Category Archive: progress

Feb 22 2013

New Year, New Website!

balloonsChange, it’s inevitable. Every new year we make a resolution to change, to improve, to do more or less–pretty much go a totally different route in one way or another be it our careers or our hair color. I’m no different. In fact, I embrace change. On that note, let me introduce you to my new website! ūüėČ

I was in desperate need of a better, cleaner, sleeker and more professional design. WordPress delivered!

Although there are tons of differences, there are a lot on this site that looks familiar as well.



  • At the top of the site you can find social media¬†icons that link to my networks (much better than the Blogspot text links I had to incorporate on the other site).
  • Aesthetically, things are difference and more organized. Hopefully, easier for you to find what you’re looking for. (The Books page has been acting a little funky in different browsers, so that’s still a work in progress.)



  • The background design, the colors and the navigation tabs are pretty much familiar.
  • And the posts and comments been transferred over from the old site too. (I will keep the old site up just in case some people bookmarked it or linked to it. Plus it’s still fully functional. I might use both. We’ll see).


So, there you go. Welcome to my new website. I hope you find helpful information in my blog posts, find entertainment in my works of fiction (and vice versa), and come back regularly. In fact, subscribe to my blog (subscription button on the top right) to stay up-to-date on new book releases AND useful new blog posts!

Become a part of my network. Stay connected. I’m sure you’d get some¬†“entertaining, useful¬†stuff”¬†out of¬†me at the very least.

Aug 15 2012

Progress on Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. Book Two)

Refuge Inc. Series

I’m making progress on the second book in the Refuge Inc. series but it has been a bit slow. I think the issue is my unwillingness to let go of Before the Darkness and move on. My decision to indie-publish Before the Darkness made my task of marketing the book almost a full-time job and it has taken away some precious time needed to continue writing book two.


With the day job, three kids, and a husband who’s away busting his butt most of the time, I still find a way to write the second book in a series I am absolutely proud of. Progress is slow, but steady.

Before the Darkness has been getting mixed reviews. One thing that stands out to some readers in book one is the readers’ inability to connect with the characters fully. If I have to explain to readers why the characters are the way they are, then I didn’t do a good enough job explaining it within the book. I NEED readers to look deeper. However, I’m currently writing book two to introduce more character development between the main characters, answer nearly all questions that book one left unanswered, and hopefully bring the readers to better understand the characters’ reasons for doing the things they do, act the way they act and be the way they are.

For those¬† of you who enjoyed book one and are looking forward to book two, you guys keep my motivation high and I can’t wait to share Amid the Darkness with you.

THE STORY IS NOT OVER! By all means, it’s only just begun.

I intentionally set up book one to be more character driven, and as realistic as possible in regards to the irrational choices a couple of regular guys might make in the midst of a worldwide catastrophe. The characters relationship, struggles, background, fears and motives are the main focus in book one. In book two I aim to introduce more interesting characters, bring more twists and surprises to the table and take you further into the mysteries of Refuge Inc. The characters’ relationship to one another AND others is the focus of book two.

There’s a lot of surprising events I have in store for book two. So make sure you come back for the latest news on the Refuge Inc. series.

Jun 04 2012

Analyzing My Rejection: "Before the Darkness" not a Romance?

I had submitted my MM, post-apocalyptic erotic romance, Before the Darkness, (the first book of the Refuge Inc. series) to a couple of romance e-publishers. Unfortunately, they both passed. However, I did get a “revise & resubmit” offer from one of the publishers who had a lot of good things to say about the story in spite of the rejection.

(Publisher kept unidentified for privacy)
First the positives:

  • “The story is imaginative and detailed‚Ķ”

  • “Your story has some really good parts, and we feel the post-apocalyptic aspects are believable, the creepy parts are creepy, and there’s an overall dark feel to the whole piece that came through.”

Now the negatives:

  • “We do feel it has strong potential, however the characters need some work to make them more likable. Elliott seems to fall too fast for Adam, a man he’s just met in a ruined landscape where survival ought to be the first thing on his mind. And the badgering and belittling about the former relationship with a woman throughout the book wears somewhat thin by the end.”

Non romance issues:

  • “We feel it is more of a post-disaster story with romantic elements than a true romance.”

  • “The romance needs to be ramped up quite a bit to make it more of a focus of the story.” Something required in romances.

  • “Additionally, the ending is not quite a ‚Äúhappily ever after‚ÄĚ (HEA) nor quite a ‚Äúhappy for now‚ÄĚ (HFN).” Something required in romances.

