from under
your desk at work? 

For the eternal is your 
Monday Morning Sneak Peek!


INTERRED (Chronicles of the Interred #1) by Marilyn Almodovar

Time has never been an issue for Baxter Jacobs, but then she never knew she had the ability to Bend it.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Baxter inherits a pendant that will change her life. Connected to the pendant is a dark and mysterious young man named Declan Ashdown. Trapped in a Time loop for the past 122 years, Declan needs Baxter’s help to escape. The only problem is, she has no idea how to do it.

To acquire the power she needs to free him, she’ll become one of the Interred, those whose Magical abilities emerge as they come of age. When she does, she’ll discover that Declan isn’t the only one interested in the fact that she’s a Time Bender.

As the Interment arrives, Baxter knows this will be no Sweet Sixteen. A vengeful relative and ruthless Council are determined to control her. Declan’s powerful and charming descendant, Jack Ashdown, claims he can save her. She’ll soon have to decide who she can trust, and how to master her new abilities before Time runs out.

Chapter 1

My cell teases me. The moment I move to my bedroom window, it seems to perk up, only to stick out its tongue and die on me. I wonder if I should hold a funeral. It’s been hours since the thing worked. Maybe I should just give up on trying to communicate with the outside world. I place the phone on the nightstand and press my forehead against the window. With no cable and no cell phone, it’s as if we’re living in the eighties or something. It’s going to be a long winter break. Propelled by a need to satisfy my boredom, my feet take me back to the computer. No internet. Can this day get any worse? “Please, please, please,” I plead softly, staring at the monitor. The internet bar is dead, red cross over it and all. I look again out the window. The snow has been falling nonstop all day, a fact that I know wears on my mom’s nerves. She seems convinced that blizzards are health hazards. I guess I can understand why, seeing as her dad died during one. We moved to Florida when I was young, so I haven’t had much exposure to snow. There is something both alluring and terrifying about it “Hey, loser!” my younger brother, Drew, calls from my doorway. “Mom’s going on and on about you getting your bottom downstairs.” He smiles, showing his dimples. I know better than to fall for the sweet fa├žade. He’s twelve and far from an angel, despite the innocent look in his blue eyes. “I’m coming.” Defeated, I turn the computer off and then move to grab my cell phone. I glance at the time on the phone’s display. It’s only a quarter after one. Painful hours without cell or internet access stretch ahead of me. “There’s no signal,” Drew reminds me. “Let’s call this wishful thinking.” I point to the phone and then stick it in the pocket of my jeans. “Yes, you think you can wish,” he laughs, scurrying away from me. I, on the other hand, drag my feet down the stairs. Some of them creak beneath my shoes, reminding me of the age of the Vermont farmhouse. Though the pictures hanging on the walls
are of my family, this house isn’t ours. It belongs to the parents of my stepdad, Dickie. They offered the house to us when we lost our Florida home in a fire earlier this year. I’m not ungrateful, but it’s old and creaky and not at all the type of house that Mom likes. She complains a lot when she thinks no one’s listening. It’s not big enough, according to her, even though there’s an attic, five bedrooms and a basement where she keeps her exercise equipment—which never gets used. Once I reach the living room, I force a smile before I realize that no one’s looking at me. Mom’s on the floor playing with my three-year-old sister, Lorelai, as Drew sits in a corner of the room with a book. Despite the chill, the fireplace sits cold and unused. Mom’s phobias have apparently now extended from snow to fire. “I’m going to help Dickie close the gate,” I say. I wait for a response, expecting Mom to freak at the thought of me going outside. Then I frown, realizing how distracted she looks. She nods, holding onto one of my sister’s dolls as she listens to the radio. The fall of her sunny blonde hair hides the blue eyes that I wish I had inherited, but I know she’s worried. I guess she’s trying to hear whether this blizzard will make the record books and give her more reason to stress. Shrugging, I grab my thick coat from the hall closet. After I zip it up, I step outside and shudder as the wind whips my long, brown hair around my face. I hate the winter. It’s a testament to my utter boredom that I’m venturing out at all. Spotting Dickie’s bright red winter coat through the falling snowflakes, I trudge along the narrow path he created when he walked out to the gate. By the time I reach him, I can barely feel my fingers or toes. “What are you doing out here?” Dickie asks as he turns and spots me. The gate’s already secured, but not locked. I smile, nodding to the fence. “I thought you could use a hand, but it looks like I’m freezing my butt off for nothing.” “It’s fine. I appreciate the company.” He returns the smile, picking up his tools and dropping them in the metal toolbox at his feet. “I’m going to leave it open so it doesn’t get stuck like the last time.” He secures the ski cap covering his ginger-colored hair before picking up the toolbox and walking alongside me back to the house. “Okay, then.” “How’s your Mom?”
I sigh, looking at the house. “She’s listening to the radio. I know she gets nervous because of what happened to her dad, but it’s sort of weird to see her this scared.” Dickie knocks his shoulder with mine. “Once spring rolls in, she’ll be fine.” He tilts his head toward me and offers a conspiratorial smile. “It’s the hormones.” I nod, but I don’t say what’s really on my mind. Mom’s been acting strange ever since the house fire. She’s been especially overprotective of me over the last six months, something I don’t know how to handle since she’s never been like this before. It got particularly bad after she received a phone call from England. I can only assume she received unwelcome news from her English relatives since she didn’t tell me what the caller conveyed, though I can’t imagine why the call would affect her behavior toward me. Part of me wonders whether she’s acting like this because of my upcoming birthday. Maybe knowing her firstborn child is about to celebrate her Sweet Sixteen is contributing to her behavior. She’s been extra sensitive about the subject over the past few weeks, refusing to discuss plans for a party. And here it is, just a few weeks until Christmas Day—my birthday— and no party invitations have been sent, no plans made. As I walk beside Dickie, I indulge in a sulk. Mom’s hormones aren’t the cause of her odd behavior. She’s only six weeks pregnant and this has been going on for months. Something else is at the root, but she’s not discussing it with anyone. “Look,” Dickie says, drawing my attention. “Someone’s driving in the middle of the storm.” He points to the lonely road that connects us with another farm about four miles away. “Crazy people,” I say, my breath whitening the air around my head. When we reach the front porch, I turn around and try to spot the car while Dickie continues around to the back of the house to check the fuse box. Through the heavy snow, the black sedan continues down the road at a snail’s pace. Something about the slow-moving vehicle inching through the storm strikes me as ominous. I shrug the feeling away, figuring the driver is just lost. “It’ll be okay,” Dickie assures me as he returns to the front porch. “This is normal for Vermont this time of year.” I swallow my response. Sure it’ll be okay…easy to say for people who grew up in the North. The only blizzards I’ve witnessed have been through the magic of television. This amount of snow should be illegal.

