Monday, June 27, 2016

Beta Reading for Andrea

I've had a bunch of people ask me recently if I'm accepting new beta readers right now. The answer is yes and no. :-) What I'm looking for: people who catch errors and help me strengthen my stories. What I'm not looking for: people who want a free read. ;-) :-)

I've put together a system that better helps me know who is truly interested in helping out. If that's you, please read over the following selection from a short story I wrote a few months ago and email me ( a list of the errors you find in it. Those who snag the most will be accepted into my beta reading list. (And please note that not all errors have to be grammatical. If you find problems in the characterization, the settings, descriptions, etc., those count too.)

(Also, when submitting your list, quote a few words surrounding the error so I know what you're referencing.)

The Blackwood Relic

Travis Blackwood hurried to finish hooking up the plow to the tractor. Not only would pa tan his hide if he didn’t get the fields done today, but Cassidy was coming over in a few hours, and he didn’t have much time to get his chores finished before she arrived.
      He paused, staring at the forest on the edge of the field. Though the sun was directly overhead, the shadows there were deep and elongated.
      Even sunlight seemed to fear the trees.
      Travis had learned quickly not to ask why he struggled breathing, why his hands felt clammy when he was near the forest. Pa refused to talk about anything that concerned the place. He was determined to tame the only field on the property that invited unruly growth—to force the trees to stay within their bounds.
      And Travis, standing by the plow here on the edge of the field, should have felt relieved with the shadows so far away But the air surrounding him was still. Crickets didn’t chirp—mosquitoes didn’t buzz. And the wind never seemed to stir the leaves on this part of the farm—it was as if even the elements and creatures felt there was something to be feared here.
      Travis shok himself. He’d never finish his chores if he couldn’t hold his thought together. And if Pa caught him dawdling, he’d whoop him for sure.
      To bad the old man was still so much bigger than Travis, who was nearly 18. Travis hadn’t caught up with the rest of the family yet—including cousins and some of the girls.
      He hopped onto the tractor seat and admired his arms, pretending they had another ten pounds on them each, like his cousin Justins. But Cassidy obviously didn’t care about that sort of thing. Her beautiful blues eyes were just for him.
      Throwing the stick into gear, Travis pulled onto the field. Once he settled into the familiar pattern, he was able to daydream, and thoughts of the forest fled his mind.
      Though he was nervous to introduce Cassidy to the family—scared, even—he also couldn’t wait. They’d be so surprised that he—scrawny, tiny Travis—could get a girl like her.
      Well, he could. And he had.
      A sudden bump jolted Travis from his daydreams, and the grinding that followed was rough enough to make his teeth ache. The tractor stopped moving and the engine whined as it attempted keep going.
      “Oh, no, oh, no, Travis said, popping the thing out of gear. A cold sweat rushed from his scalp and down his back. Only one thing would stop the plow.
      The stone.
      Pa was going to kill him.
      He jumped from the tractor and rushed around to the side of the plow where the sound had come from.
      “Doggonit”, he said, pulling off his hat.
      He’d run over that rock, and the blades on this side of the plow were ruined, all tangled up around the stone.
      Why Pa insisted on keeping it there, in the middle of the field, was beyond Travis. And the stupid part of the situation—Pa didn’t even know where it had come from, yet he still insisted it stay and that no one touch it.
      Well, Travis had had i. It was time to get the thing taken care of. And tadoy was the best time to do it, seeing as how pa and ma were out on a date. They always got back late on date night, so Travis would have several hours to dig, if he harried.
      He scratched his head. Now to figure out how to get the plow unstuck. He bent and grabbed the twisted metal, prepared to tug a hard as he could. But the moment his hand brushed the rock, all thought fled his mind. His joints froze and his heart stopped beating. A dull ache spread through his body, starting in his chest.
