Hello, Peeta

Two blog posts ago, I shared the tragic loss of Bruce/Betsy (my husband’s white Mazda Ford pick up). For those of you who didn’t read that particular post, a red-light runner hit the truck on the driver’s side. My husband only sustained sever whiplash, thankfully, and the other driver was unharmed. But Bruce was totalled.

Anyway, it took three weeks for the policeman who was on the scene to file his report (which included testimonies from witnesses clearly stating that it was the other driver’s fault). It took four or five weeks for us to get an estimate of how much the truck was worth and how much the other driver’s insurance was willing to reimburse us for that rental car we had for two weeks. Even after we were sure we were going to get a certain amount for my husband’s truck, we still had to figure out what car we were going to by and from what kind of seller. This being our first big purchase (and by big I mean more than one thousand dollars), we knew we would need a loan and that the loan would come with a high insurance rate. My husband agonized over what to do for several days before he decided to play it safe and go with a dealership, Sanderson Ford to be exact. I have an uncle who works there, someone we were confident would get us the best possible deal, someone we knew we could trust.

(Not to say all car salesmen are tricksters; we just had a really bad experience with one two years ago when we almost bought a car from a Chevy dealership. That’s why we were so hesitant to go with a dealership this time.)

So my husband found a truck he liked that was reasonably priced, a used 2014 F150 with a crew cab and four wheel drive. He did a test drive with my uncle and loved it. My uncle said he could hold onto the truck for us for a little while, but we still didn’t know when those checks from insurance would come. As we drove home later that day, I said something like, “Should we check the mail? I know we just checked it yesterday and there’s probably nothing in there but…” My husband said it was worth a shot so we stopped by our mailbox. Out loud, as a joke, I prayed, “Jesus, it would be great if there was a check in that mailbox. If there isn’t, I’m sure we’ll be fine but it would still be REALLY great if there was.” And, praise God, both checks were in there! We turned the car around and went straight to the bank to deposit them. We went to Sanderson Ford the next morning. Two hours later, my husband drove his new truck home.

I know it looks red in the picture but its technically “sunset metallic” orange. I’m calling this new vehicular addition to our family Peeta, after Peeta Mellark. This mind-blowing blessing comes with a new payment every month and a spike in the amount we pay toward car insurance. But we’re still on cloud nine. We’ve been praying for this day since the accident happened back in October. God answered in a BIG way. We’re still humbled and in awe of His provision and His timing.

This year, as I’m looking back at everything my husband and I have been through individually and together, I’m calling 2018 the Year of Trust. We needed a new car, a dependable family car. We tried saving for it. Things happened that caused our car fund to slowly be depleted. Then the accident happened. I wouldn’t have thought to provide anyone with a car this way. But God did. Somehow, He knew this was the only way it could happen. Same with how our child came to be. Same with pretty much every aspect of our lives. Sometimes, in my darkest moments, I wonder why things happened the way that they did, why God couldn’t have made it a little easier. But that’s not for me to know, is it?

As I writer, I’ve put my characters through some pretty rough situations. They’ve experienced loss, heart-break, disappointment, injury, danger, and depression. But they always learn something in the end, maybe even become better people as a result. I’d like to think my husband and I are a little bit stronger now that this year is coming to an end, not only as a couple but as individuals. It wasn’t always fun, but I’m glad it happened.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year, readers. See you in 2019!

Advertisement

A sequel to my scifi novel

Hey everyone!

If you’re wondering why I’m suddenly only blogging once a month, I apologize. I should’ve given you guys some notice. I came to the point several months back where I was just really overwhelmed and burned out. With the addition of a newsletter, it just seemed like I was repeating myself a lot and struggling to come up with new material. It doesn’t help that my life has slowed down considerably with the coming of summer. Nothing big and exciting has happened in a while. All I have right now are my new writing projects. So, for those of you still following religiously, expect to hear from me once a month from now on (unless something changes; then I’ll let you guys know what my schedule’s going to look like).

In other news…I FINISHED THE SEQUEL TO MY SCIFI NOVEL! Maybe this doesn’t seem like a big deal to some but it is to me. I finished this draft in three months; that’s a record. Usually it takes me somewhere between six months to a year. The Andromeda’s Ghost took me a year and four months to complete! I’m not saying this sequel is perfect (it’s a first draft after all) and I know I have days of editing ahead of me, but I’m taking a moment to celebrate. It was so much fun to write, and so easy! I’m thinking this was probably due to the fact that I was writing through the points of view of three different women, all of which had varying personalities, but were still female. I don’t mean to brag but I’m pretty good at writing in girl voices. Finding and sticking with Taren’s voice was a challenge. It also helped that I had an outline and a clear vision of where I wanted this book to go, two things I certainly didn’t have when I started writing it’s predecessor.

Here’s the blurb:

Chaos followed the untimely end of the marriage union between Princess Kylee and Prince Maju. Queen Miyako is too worried about her daughter’s safety to blame the princess, but she can certainly blame Taren Platinum. When a recording device full of diary logs is found in the princess’ room, however, the queen starts to wonder if perhaps she’s been wrong about the couple this whole time.

Jael wants nothing more than to return to her family, but Taren gave her an assignment before he was arrested: “Take care of the kids until I get back.” While babysitting and trying not to think about her feelings for The Andromeda‘s captain, Jael discovers that there might be more to family than blood.

Dr. Ezabrae Mortimer has lived peacefully among the Mirelings for years, despite the fact that she’s human and has glowing ocular implants. Then she’s given a new patient; the fugitive, Taren Platinum. The stories about him circulating the media never made sense to her, but she didn’t care enough to investigate until now. While discovering the truth about him, Ezabrae uncovers secrets from her own past. Can she ever go back to her quiet, ignorant existence on Palnach?

