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SATurdate: Next Publication, Our Brand is Crisis, Cocoa Coffee, & More.

7 Nov

This one is going to be especially long since it’s all my updates since Oct. 24. (Silly Ketchup posts taking over a Saturday Update.) But I hope you enjoy all the exciting news!

What I’m Writing:

I didn’t get much writing accomplished the past two weeks. I was a nervous wreck after submitting my manuscript to Clean Teen Publishing, so reading and writing was basically impossible. (As I’ve stated before, publishing has a strange effect on me.) I bought a puzzle book to distract myself with, but dun dun dun…the publishing results are below.

What I’m Publishing:

If you’re a part of the Clean Teen Publishing Street Team, then you were the first to know! Read the announcement here (and join the street team, because they are awesome), but November Snow is happening. Clean Teen Publishing enjoyed the story and signed me on, so the future is coming. I sent off my contract yesterday. I’ll have additional news soon, so keep your eye out every Saturday for what’s going on and where we’re at in the publishing process. I’ll tell you this though: What they have planned is awesome. Since it’s releasing in the future, I’m still using it as my #1lineWed manuscript, and this past week’s theme was “cold,” so here’s a preview from November Snow: Her voice was as warm as the summer wind, but her stare reminded me of how cold it was outside.


The current FB cover of November Snow

What I’m Reading:

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini: I started it this week, and boy, is this book bizarre. I feel like it’s been the week of bizarre books. It is not what I was expecting at all. (Not a bad thing.) So far, it’s very much like a scene from a video game where you’re fighting your shadow self.

Sailor Moon, V. 6: It’s no secret that Sailor Moon is favorite manga and anime. I read it all the time, and I officially own the new set…since I went a little crazy at the bookstore this week and bought 5-12 at once. Couldn’t help myself. I decided to reread volume 6 since Sailor Moon Crystal is returning, and this is the volume they’ll start off with. It starts the Infinity Arc, which introduces Sailor Uranus (my fav.) and Sailor Neptune. You can read my entire review here. Spoiler Alert: I gave it five stars. ;)

Sailor Moon, V. 7: I couldn’t stop myself. I had to read the next volume too, mainly because it’s been WAY too long since I last read this particular arc. (I have a bad habit of skipping this one, even though it’s a fan favorite. Don’t get me wrong. I still love this one.) You can read my entire review here. I gave it four stars.

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz: I finished it this week, and boy, was that book insane. It’s a complicated, chaotic exploration of racism, loss, and youth during the terrors of war. Not for the lighthearted. (A lot of cursing, prostitution, and cannibalism.) And it’s written in a very strange, unique way—often breaking the fourth wall and inserting photos in-between. I gave it three stars, and you can read my full review here.


What I’m Listening To:

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know Podcast: I love them. I love their YouTube Channel, which is where I originally found them, and then, I was introduced to the podcast, where they expand on the videos on their channel in-depth. Pretty neat!

What I’m Watching:

American Horror Story! Finally! A local theatre here in town has the rights to show it, so I have been able to watch it again. I also caught up on Are You The One? (Don’t judge me…but I love that show. I normally hate reality TV, but, but, but…I just can’t help myself there.) The only other reality show I’ve followed before is King of the Nerds, and I just found out that season four was canceled, so boo.

Bridge of Spies: The new Tom Hanks’ movie is a must-see. It’s a fantastic true story, a tearjerker, and just brilliant. I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy war movies that take place off the battlefield, even though this was very much the battlefield for The Cold War. Another war movie I went to see was Sicario. I like Emily Blunt, but not so much her character in this film. There were some great one-liners, and one or two characters I really enjoyed, but the overall rhythm of the story didn’t work for me. If it came between the two, I’d definitely say go see Bridge of Spies.


As you’re about to see…I go to the movies a lot. The latest one I saw was Our Brand is Crisis, the new Sandra Bullock movie about an election in Bolivia. It’s rated R, but I’m not sure why. I didn’t think there was anything R-worthy in there, but the movie was great. Sandra is a goddess. I wish I could say more, but I’d probably spoil it. A Bridge of Spies was still my favorite of the ones I’ve seen recently.