      He gasped for breathe, struggling to regain control, but a sudden terror sized him. He felt someone—or something—approach. He looked around, barely able to move his head, but didnt see anyone. The pressure became unbearable and tears sprang to his eyes.
      What the heck was going on?
      Moments later, the pressure released, but the feeling that someone was watching remained. The sensation came from all directions, as if the person—or being—surrounded him.
      “God?” he said, looking up at the sky. But the feeling in his heart was far from the warmth Ma always said came from god.
      Something else was out there.
      Travis’s breath caught. His hands slipped off the metal of the plow, his palms clammy. His heart pounded, making his ribs ache.
      No, nothing was watching him. That was stupid. Only the plow was there, and plows don’t watch humans. They don’t watch animals or trees or objects, neither.
      “’Cause they don’t watch nothin’,” he whispered to himself, wishing his courage would return.
      He was definitely going to dig up the rock.
      His phone rang just then, making him jump. He pulled it out of his pocket, nearly dropping it as he fumbled to see who was calling.
      “Oh, Cass. Man, you scared the bejeebies outta me!”
      “Why? What’s going on”
      “I feel horrible, and it’s freaking me out. It’s all on accounta this stone here.” He dropped his voice, shielding the phone with his hand, hoping that whoever was listening wouldn’t hear what he would say next. “And I gotta do something about it. Gotta get rid of it. I’ll start as soon as possible ’cause it’s gonna take all night.”
      Cassidy made a little pouty sound. “What about our date?’
      Travis slapped his forehead. “Oh, Cass, I’m sorry. I totally forgot. But there’s no way I can go bowlin’ when I know this evil is around. Ma and Pa are gone until ten, so I only have now to do it. Pa’ll get so mad if he comes home and sees his field dug up. Nope, gotta get rid of the stone now, then make the field right as soon as I can.”
      Cassidy sighed. “Oh, well, okay.” She paused. “Could I come help?”
      Something in the forest caught Trevor’s attention, and he glanced that way. A sigh echoed across the field toward the stone.
      “Shhh,” Travis hissed. He crouched down, looking at the trees, trying to see what had made the noise. Nothing happened, but he continued waiting, glaring in the sunlight, trying to ignore the prickly sensation on his skin.
      Realizing that Cass might think he was a coward if he didn’t do something soon, he jumped to his feet and shouted, “Whoever you are, you ain’t scaring me!”
      They were, but maybe they wouldn’t know he was bluffing.
      “Trav, you’re freaking me out.”
      Travis waited, and when nothing more happened, he passed a hand across his eyes. “It’s freakin’ me out,” he muttered. “What did you ask?”
      “If I could come over.”
      Travis thought it over for a bit. He didn’t want to put her in danger, but he could really use her help. “I guess so,” he said. “But we have to be careful and we have to go fast.”
      “Okay! I’m good at digging. Between the two of us, we’ll get it taken care of.”
      He couldn’t help but smile at her enthusiasm. He was so lucky she’d decided to date him. “Bring a shovel. And thanks Cass. I appreciate it.”
      He ended the call, tucking his phone back into his pocket. Talking to Cassidy always lifted his spirits, but it didn’t take long for the pressing sensation of being watched to put him out of sorts again. He glanced at the forest as he got back to work. He’d never once set foot in it, on account of the stories. Stories he was sure weren’t true, but regardless, he had never wanted to know for sure.
      It took him almost two hours to unstick the plow and get the tractor back to the barn. The job would have been much easier if he’d asked Pa for help, but there was no way he’d do that. Not when it for sure meant Pa would learn what happened.
      ’Course, he’d learn about it eventually. Travis couldn’t hide something like that forever. But at least when he did learn, that stone would be long gone, and Pa would be too grateful to finally have a clear field to be mad.

