Monday, April 27, 2015

A Sneak Peek at Creighton Hill

Today I'm going to share with you an excerpt from Creighton Hill. This is out of Chapter Three, "The Door at the Back of the Wardrobe."

   Anna handed Jill a dark blue cotton dress from the wardrobe. She selected a pink gingham for herself. As she closed the door, a flash of light caught Joey’s attention.
   “Wait a minute.” Anna opened the door again. Joey came up behind them. “What’s that light in there?”
   Anna frowned. “I don’t see anything.”
   “You’re right, Joey,” said Jill.
   Joey stepped past the girls and pushed the dresses aside.
   Allan came into the room buttoning up his shirt. “What are you looking at?”
   “Jill and Joey see something in the wardrobe,” Anna said.
   “What is it?” Allan came closer. “That’s weird.”
   “What?” Anna demanded.
   “It’s a spot of light,” Joey said.
   “But it’s making words,” Jill added.
   The point of light lengthened and curved. Writing appeared on the back of the wardrobe. The children watched as lines became letters, letters became words. Jill read them aloud for Anna’s benefit.

   “When these words are spoken,
   A land will appear.”

   The words shone out at them for a moment, then faded away. Allan stepped into the wardrobe. He ran his hand over the wood.
   “No trace of them now,” he said. “There’s only a knot in the wood. Odd it wasn’t sanded down.”
   The back of the wardrobe swung away from them. Only pitch black could be seen through the opening. Allan looked back at his siblings, then stepped inside. Anna followed.
   “What’s in there, Allan?” Joey stepped through the wardrobe into the secret passage, Jill close behind him. The back of the wardrobe slammed shut. Jill let out a muffled shriek. 

Read the rest of the story when Creighton Hill is released on June 8th. Help spread the word by joining the blog tour celebrating its release!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Creighton Hill is Coming Soon!

The release date is approaching quickly! It's less than two months away now. I have some beta reader feedback already that I've applied to the book, just minor things but minor things that make it SOOO much better. I should have the rest of my feedback by the end of the week, which means I can finish applying it, send it to my proofreaders and prepare ARCs for those reviewing Creighton Hill for the blog tour. And I can start formatting! Strangely enough, I actually like formatting. After all, it means I can listen to musicals (*cough* Phantom of the Opera and Into the Woods, as if I haven't listened to them enough already). And speaking of ARCs and blog tours...

You are more than welcome to be a part of it. I still have plenty of spots left. Just sign up with the above form and I'll put you on the schedule. I'll probably leave the form up through mid May, but I'm planning on sending out the tentative schedule in early May, so if you want to actually get the post and posting date you want, I recommend signing up by the end of April. Plus, um, remember what I said last week about wanting to move and things happening with that and stuff? Well, it all lines up badly with my release date (hey, I scheduled my thing first!) so I need to have everything done in advance.

But I'm super excited about doing a blog tour. I've never done one for one of my books before. It's going to be amazing! I hope, anyway. At least the book is great from what my betas have said. I'm too closely connected to know myself, plus being biased both for and against it :P, but I have received a lot of good feedback from beta readers who are already anxious to move on to The Crossways. Because friends get to read however many of them they want. Others have to wait for release. Muahaha. But really, I haven't heard anyone say they hate Time Captives, well, except me when I was stuck and my characters were making it feel like pulling teeth to write it (and me pulling teeth...don't ask, mouth pain is terror inducing). Everyone else seems to love the book tremendously. And I love it now too, though I love book 2 more. That's when My Precious comes in, and My Other Precious gets to have her story told.

So gear up for the release on June 8th! Help spread the word by signing up for the blog tour! And when you get to the end of book one, try to get to be one of my good friends or wait in agony for late Fall. AGONYYYY!!! (You know nothing of madness, till you're climbing her hair.), sorry, Into the Woods is too amazing not to.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Little Bit of Life

This has been a week. A crazy one, for sure. The main thing that happened, well, I'm not going to give any details because one: They aren't firmed up, and two: I'm not the sort of person who likes posting personal things on the internet. So suffice it to say that we want to move closer to church and music things and friends and stuff, and that has made this week super crazy, and, yeah. My church friends know what I'm talking about, and probably all my complaints about timing too.

So instead, let me show you a new love of mine:
I saw it yesterday for the first time, live on stage, and it was AMAZING! A few friends of mine were playing in the orchestra for it, and I went with some other friends to go see it. The acting was fantastic, the singing was amazing, the musicians were fabulous, the costumes were terrific...I knew little of the story before going to the play, so it was all new to me. I now have the movie on hold at the library because my family just has to see it. It was previews for the movie that first piqued my curiosity for Into the Woods, because I saw James Corden aka Craig in them. And I like Craig. He may be starting to look like his sofa, but he blew up the cybermen with love, so I think (I know) I really want to see him play the Baker. Because Into the Woods is fantabulous! What was interesting about this performance was that I found out behind the scenes stuff afterwards from my friends. Apparently they had a mishap with the hen that lays golden eggs, it fell over, but they covered so incredibly well, I wouldn't have known it wasn't supposed to happen that way if my friend hadn't said so.