Documentary wise, I watched Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, which is about an author who wrote a book over the disappearance of Steven Haataja, a brilliant math professor who moves to a small town only to end up burned to death and tied to a tree. The mystery is how and why.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

dessertI carved a pumpkin into a moon (Maybe I was on too big of a Sailor Moon kick this week), and because of this carved pumpkin, I roasted a bunch of pumpkin seeds…which ended up being a giant FAIL. Anyway, our groundhog ate our pumpkin. But I made up for it later. I made cocoa cookies with white chocolate chips. NOM. They were, by far, the best cookies to pair with black coffee. I also made Apple Pie Sangria (both a white and a red one), which were awesome, and chicken fajitas in the slow cooker (also awesome). I made beef stroganoff recently too. On Halloween, I didn’t get to do much (boo, work), but I did manage to make myself a rootbeer float, and who doesn’t love a rootbeer float? My favorite drink to make, however, was the Eiskaaffee, a coffee drink that includes ice cream, whipped cream, coffee, and cocoa.

What I’m Wearing:

Cat-themed knee socks. They are awesome.

What I’m Wanting:

I missed out on Halloween costumes for my cats. (I know. I know. I’m cruel.) So, I really want elf costumes for them so I can celebrate SOMETHING this year. I worked on Halloween, so boooooo.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Two little monkeys were in my window, and it was adorable. Then, I opened the door, and these GIANT baboons came running into the house. One even tried to eat my cat Kiki. I kept running around the house, trying to get them to leave, but everything I tried failed, and they destroyed EVERYTHING. I even rode on a baboon’s back at one point. It was wild.

All my other dreams were too bizarre to explain in a reasonable manner.

What Else Is Going On:

12190019_931005530279962_2086646242368372003_nI kind of went a bit crazy while waiting to hear back from my publisher about November Snow. I couldn’t really write or read. (Publishing has a strange effect on me.) So, I went out and bought a variety puzzle book…and obsessively did meaningless puzzles for two weeks straight. I wish I was kidding.


Announcement time! Other than November Snow being signed on, Minutes Before Sunset was nominated for the Cybils Award in Young Adult Speculative Fiction. Yeppee! Thanks for staying Dark and sharing the Dark with others.

During my next newsletter, you might be receiving a Black Friday Sale for The Timely Death Trilogy, so be sure to sign up here, but if you just can’t wait…

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

#MondayBlogs Biggest Benefits of Reading

19 Oct


Reading is one of my favorite activities in the world. (Cuddling with my cats is too.) And while reading is fun for many, there are more benefits than we might realize. Welcome Jose from Dissertation Planet, and see what sort of benefits you can add to your life by reading more.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Biggest Benefits of Reading by Jose at Dissertation Planet

Reading helps us relax and address our problems from a more objective point of view. It is the best way to exercise and clear your mind. As Tyrion Lannister, a major character in George R.R. Martin’s famous fantasy novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” said, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone…to keep it sharp.”

Keeping your mind sharp is just one of the many benefits of reading; many people read to escape reality and cut themselves some slack from their busy, normal routines. Some of the biggest benefits of reading include:

  • Increasing Your Cognitive Reserve:

No matter the genre, no matter the author, let alone the language in which the book is written, the simple act of reading can greatly benefit our cognitive level. Reading enhances our capacity for abstraction and imagination. To elaborate, reading creates more and more neural connections in our brains!

The availability of higher neural connections in the brain makes larger networks available and improves major connective tissues that accompany over time.

  • Improving Your Memory:

Reading daily enhances our library of stories, ideas, characters, terms and vocabulary which is extremely beneficial. Allowing these stories and ideas into our brain not only exercises our cognitive skills, but also improves our memory.

Photo provided by Jose

Photo provided by Jose

  • Reducing Stress:

There is no better feeling than coming home from school or work and lying down on your living room’s couch or your comfy bed to read a good book. Reading helps to relieve stress and tensions of everyday life. It opens up endless possibilities and allows us to experience new emotions & live inside the shoes of different characters.

To put it simply, reading diverts our focus away from everyday problems. And that is very essential, even if it is for an hour. Because giving ourselves some slack is very important to keep us sane.

  • Brain Stimulation and Continuous Learning:

It is already known how reading stimulates our neuronal activity, by establishing new connections. But the emotional impact of a book promotes learning and helps with the memory. It gives us the motivation to continue reading.

By stating these benefits of reading, we have only just scratched the surface. The pleasure of reading is the best value we can convey to children. It improves cognitive abilities, logical reasoning and expands our imagination.

Author Bio:

Jose works as a writer for one of the best UK dissertation writing service on internet. Dissertation Planet helps students who are looking for services to Dissertation help and dissertation writing . Jose has helped many students in writing, editing and proofreading their essays and dissertations and helping them achieve first class standard through professionally written papers.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in December, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at


#WW I’m Leaving Again (But wait. There’s more.)