  • “There is also an issue of unsafe sex, i.e. no condom use ‚Ķ” Something required in romances.

After receiving this wonderfully personal and useful bit of feedback from the editor (which I appreciate tremendously because authors rarely get personal feedback from publishers, if at all), I realized . . . the story is NOT a romance! It is exactly what they described it as . . . a post-disaster story with romantic elements!

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I was invited to revise the story and submit it again for reconsideration; however, I’m not sure I want to make it into something it’s not. It’s not a romance, so maybe I shouldn’t make it into one. Maybe I shouldn’t¬†push it to romance publishers, or ramp up the romance. Maybe romance shouldn’t be the focus of the story.

Maybe, after tweaking the charcters’ inner conflict, the story¬†will be¬†good enough to engage and entertain the way it is.


Mar 20 2012

Inside the Mind of a Self-Doubting Writer

  1. Wow. What a great idea! I can’t wait to start on this story. But, wait. How can I make it original without making it suck?

  2. I know! I’ll write a cast of diverse characters, no cookie cutter stereotypes. Plus, my voice and style of writing would lend to the story’s uniqueness.

  3. Wow, I impressed myself. Gotta tell my honey how many words I wrote today and update my Twitter and Facebook pages with the news.

  4. Gosh, I’m tearing through this story. I’ve written so many chapters and even added a few good twists. This is gonna be brilliant! Progress is going great! I can’t wait to share this story with the world. People are gonna love this.

  5. But what if they don’t? What if they don’t like the direction I took the main character? Gosh, maybe I should go back and further clarify why the character made that decision.

  6. While I’m rewriting the scene where the main character makes an important decision, I might as well reread the entire thing to make sure the story’s unfolding the way I envisioned.

  7. Okay, now I’ll continue writing where I left off ‚Ķ but later this evening, after I make dinner and put the kids to sleep.

  8. The kids are fed, full and asleep but I woke up pretty early today. I’ll go to sleep now so I can get up early and write more of the story tomorrow before work.

  9. I got about an hour before I get the kids off to school this morning. Might as well check my emails and see what I missed on Facebook and Twitter before I start on the story.

  10. Darn! Where did the time go? I’ll finish writing the chapter of my story by tonight, no excuses.

  11. Well, now it’s a little late but I have the time to¬†look over the last few chapters I wrote to remember where I left off.

  12. Ugh! I wrote that?! I must’ve been tired or something. This is not going the way I thought it would. It’s nothing but chapters and chapters of crap. No one’s gonna want to read this mess! Why am I wasting my time? The characters are obviously stereotypes and my voice and style seem too sophomoric.

  13. Ooh. I got another cool idea. But this idea will be great as a different book with different characters.

  14. Now how can I put my twist on it and make it truly my own? Well, before I get into this new story maybe I should finish writing the other story first.

  15. *opens story and stare blankly at the screen*

  16. I’ll start the new story now and work on the other story tomorrow. *closes story and opens blank document*

  17. But what if no one likes the premise of the new story? The characters seem kind of blah, the setting is overused … this will never work.

  18. Oh, wait! Honey read over the few chapters of my other story and liked it. Maybe I should put all my attention into that story again. But Honey isn’t familiar with book publishing or the market. What if Honey was just being nice and the story really sucks?

  19. I’ll have one of my author friends look over it and give me their feedback. They understand the book world and will be honest with me.

  20. They liked it and even gave me some useful feedback on how to make it even better. I can’t wait to start working on this story again. This is brilliant! People are gonna love it!

Aug 31 2011

Before the Darkness Progress

Currently, I am at 12,500 words in my latest WIP, Before the Darkness. The way the story is going I expect to finish it somewhere around 20k-30k words, although it can be longer. I can’t seem to find the time to work on it as much as I want to. I hope this weekend I can write a big chunk of it because I want to finish it before the end of the year.

The elevator pitch:

After an asteroid strikes Earth, sending a wall of ash and other debris into the atmosphere, Elliot meets fellow survivor Adam and together they take advantage of the next few hours, learning to appreciate their second chance at life and live it to the fullest.

The problem:

The research. ¬†Asteroids are tricky to write about, especially an asteroid impact with Earth. Even though the story focuses more on the inner conflict of the main characters, the impact is what sets the story in motion and contributes to the story’s tension,¬†adding suspense, raising the stakes and providing exterior conflict. Therefore, it’s very important that the impact and the effects of impact are realistic.

I hope to finish the first draft before the end of the year. Hell, some writers can do it in thirty days. That would be nice!