In other news, since Creighton Hill is out with beta readers, my sister and I had a writing competition to see which of us could write the most words this past week. She beat me by 1,533 words, but since I wrote 7,589 words in the Cassie story with a sore arm and a cold, which equates to more than an eighth of the book, I'm happy. Except for the doing an extra day of dishes part. Because we had to have an actual incentive to write other than the glory of winning, right? But because I got some feedback on Creighton Hill and the cover reveal is over and recent developments have sort of increased the stress level for this publishing, I probably won't be able to focus on Cassie for a little while. And it might be interesting to note that my sister burst out laughing when she read the part where the main guy, Luke Winston, mentioned texting his copilot, Cassie, to tell her when he would need her back in the cockpit. See, I cast Bradley James as Luke on my Pinterest board, and I do have to admit it is rather funny to think of Prince/King Arthur texting. :)

And I've been watching Green Gables Fables. It's a modernized Anne of Green Gables video blog webseries, and my friend Katelyn assumes full blame for getting me and our friend Ashley addicted to it. Now, I'm not a big fan of modernizations as a general rule, and there are certainly things I don't like (like Diana living over an hour away rather than just across the Haunted Wood), but all in all, I like GGF a lot. They have the characters down pat, and I finally saw Gilbert a few days ago! The other night, GGF inspired me to revisit favorite moments in my L. M. Montgomerys, which includes certain chapters in Emily Climbs, and caused me to rediscover this gem of a description in Anne of the Island.
L. M. Montgomery has such a way with words. I'm envious, and now I want to go and read all the books in the house that she wrote just to soak in the loveliness.

And if you're wondering why I had a sore arm, I slipped on the mud and pinestraw a little over a week ago trying to push the lawn mower up the hill (it was off) and banged my arm on the handle, falling on it with pretty much my whole weight. Once the first pain wore off, it didn't really hurt much, but we think I hit a nerve because it made my arm tingly and weak for awhile. It's on the mend and our writing contest kept me from babying it, as I'm prone to do, so, even though it's a bit sore now, I should be able to play in my first orchestra concert a week from tonight.

Ta ta for now! Alons-y!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Creighton Hill Cover Reveal

It's here! Finally you can see the cover to Creighton Hill! And I've decided not to be mean and make you scroll down forever to see it because I'm just nice that way...or maybe I just didn't want to think of extra stuff to say.
And the official description:

“No one can mysteriously disappear leaving no trace. It isn’t realistic.”

“You’re right, Emily,” her grandfather said thoughtfully. “It isn’t realistic. However, a good many things happen in this world that are not realistic, things supernatural.”

Emily, Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna have grown up on their grandfather’s tales of ancestors who mysteriously disappeared from Creighton Hill, the plantation home that has been in their family for centuries. When Grampa’s death forces them to move into Creighton Hill, the truth about the supposed disappearances is the first thing on their minds. Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna’s, that is. As for Emily, why must they keep at their supernatural hogwash?

Could it be that their family really does just have an unusual history of early deaths? Most people seem to think so. But Grampa’s research has uncovered something different.

When mysterious writing matching descriptions found in ancient accounts begins appearing to the children, they know something’s up. They must find out what really happened to their ancestors, and work together to discover the reason behind the mysterious writings.

Creighton Hill is the first book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

So, what do you think? Excited to read it? I'm planning on a June 8th release date. It's coming up fast! But you can go ahead and add it to Goodreads now. Just use the handy little button below.
This cover reveal is super duper special because I have a bunch of fantastically amazing friends posting the cover on their blogs today as well. Some of them even took the time to interview me about things from writing to cover design. Make sure you visit their blogs! They are amazing!

Friday, April 3, 2015

777 Challenge

I had seen the 777 Challenge going around blogs and thought it looked fun, but hadn't been tagged. So when Kendra Ardnek left an open invitation, I decided to consider myself tagged. What it is is that you go to the seventh page of your work in progress, go seven lines down and share the next seven lines. I didn't want to pick between the two rough drafts I'm working on, so I'll do one from each. The first is from a nameless story going by Storyless Storyboard Story.

    “Good,” said Jared.
    “I have full confidence in you,” Kira assured him.

                                                        Uncle Matthew

    Kira stepped out onto the tower. Joel stood against the parapet, a sniper rifle beside him, keeping a sharp lookout from the top of the tower. She gave him little opportunity to serve as her personal bodyguard, thus he had many other guard duties at the palace of Hanover.

Kira is the main girl in the story, Jared is her brother, and Joel is the main guy, Kira's bodyguard. Kira's father is the king of the country of Hanover, obviously making her a princess. It takes place in a sci-fi-ish fantasy world, and has stuff to do with bionic microchipping and kidnapping and stuff.

The other snippet is from the equally nameless outer space dystopian familiarly known as The Cassie Story.

her shoulder, and burped William. Then she settled him back down to finish the bottle.
   "Soon I'll have to go away," she continued. "I'll really miss times like this." William seemed to be drifting off to sleep. Cassie burped him a final time, but was reluctant to place him in his crib. The babies were held so seldom. He needed it. She gently kissed his forehead and continued to cuddle him. She felt a sudden prick
In this part, Cassie is helping out with the infants in the Base where she grew up. Kids basically grow up in a very standardized boarding school type thing where parents don't exist and they are trained to be a part of Society and not to question anything. It's very interesting. I have a little more about both of these stories on my WIPs page.

I don't know who has or hasn't been tagged and I don't know who I would tag anyway, so I'll just do the same as Kendra and leave an open invitation instead of tagging seven people. If you're a writer and you see this, you can consider yourself tagged.

And bonus bit of information: The cover reveal for Creighton Hill is next Monday!! Stay tuned!