“Come inside before you really do freeze your butt off.” Dickie opens the door and I pull away from the view. “Baxter, can you make some tea please?” Mom asks as I walk by the living room. Nodding, I move to the kitchen where the lights flicker like mad. The storm must be wreaking havoc with the power. As I reach for the kettle, the lights turn off for a few seconds, then back on. It’s unnerving, especially with the wind outside roaring like a wounded animal. Fighting my unease, I carry the kettle to the sink and glance out the window facing the front garden. My heart stops. My brain has surely overdosed on scary movies. My hand presses against the window, leaving an imprint. It’s suddenly midnight black outside and I have to glance at the kitchen clock. Four minutes ‘til two in the afternoon, yet the only visible thing on the field is a boy who looks about my age with long black hair, a top hat and a coat. Around him shines a bright, eerie light, as though a permanent spotlight focuses on him. He walks toward the house. I’m rooted to the spot, unable to move, my body shaking as if I’m under a spell. Even though I can’t see his eyes, I’m convinced he’s looking at me. I’m convinced he knows me. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blog Tour Winner!

This post is very late, but life has been all kinds of holiday crazy over here...

First, thanks to everyone who helped me with my blog tour! I tried my best to visit each post and comment/share. I appreciate your support so much!

Second, who won that giveaway already?!? Congrats to....


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to take part in the R&R Challenge! All books are free and all you have to do is read and review for a chance to win the monthly prize. Check out the challenge rules here.

Happy Reading!!

**My current read: BECOMING by Debra Kristi**

What are you reading?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

R&R Challenge Review #2 - TRAVELERS by Meradeth Houston

**My Review Style Disclaimer (very official, I know...)
I do not do a 1-5 star rating system with my reviews. Honestly, whether a book is "good" or not completely depends on the reader. A book that I rate 5-stars may end up being a 2-star book for you and vice versa. So really, what's the point of that anyway? In the end, I feel like ratings end up hurting people's feelings, so my reviews will just be my reaction to the book after reading it...

I'm not the best at recaps...I kind of figure the author went through the trouble of summarizing the book the best he or she can with the back cover blurb, so why try and re-word it? That being said, here is what the book is about:

Sienna Crenshaw knows the rules: 1) no time traveling beyond your natural lifetime, 2) no screwing with death, and 3) no changing the past. Ever. Sienna doesn’t love being stuck in the present, but she’s not the type to to break the rules. That is, she wasn’t the type until her best friend broke every one of those rules to keep Henry, her twin brother and Sienna’s ex-boyfriend, alive.

Suddenly, Sienna is caught in an unfamiliar reality. The upside? Henry is still alive. The downside? Sienna’s old life, including the people in it, has been erased. Now, Sienna and Henry must untangle the giant knot in time, or her parents and all the rest of the Travelers, will be lost forever. One problem: the only way to be successful is for Henry to die...

