Cover Reveal for Death’s Curses

Hey everyone!

So sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few months. Life has gotten the best of me but I haven’t been idle! Here is the long-awaited cover reveal for Death’s Curses:

This beautiful cover was created by the talented Cora from Cora Graphics. I’m completely in love with it! As usual, Cora captured my and my sister’s vision for this cover perfectly and we’re so excited to showcase it to you guys!

These are the three main characters of the book Esmer, Jasmine, and Charlie. The story alternates between their three points of view. This is the first book where I alternate between more than two characters and it was so much fun to head hop!

The manuscript is now in the capable hands of Lucy Felthouse who edited my ebooks In the Dark and Asta and the Barbarians. Since Death’s Curses is so long, it’ll take several weeks if not a whole month to be edited. My sister and I have gone over it so many times I’ve lost count; I’m confident there will be very little work that will need to be done after our editor takes a look, but it never hurts to have another pair of eyes on a project this size. We want it to be as polished and professional as any book produced by a traditional publisher. We still don’t have a definite publication date but I will keep you updated as things progress.

There are also ebook ARCs available in mobi, epub, and PDF if anyone is interested in a free book in exchange for an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads!

Writing Highlights for the Month

The major revisions for Death’s Curses are finished! It was just as challenging as I thought it would be, turning this young adult story into an adult one. My publisher said that simply changing the ages of the main characters wouldn’t be enough. The themes of the story are definitely in the adult category but the situations the main characters are in are still, technically, juvenile. Changing some of the situations while also making sure they worked with the overall plot was the main issue. But I think I managed.

After talking with my sister about some of the changes I made, we brainstormed some finer details that could be altered to make the characters sound more grown up. I’m confident that this book will meet the Adult Fiction parameters once we’re done applying these new changes. My sister is looking over my edits, then I’ll give it one more read through, and we’ll be re-submitting to BHC Press. Fingers crossed that it’ll be accepted this time. If not, my sister and I are considering self-publication. More news on that later.

BHC Press has started this new thing called Staff Picks. Staff members take turns choosing their favorite titles from the books the company has already published. They write short blurbs about them and post them on the company’s blog page. I’m proud to announce that The Andromeda’s Ghost has been highlighted twice!

Chelsea (acquisitions and lead editor) said: “Taren Platinum is the perfect protagonist without being too perfect. He has a good heart, but there’s a layer of grit just beneath the surface that’s activated by those who stand in the way of his happily-ever-after and evil-doers who prey on the innocent. Becca Fox has crafted an endearing, incredibly real-feeling cast of characters, all of which are misfits in their own way. I was taken by the relationships formed throughout The Andromeda’s Ghost, from the natural progression of those relationships to the tenderness shared among the loveable and unlikely band of characters as they work together to escape a dire situation on planet Cartiss. In short, it’s impossible not to root for Taren and company while reading The Andromeda’s Ghost–a truly entertaining start to what’s sure to be a great series. Be prepared for an expert cliffhanger, and then join me in impatiently waiting for the next book in Fox’s series!”

Lana (publishing and editing assistant) said: “This is one of my new favorites! The classic forbidden romance meets outer space and aliens in all the right ways. Even with the twist beginning (yes, it’s at the beginning for a change), I loved the story and how it unfolds. I was reminded of the TV show Firefly by Taren’s growing ragtag family. Becca Fox did an amazing job unfurling the worlds of this unique solar system–the alien species, foods, customs, environments, etc. I’m super excited to find out what happens to Taren and the gang!”

If you’d like to read their blog posts and discover new titles to read, just click on each of their names.

In other news, production on the audio book is wrapping up! According to my latest communication with my publisher, they estimate it’ll be done sometime in November or December. Stay tuned because I’ll be letting you all know the precise release date as soon as I know it!

2019 Goals

I don’t do New Years resolutions because I never keep them, but here are several things I’d like to get done in 2019:

  • Self-publish I Dare You to Stay With Me. Inkitt has made some changes to their publishing policies that I didn’t agree with so they’re giving me my rights back for the sequel to I Dare You to Love Me. I’m just waiting on that reversion of rights contract to be emailed to me so I can sign it and get this self-publishing process going! I’ll give you all updates as things change.
  • Finish writing The Andromeda Trilogy. (And come up with a cooler name for this sci-fi fantasy series…I’m open to suggestions!) The first book took me over a year to write, the second one took me all of six months to write, but I’m only about a third of the way through the last one even though it’s been five months since I started it. Grant it, I haven’t been writing as often as I used to because of work, holidays, and other family stuff. But still! The words are coming slowly, much to my frustration. I’d like to have at least the first draft completed before my baby is born in June. That way I’ll only have minor edits and revisions to make before it’s ready to be shown to the world.
  • Get The Andromeda’s Ghost published. I’ve participated in Pitch Madness and will be involved in SFFpit, (a similar Twitter pitch party for science fiction and fantasy manuscripts only) later in the month. I blame my terrible pitch-writing skills for the small number of requests I’ve gotten. This book is special! I know it! I’ll keep trying until this series finds a home. It’s been on ice for far too long.
  • Finish writing Death’s Curses. This is technically my first and only attempt at a YA romance story with some magic realism. I want to be sure it’s good enough to compete with my other work. I’m starting to realize that Esmer (one of the main characters) sounds a lot like Jael (from The Andromeda’s Ghost). Which is a big NO-NO! Each character I create is supposed to be unique. I’ll have to work on highlighting the differences between them because, although they share a similar sense of humor and both have tragic pasts, they have different goals, temperaments, and coping mechanisms. And they’re both great! It might help to finish The Andromeda Trilogy, make Jael and Taren’s arc solid and complete, before I attempt to wrap up Esmer and Charlie’s story…
  • Read more! I’ve gotten into a terrible habit of binge watching old TV shows instead of reading. I have a TBR list but I haven’t been motivated to check those books out at a library. I’ve just been waiting for Marissa Meyer and Brandon Sanderson to come out with the last books in their series, which is going to take forever of course. It’s not cool. I used to consume a book a week and I miss it! I just have to grit my teeth, pick a book, and dive on in. And ignore my wariness when it comes to new authors. Is there a possibility of disappointment or a bad fit? Sure. But that’s why we go to the library first and only buy the books we like. I have to take advantage of my time now, before I have a baby to take care of 24/7.
  • Promote more. After exploring numerous free book promotion options and seeing little to no results last year, I got really discouraged. I knew giving up wasn’t the answer but I couldn’t bring myself to keep trying things I knew wouldn’t help. So I told myself I was “taking a break” and would get back to book promotion later. Well, as you can probably imagine, “later” never came. Here I am, at the start of 2019, and my book sale numbers are only getting worse. It’s time to invest more than just time and energy into my books. If I’m truly serious about my writing career, I have to put my money where my mouth is. I’ve looked into some book promoting services that actually require me to pay something. (Thanks, Tirgearr Publishing, for providing a list of some sites that you’ve found to be the most helpful! It’s a great place to start.) My husband is on board with it. I just have to budget it in to our monthly expenses and try a few of these new avenues.
  • Get ready to be a mommy. I volunteered at my church’s nursery for almost three years before I got engaged. I was a nanny for several months. I’ve baby sat before. I have nephews. I know how to keep an infant or a toddler alive and entertained for up to four hours. But I’ve never had to take care of a newborn by myself. I don’t know everything there is to know about them. I have to do my research. Find a birthing class or a Lamaze class. Maybe both. And yet I’ve been dragging my feet on that. I want to blame my husband, whose attitude concerning the unknown has always been, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” but that’s cheating. I’ve always been the planner. It isn’t like me to put off preparing for something. They say a new mom can do all the research they want and still come up empty when they have their first kid because there’s just too much that can’t be accounted for. That’s more than likely the reason why I haven’t gotten started: there’s too much information to absorb. It’s overwhelming. But it’s still a good idea to be as informed as possible before baby comes…Again, I just have to grit my teeth and get started somewhere.

Laying it all out like that, it sounds like a lot! 2019 is going to be another busy year. Who knew? To those of you who do goals or resolutions: best of luck! To those of you who don’t, rock on!

What’s New?

Happy fall, ya’ll!

While I’m waiting for Inkitt’s editors to be available to look over I Dare You to Stay With Me and get it ready for publication, I’m still writing. I don’t think many people know this but I’ve never been able to stick to one writing project at a time. I usually jump back and forth between two manuscripts, and end up finishing both at around the same time. (The Andromeda’s Ghost has so far been the only exception; that one took me forever to write!) Anyhoo, these are the two books I’m working on now.

The Andromeda's Crew banner.jpg

The third and final installation of what I’m temporarily calling The Andromeda Trilogy is entitled The Andromeda’s Crew. Taren’s come a long way since he crash landed on the desolate planet of Cartiss. It’s been a fun ride. Not necessarily for him, but for me! This was my first attempt at the scifi/fantasy genre and I found it very refreshing. I’m still not sure if I’m “doing it right” but I’m coming to realize that my books don’t need to fall perfectly into a category in order for them to be entertaining or make an impact. Taren’s had to run for his life, fight for the people he cares about, think his way through obstacles, and grieve, things I think anyone can relate to.

The blurb and the first eleven chapters are up on my Inkitt profile page in case anyone’s interested in taking a peek. I’m trying to open myself up to more constructive criticism during my creative process so I’ll be updating the story as often as I can. Be sure to leave comments if you find any grammatical errors or things that need to be explained further. This will be super helpful. Thanks in advance for your time!

Death's Curses

Death’s Curses is a young adult magic realism manuscript my sister and I worked on together back in my high school days. It’s about a pair of twins who were cursed by Death (personified as a woman). Jasmine and Charles sense the deaths of strangers within a certain radius. They live with their uncle, a homicide detective, and help him solve murders. They’ve tried to keep a low profile and simply live with this curse, until Esmeralda moves into town. She has scars of her own, but has a thing or two to teach these twins about living.

This is another genre I have very little experience in. It was slow going but interesting to watch this story unfold the first time. I’m curious to see how the story changes. My sister and I are communicating via email to get this new draft ready for publication. I have the blurb and the first twenty or so chapters up on my Inkitt profile page. Come check it out!

Things, they be a’happening. Stay tuned!