And that's it! Send your list to me at, and I'll get back to you. :-)

Monday, April 18, 2016

First Ever Katon University Print Book Sale!!!

For the first time ever, the Katon University series books are available in print!
And to celebrate, we're holding a
print-book sale!
Until Wednesday, April 27, 2016, you can buy one book for $11.99 (regularly $16.99) or

ALL FIVE BOOKS for $49.99!! :-)

(Plus sales tax and shipping)

Yay for getting my series in print!!! :-) :-)

To get all five KU books, click the "Buy Now" link below. 

(Expires Wednesday, April 27, 2016)

Be sure to indicate in the "special instructions" spot to whom I should sign the books. Otherwise, I'll just sign my name and ship as is.

US shipping: $15.00
International shipping: email me and we'll figure it out! It costs roughly $1.00 per ounce and all five box in a package is around 4lbs.

You can also purchase the books one at a time. To do that, enter the title of the book you want in the field below and click "Buy Now." Then, when you get to the part where you sign in with PayPal (or confirm with PayPal, if you don't have a PayPal account), make sure you add a note for the seller and tell me who to sign the books to. Here's a quick list of the books so you don't need to look them up:

Discern (book 1)
Praxis (book 2)
Perceive (book 3)
Observe (book 4)
Reclaim (book 5)

Which book do you want?

Expect it to take about a month for the books to arrive, and ENJOY! :-) :-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fantasy and Science Fiction Super Sale!

Grab your ereaders and feast your eyes on some fantastic science fiction and fantasy books! 100+ books to choose from, all priced at $0.99 or FREE!

Want books geared to adults? Click on the tab above labeled ADULTS! Want books written for teens? Click on the tab labeled TEENS!

(If you are on a phone, click on the "home" button and change it to ADULTS or TEENS)

And if you are in the mood for a giveaway (with ten possible winners and ten prizes, including a $200 Amazon gift card), scroll down.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Giveaway and The Complete Katon University Series for only $0.99!

Amazon  *  Nook  *  Kobo  *  iTunes

Nicole Williams has been chosen to lead a corrupt, anti-magic organization in a revolution that will ultimately destroy all Aretes, including herself. But if she doesn't do it, a curse placed on mankind long ago will certainly lead to everyone's destruction.

The Complete Katon University Series is an adventure of mystery, politics, and romance from start to finish. Readers of science fiction and fantasy will delight in the twists and turns that Nicole and her friends are forced to take.

Amazon  *  Nook  *  Kobo  *  iTunes

Now for the Giveaway!

I'm offering ten awesome prizes to ten lucky winners! You can scroll through eight of them on the Rafflecopter form below, but here they are in case you aren't in the mood to scroll. :-)

  • One $200 Amazon gift card. (Valued at - you guessed it - $200 :-)).
  • Three (3) sets of the Complete Katon University series books in PRINT, signed and personalized. (These books have never been in print! Expected shipping time is two months after the giveaway ends to allow time for typesetting and proofing.) (Valued at $78.95 per set.)
  • One (1) $25 Amazon gift cards.
  • One (1) set of USA Today bestselling author Rachael Anderson's Meet Your Match sweet romance series. (Some of my favorite books - valued at $35.97)
  • Books 1-5 of the Unbounded series by another favorite bestselling author, Teyla Branton, in print. (Valued at $74.75)
  • Tell Me No Lies by Rachel Branton (yes, another favorite :-)) in print. (Valued at $14.95. Can be read as a standalone.)

In addition to the above prizes, the two lucky people who refer the most people to the giveaway (and are mentioned by name by said people) will win a $25 Amazon gift card. This part of the contest will be held outside of the Rafflecopter giveaway. Each person who mentions you by name will earn you one point. The two people with the most points will each win a $25 Amazon gift card.

The giveaway starts on February 15, 2016 and ends on February 21, 2016. No purchase necessary, no international entries, and must be 18 or older to participate.

Good luck! And may the odds be ever in your favor. :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Multi-Author Middle-Grade Book Promotion!

I'm excited about this promotion because it's geared to one of my favorite audiences: middle-grade readers! I've always been passionate about books written for kids ages 9 through 12. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Diary of a Wimpy Kid... all excellent. :-) I wrote The Key of Kilenya when my younger brother, Josh, who was 12 at the time, told me there weren't enough books for him to read. He'd ripped through everything our local library had and was hungry for more.

I dedicate this promotion to him and to all other readers who love and are searching for books written for middle graders!

Readers: Please double check prices before downloading!

From $5.99 to FREE
Kindle Nook  * iTunes

All Jacob wants is to make the basketball team. All the Lorkon want is to control the magical powers Jacob doesn't know he possesses.
From $2.99 to $0.99

Twelve-year-old Steven never wondered where the Loch Ness monster or Big Foot came from until he found a stone box with a dangerous secret--one people are willing to kill for!
From $2.99 to $0.99
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More than anything, Benjamin Ravenspell wants a pet, but when he buys a mouse named Amber, he gets more than he bargained for.