My Review

Time travel boggles my mind. It's one of those things that makes me feel dizzy the moment I start thinking about it and all the sciency rules and what-ifs, yet I still feel incredibly intrigued by the idea. I just watched INTERSTELLAR, and it kind of blew my mind, so it was fun to read a time travel book after watching that.

TRAVELERS introduces an interesting concept. If you were to travel to a different dimension (or timeline) would you feel like an imposter taking over a life with a past that didn't belong to you? People would expect you to be the "other you" but the "real you" may not have the same memories etc.

The main character in TRAVELERS experiences this, and I have to admit, I had never even considered that kind of a dilemma when thinking about time travel. It made for an interesting conflict.

TRAVELERS proposes yet another interesting theoretical question: Does eliminating someone's existence save them from tragedy? Or in other words, is it better to exist and experience great tragedy or pain than to not exist at all?

Don't get me wrong, this is a YA book. The main character is very much a teenager, but the idea is quite complex. Meradeth Houston did a great job developing a storyline with a heart-wrenching conflict.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

REDEMPTION Blog Tour - Day 11

Hello! This is week 2 of hopping around from blog to blog as part of my REDEMPTION blog tour. Along the way I'll be hosting a giveaway. At the end, one lucky winner will make off with 3 awesome prizes: A REDEMPTION notebook, a $20 Amazon gift card, and a CHILDREN OF THE GODS coffee mug!

Thanks in advance to everyone who checks out the blog tour posts, and thanks to all of the bloggers who were nice enough to invite me over to their blogs.


November 2
Virtual Launch Party Posts

November 3
Kat Ross - Interview
Tyrean Martinson - Guest Post
Christa Yelich-Koth - Guest Post
Peggy Salkill - Promo Post

November 4
Angela Brown - Review
Sunrise Avenue - Review
Wishful Endings - Dream Cast

November 5
Dean K. Miller - Interview
Jordan Sala Tenna - Interview
SolaFide - Promo Post
5 Girls Book Reviews - Promo Post

November 6
Alyssa Petersel - Guest Post
Mythical Books - Promo Post
Dowie's Place - Review

November 7
Erin York - Review
Melinda VanLone - Interview

November 8
Andrew Patterson - Guest Post

November 9
Meradeth Houston - Guest Post
S.K. Anthony - Guest Post

November 10
Lori MacLaughlin - Guest Post

November 11

November 12
Holly Youmans - Interview
Bethany Lopez - Interview

November 13
KT Hanna - Guest Post
Debra Kristi - Guest Post
Lilicas Place - Excerpt

November 14
Toi Thomas - Interview

November 15
OMFG Books! - Excerpt
Carlyle Labuschagne - Spotlight

November 16
Alex J. Cavanaugh - Guest Post
Marilyn Almodovar - Interview

a Rafflecopter giveaway


It’s finally here!

An ancient prophecy set forth her ultimate destiny:
Destroy the lawless ones or Hell’s gate will burst open.

So much has changed since Reagan shifted for the first time. She found the grandfather and brother she thought were dead, reunited with her grandmother and aunt, met a twin sister for the first time, discovered a powerful magic pulsing through their family’s veins, fell in love, and became part of a pack.

Evil also came into Reagan’s life in the form of Rafe, a madman who commands a demon-werewolf army. He’ll stop at nothing to destroy everything good.

Destiny may have determined Reagan’s fate, but she refuses to allow it to define her path. To save the world, she must:

Gather powerful allies.
Call forth a team of angels.
Form an unholy alliance.
Discover an angel sword.
Survive devastating losses.

Along the way, Reagan will discover that strength comes from faith, from believing in the unbelievable, and a new battle cry emerges…

With Faith, We Fight

Book Trailer


To celebrate the release of Chasing Destiny, there are 12 Days of Giveaways. Check out the post here, and enter to win a daily prize(s).

And there’s a Goodreads Giveaway…

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Chasing Destiny by Tia Silverthorne Bach

Chasing Destiny

by Tia Silverthorne Bach

Giveaway ends November 30, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

About the Author

Tia Silverthorne Bach has been married to her college sweetheart for twenty years, has three beautiful girls, and adores living in sunny California. Her daughters were born in Chicago, San Diego, and Baltimore; and she feels fortunate to have called many places home. She believes in fairy tales and happy endings and is an avid reader and rabid grammar hound.

She is an award-winning, multi-genre author and an Editor for Indie Books Gone Wild. From an early age, she escaped into books and believes they can be the source of healing and strength. If she’s not writing, you can find her on the tennis court, at the movies, reading a good book, or spooning Jif peanut butter right out of the jar.

Connect with the Author:

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Other Books:
Fractured Glass: A Novel Anthology
Depression Cookies (women’s fiction)

Coming Soon:
Seven (a novel experience from the Fractured Glass crew)
Chasing Eternity (Tala Prophecy, Book 4)