From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Rafflecopter Giveaway Author Signup

Hi author friends!! As you probably know, I'm releasing my next book, CARRY ME HOME, on September 26th. I'll be doing a rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate. The giveaway will occur during the YA Scavenger Hunt (which is a big promotional opportunity for writers). If you're interested in taking part in the giveaway, please fill out the form below and I'll be in touch.

The giveaway will run from Sept. 26 - Oct. 15th with the YA Scavenger Hunt taking place from Oct. 3-8. It's a great opportunity! Don't miss out :)


Monday, August 28, 2017

Recap - San Diego Festival of Books

Over the weekend Holly and I took Acorn Publishing to the San Diego Festival of Books! This was the first year for the festival, so I had very low expectations for turnout. Boy was I blown away! The place was mobbed. I was so grateful I threw an extra box of books in my car at the last minute. We ended up selling 100 books from 10-6.

Aside from the sales, it was really fun to talk with other writers and meet new readers. We had a blast. Here are some pics and a video from the event.

We'll be at Long Beach Comic Con on Sept. 2-3. Looking forward to it!

Finally getting enough of a break in the crowd to do a little video :)

Holly and I at our table.

 We threw our booth together really quickly, 
so it doesn't look as good as it should, but still proud of all our books!

 Acorn author, Mikel J. Wilson, stopped by to say Hi! 
Us wearing hats for his new release Murder on the Lake of Fire coming out in December.

Readers stopping to check out our books.

Accidental selfie of me trying to work my phone, lol!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Vlog: My life as an author/mommy AND thank you author friends!

Vlogging is not my favorite thing...but everyone's doing it, so I figured I'd keep with the times. Here's a little inside/un-edited look at my life as an author/mommy. Yes, the video cuts out at the end because my little guy bonks his head while playing with Daddy...chaos happens.

Also, I never got to finish my author-mentor thank you, so here's a little more of a tribute to some of those who've helped me out along the way. The authors I mention may have no idea how much they've impacted my life as a writer. Some of them I keep in touch with, some I've never met, some have drifted along the way, but all of them are amazing examples of how to do things AND great people who are willing to help their fellow author. A million thanks to all of them.

1. Derek Murphy - Author of SHEARWATER

He taught me how to format and market my books, and continues to teach me things through his many videos all the time. I am forever grateful!

2. Rachel Morgan - Author of CREEPY HOLLOW

I learned how to create book badges from her and have used her as the perfect example of what to do for basically everything. Thank you Rachel!

3. Alex Cavanaugh - Author of CASSASTAR

Alex not only created an amazing group for writers to connect (, he has also been the glue that holds it all together. His constant support of so many authors has such an impact on the writer/blogging community.

4. Susan Kaye Quinn - Author of OPEN MINDS

Susan probably doesn't even know how much she's helped me. When I first released Oppression I followed her lead on how to throw a virtual launch party and organized my own blog tour based on what she did. I think that single-handedly made Oppression a best-seller. Sadly I was only a part of her FB group for a few days before it closed, but learned so much in the time it was up about marketing and InstaFreebie...things like that.

5. Bethany Lopez - Author of ALWAYS ROOM FOR CUPCAKES

I met Bethany when she was first starting out. It's funny to think she used to come to me with questions. Now she has SO many books out and is my go-to whenever I need guidance on how to do something. Mostly, Bethany taught me about promo sites like BookBub and the like. Let me just say...that was a game changer! Thank you Bethany!


Kat was been such an inspiration to me. Her books have motivated me to be a better writer. She's also helped me develop a newsletter, which is such a big thing now. Kat has just done so much for me it's hard to list it all...Thank you for everything, Kat! Big hugs!

7. Christa Yelich-Koth - Author of 

Christa has been one of my best author friends ever. Not only have we been in this together from the beginning (literally sitting at the same table with our manuscripts at a conference), but she has opened my eyes with her edits. Thank you for sticking with me, friend!

8. Holly Kammier - Author of CHOOSING HOPE

I don't even know where to start with Holly...we met at the same conference where I met Christa. We immediately felt like we'd known each other in a past life or something. We published our books and started Acorn Publishing together...she has been my writing partner since the first draft of Oppression. I could not have done any of this without her! Love you!

9. Carrie Butler - Author of AS WE KNOW IT

Not only did Carry help me by designing the three amazing Children of the Gods covers, but she's been a sounding board for me for years. Thank you for always being someone I can go to for advice and questions about all things books :) You're the best!