From $0.99 to FREE
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Cassandra's ordinary life is riddled with hilarious and sometimes heart-breaking mishaps as she guides herself through the world of pre-teens on the brink of adulthood.
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Part Neanderthal, but raised as a human, Arken Freeth finds that he doesn't fit in either world as he struggles to survive.
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An eleven-year-old girl discovers she has the power to grant any living thing its one true wish.

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When a malnourished horse shows up as a rescue at the farm where she volunteers, Jacinda, a bullied girl, takes it on as a project horse, and the mare's sweet nature inspires her to spread kindness around to make a positive difference in the world.
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Jenni Kershaw and her eighth grade science class take a field trip they will never forget. Dragons and goblins and spirits, oh my!
From $2.99 to $0.99
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When Colin suddenly learns he has magic, he discovers that Atlantis is real, and that his new mermaid friend, Alleya, is in trouble.
From $2.99 to $0.99
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Bed bugs, burglars, and a missing mother. For Doodle, it’s just part of a day’s work. A laugh-out-loud mystery for dog lovers of all ages.
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To save her brother, the banshee Seven must save Atlantis.
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One girl with a nightmare to live through; one ghost with a dream to live. With so much to lose, can anything be gained?

From $3.49 to FREE

Enter a world of myth and magic as young English boy Thomas Farrell seeks to discover the identity of his late father, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent...
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When eating dog kibble on a dare gives 10-year-old Tawny special powers, her life nearly goes to the dogs!
From $5.49 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Twins Justin and Janine discover a mysterious egg ... can they protect the hatchling while lost in Montana's Absaroka wilderness?

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Daniel doesn't think there's anything worse than spending a week at Camp Bigfoot . . . until he loses his prized possession: a pencil that brings his drawings to life.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Nook * Kobo

Laughing and Learning Little Life Lessons
From $3.99 to FREE

When a blast from the past shows up and makes her BFF go nutburgers, Ginnie is torn between helping her friend and getting some very important questions answered.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Harry Potter and The Hobbit rolled into one captivating and humorous epic fantasy series that will have kids begging for more.
From $0.99 to FREE
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Winner of the Mom's Choice Award honoring excellence in media for children. Classic fantasy adventure - quirky, funny, sinister, and action-packed
From $3.99 to FREE
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To save his friends from a dystopian future Earth, Nikolas leads them to a fantastic Moon in the past. But what happens when the fantastic becomes fatal?

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Explore the magical history of Kendra Kandlestar's world in this collection of bonus tales from the Land of Een.
From $4.99 to FREE
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DREAMS: Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.
From $2.99 to $0.99
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What's worse than stumbling upon the dead body of the Cat Lady? Being accused of her murder. Sarah Cole and her friends take it upon themselves to catch the Cat Lady Killer.

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Kindle * Nook

When Turik finds a special egg his Grandfather is kidnapped and he must balance his power for good with the strength of the evil that wishes to consume him.
From $2.99 to $0.99

Felicity, an ordinary sparrow learns that she can do extraordinary things!
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

When a group of crazed ninjas take over their school, the Smartboys fight back. And it all happens on a day when Monkey has the worst case of flatulence imaginable.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo

George, the magical basset hound, is on the trail of the mysterious ghosty haunting his Packmate, Tillie.
From $2.99 to $0.99

The legend of the little red hen, as told by the acorn that smacked her in the head. NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO CHANGE THE WORLD!
From $2.99 to FREE

Carter's life changes when an old man entrusts him with a book of magical spells, one of which grants the power to raise people from the dead.

From $0.99 to FREE

Ever wonder what it would be like to be pulled into your computer? Sarah is about to find out.
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It takes more than a school trip to change Christy's life. It takes murder.
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When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, Christopher and his crew get caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies!

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Semi-autobiographical adventures from a 20th Century Northern California outdoorsman
From $2.99 to $0.99
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The future looks bleak unless eighteen-year-old Lance and his young New Camelot Earth Warriors can save the planet from catastrophic climate change.

Enjoy your new books! :-)