The Andromeda’s Captain is a new adult scifi/fantasy novel with romance, mystery, drama, and a bit of action to liven things up. Told from Queen Miyako, Jael, and Dr. Mortimer’s perspectives, this book answers the following questions: What was going on in Doeline while Taren was on the run? What happened to the kids after he was taken into custody? Was he truly alone during his trial?

Advanced warning: this book ends on a cliffhanger too. Mwahahaha! I know; I’ve become the very thing I once hated. (As a reader, I often cried in anger and distress when I finished a new book on a cliffhanger. I did not enjoy the wait that usually followed.) But, as an author, it’s a lot of fun. Plus, it makes readers keep coming back for more, right? Only problem is that there has to be a third book now and it has to be freakin’ amazing, otherwise you’re all going to hate me (even more than you’re going to when you read that ending! Hehehe. Sorry, I’m really proud of that cliffhanger).

Anyway, I’m taking a break from writing scifi to finish a young adult romance project I started a while back. Don’t worry; I have less than one hundred pages to write before I reach my goal. I’ll be getting back to the The Andromeda’s series as soon as I finish. And if this young adult romance project turns out to be as good as I think it is, I’ll share it with all of you. I promise.

For those of you who have already read The Andromeda’s Ghost, The Andromeda’s Captain is up on my Inkitt profile page. You can read it for free here. Let me know what you think! You can comment on individual chapters if you find typos or have questions about specific things, or you can leave a review at the end and tell me how you liked it overall. This will help me a lot when it’s time to do more edits. I always reply to comments and reviews, so it’s a cool way to connect too. 🙂

Life updates

I realized it’s been a while since I’ve given a general life update so here it goes:

  • Recently I stopped posting as much book promotion stuff on Facebook promo pages or my personal Twitter account. I’ve tried to be more relaxed, be more myself and less of a saleswoman. I’ve tried to focus my energies on creating cool Facebook Ads and growing my following through Instagram because I’ve read a few articles that have talked about the wonders of these two. Still not sure I’ve gotten the hang of Facebook Ads. I’ve created three so far and, while they’ve generated some good traffic for my author page, they haven’t been doing much for book sales. Same goes for Instagram. I’ve been visiting the booklovers, bookworms, and amreading “pages” and making some new friends but I haven’t seen a huge leap in followers. Yet again, I’ve only been working at both of these for a little over two weeks so it’s probably too soon to tell. More on that later.

 

  • After finishing the first draft of my first ever science fiction novel, I sent it off to two beta readers and asked for their honest opinions. I also asked each of them to look for specific things to give me feedback on. For example, for my dude friend, I asked him to tell me if there were any parts in the story that didn’t sound manly enough. My main character is a guy but I’m still working on perfecting my “man voice” so I needed him to tell me if my MC was starting to sound like a girl at any point in time. And since the character in the book is very similar to my friend, I wanted to know how close I came to pegging down his personality. Lastly, I asked him if any of the science fictiony parts were too unbelievable. I got his notes today, which was exciting and also nerve-wracking. Turned out, I worried for nothing because he liked the book. He also had some great insights to share! So I got to work on the second…third?…round of edits for The Andromeda’s Ghost. I’m still waiting on the notes from beta reader number two and then I’ll probably be doing a little more editing. Then I’ll read through the whole thing one more time and it should be ready for querying.

 

  • While I’ve been waiting for my beta readers’ notes, I’ve been working on the sequel to this sci-fi book. This is only the second time in my young life that I’ve ever written a story with its sequels already in mind. (The Sentinel’s Trilogy was the first, of course. Sorry, my faerie friends. I will get back to you eventually! I promise!) So this is exciting for me! I’m doing research on the medical field since one of the new characters in the sequel is going to be a doctor. This character’s back story is going to be complicated; I’m mapping it all out before I introduce her to the main character. I’m also going to try modeling her after another friend of mine, just because I don’t want the same personality types to appear in my stories. I’m on the look out for fresh perspectives. I want to continue to challenge myself, to put myself in the mindset of someone who doesn’t think like me. It’s what I did for The Andromeda’s Ghost and it turned out to be a lot of fun. We’ll see how this goes!

 

  • On a more personal note, I saw Infinity War with my husband and our friends last weekend….I’m still recovering.

screaming-screaming-screaming-screaming-avengers-infinity-war-a-summary-follow-31616320

DcD06wzVAAgP7ho b0llo

tumblr_ou5gzuD3Ar1s9a9yjo1_500

Very much looking forward to the next Marvel Avengers movie. Hopefully there’ll be more answers. Until then, I mourn.

 

  • Next weekend is my birthday. Woot woot! I’ve looked pretty much the same since I was fourteen years old but I’m only now feeling like I look my actual age. So I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll be turning twenty-four. Praying I’ll stay on this plateau and not start looking any older until I’m sixty. Anywho, I’ll be in Wisconsin visiting my mother-in-law that weekend and attending my first ever writers conference! There won’t be a blog post for that Thursday or Friday, but I’ll include pictures and details of the conference two weeks from today.

 

  • May 29th is my third wedding anniversary. Another woot woot for that one! Since the 29th falls on a Tuesday this year, my husband’s got something planned for the weekend before. That’ll be another Thursday/Friday with no blog post. After that, things are going to be calm and boring again so the schedule will return to normal.

 

As always, thanks for reading, guys! See you next time.