10. Vanessa Fewings - Author of THE CHASE

I met Vanessa through my first publisher. I instantly fell in love with her shining personality. She was so supportive and fun to be around. After Vanessa got her rights back, I followed in her footsteps and she helped coach me through the process. She's gone on to big things, and I'm so happy we've kept in touch. Thanks for everything, Vanessa! Cheers to your success! 

**look out for my summertime book giveaway on Sept. 15th which will feature the rest of these amazing authors and many more**

for a chance to win these ten amazing ebooks based on mythology, gods, goddesses, demigods!
A gold-leaf headband

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: How did your book become a book?

Visit the full catalogue of "My Publishing Journey" interviews HERE.

Today's Featured Author

Carrie Butler
Award-winning Author of
The Mark of Nexus Series &
As We Know It

Carrie and I are blogger friends from way back. We had similar experiences starting out with traditional publishers and getting our rights back after learning traditional publishing isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not only is Carrie an amazing author, she's a fantastic cover fact, she designed these beauties...look familiar?? Check her work out at

Here's what Carrie had to say about her publishing journey:

Welcome Carrie! First, please give us a brief summary of how you got where you are and why you chose that path.

Hi! I debuted with a publisher that... well, I signed a non-disclosure agreement. Let's just say the experience did not turn out as expected, and I eventually took my rights back. Now I'm in the driver's seat—and five books later, I'm still loving it!


Do you have an agent?
How many queries did you send?
Oh, gosh. It's been so long. I think twenty-ish?

If you don't have an agent, is it by choice?
Yes, I stopped querying agents when I landed a publisher. (New Adult was very niche at the time.)


How did you (or your agent) find your publisher?
One of my critique partners recommended them.

How long did it take to find a publisher?
Three months.

What do you like about your publisher?
They were communicative and receptive to author input.

What do you dislike about your publisher?
They grew too big too fast.

Did traditional publishing get your book(s) in Barnes & Noble or other bookstores?
Hah! No.

Did your publisher produce a hardcover of your book or just paperback?

Did your publisher create an audiobook for you?
No, I did that after I took my rights back.


What made you decide to self-pub?
I wanted to oversee every aspect of the process from start to finish.

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?
Yes, but to put that in perspective, I own a company that specializes in author services. Doing it myself was the same as hiring a professional.  (The only thing I hired out was editing.)

Which platform (such as Createspace) do you self-publish through?
KDP, Smashwords, ACX, and Createspace.

Have you researched or considered getting a hardcover printed of your book? What about audio?
Yes, but I didn't feel making hardcover copies available would provide a solid return-on-investment. I do have audiobooks available via iTunes, Audible, and Amazon, though.

What do you like about self-publishing?
I love the freedom it affords me. Controlling the process from start to finish allows me to study various outcomes and adjust as necessary.

What do you dislike about self-publishing?
The initial investment of self-publishing is never fun—in fact, many times, it's a gamble.


What marketing tactics worked for you?
I've tried a variety of things over the years, but the tactic that yielded the greatest result was making my loss leader (the discounted first book in my series) free and taking out a BookBub ad. My 65-day ROI was 5077%.
More details here:



Looking back would you do anything differently?
Strangely enough, no. Starting traditional, regardless of the outcome, helped me learn the publishing process. It also helped me figure out exactly what I wanted for when the time came to assume control.

What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?
Celebrate all milestones, regardless of whether they're perceived as good or bad at the time. They all contribute to the author experience, and they're proof of your progression.

Can you provide names and/or contacts for the following?
Cover / Promotion Designer:
Audiobook: ACX

**Winner of "Best New Adult" and "Best Series" in the eFestival of Words - Best of Independent eBook Awards**

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

Deep beneath the ocean, stretching hundreds of miles alongside the Pacific Northwest coastline, lies the Cascadia subduction zone—a fault on the verge of unleashing a catastrophic earthquake, thirty times more powerful than the San Andreas. Unfortunately, like most tourists, Elena Cordova is oblivious.

She’s got her own pent-up stress to deal with, a humiliating breakup that’s driven her to end her tenure as a human doormat once and for all. So, when a pickpocket makes off with the last remnant of her relationship, she takes action—only to get trapped with him when disaster strikes.

Now, if either one hopes to survive, they’ll have to get past their initial impressions and work together . . . because in fifteen minutes, half the town will be underwater.