5 Aug

I’m leaving again. I know. I know. WHAT?! Didn’t you just get back from Penned Con in St. Louis?

Yes. Yes, I did. And—by the way—Penned Con was wonderful, and I plan on writing all about it as soon as I return. That being said, I’m off to Atlanta today. In fact, right as you’re reading this, I might be on a plane. (Who knows where I am in the world?)

This is my "since I was 18" travel map. I update it every time I leave.

This is my “since I was 18” travel map. I update it every time I leave.

I will be back next Wednesday, but there will be a guest post on Monday still. (Which basically means there won’t be a Saturday post this week.)

In the meantime, I thought I’d share my book tour schedule with you since it starts while I’m gone. (See? I didn’t leave you hanging.) I prepped a bunch of interviews and spotlights and all kinds of goodie fun for you all. (Because I love you as much as I love parenthesis right now.)

So, check it out below. Sign up for the Seconds Before Sunrise blog tour if you want! Keep up the wonderful love. (I love you too.)


Just kidding.

Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, releases on August 25, so if you want to win prizes, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, because I’ll be sending out the next opportunity when I get back to good ol’ Kansas City.

Until then: Hello, Atlanta. Thanks for looking after me.

Stay Dark…and you know, catch up on Minutes Before Sunset, and pre-order Seconds Before Sunrise and even Death Before Daylight if you’re feeling feisty. (Rawr.)


Minutes Before Sunset Tour Banner

Minutes Before Sunset Book Tour Schedule: (Well, really, this is August’s schedule. For a complete list of future events, visit my Events page….Guys, my life is crazy.)

August 10, 2015: Interview with Juniper Grove Book Solutions.

August 11, 2015: Guest post on One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads

August 11, 2015: Spotlight on Lady Amber’s Reviews

August 12, 2015: Spotlight on The Wonderings of One Person

August 13, 2015: Spotlight on The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass

August 14, 2015: Interview by Deal Sharing Aunt

August 14, 2015 Spotlight on Mythical Books

August 17, 2015: Spotlight on Girls With Books

August 17, 2015: Spotlight on The Bookie Monster 

August 18, 2015: Guest post on Black Words-White Pages

August 19, 2015: Interview by Melissa Book Buzz

August 25, 2015: Seconds Before Sunrise releases!

Seriously. Do it. You'll feel better.

Seriously. Do it. You’ll feel better.

Wait. It’s not over yet.

11791955_10207432863086714_4179449091941489450_oYou like FREE books, right? Right. My publisher is accepting more book reviewers, book bloggers, and overall book lovers to their Elite Reading Team. This means you’ll receive free books in exchange for honest reviews, and you’ll also be entered to win monthly prizes (like signed books, gift cards, and more). Sign up by clicking the link above. They’re also giving away a mystery prize of 2-3 paperbacks this month! So sign up for that here.

July Ketchup

31 Jul

July’s Ketchup

Can you believe it? July is coming to an end, and with it, Minutes Before Sunset has released. (Another release is on its way in August, but that’s for another post.) I’m unbelievably enthralled by your support this past month. Thank you. Thank you. Thank. You. And…you can win even MORE prizes soon. But I’ll talk more about that in this month’s Ketchup post.

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up”. At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, YouTube videos, Members of the Week, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this July!

Big Moments:


My #1 clicked item was ordering Minutes Before Sunset! Thank you!

Minutes Before Sunset released by Clean Teen Publishing on July 28! (Insert so many excited author girl screams.) It’s been emotionally difficult to be off the market for seven months, but it’s equally as wonderfully to be back on the book train! You can grab a copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and pretty much everywhere. ::wink wink:: If you review the novel, please let me know! I’d love to share it! Or…you know…send you a signed bookmark to thank you. Tonight, we even have the CTP Midsummer Magic Party on Facebook where you can win prizes. I also started a newsletter.

Which brings me to my next point: Seconds Before Sunrise is releasing August 25. (Yes. This August 25.) And my publisher surprised me by sending me a paperback for my little writer hands. (It’s like holding a sweet little puppy. My heart is warm with love.) You can also pre-order Seconds Before Sunrise at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and…again…pretty much everywhere. :]

Tish and me

Tish and me

Right before my release—as promised—I’ve started traveling more to meet readers, and I met a few of you at Penned Con in St. Louis. I even had the gleeful moment of meeting one of my favorite Indie authors, Tish Thawer. ::waves at Tish:: (I’m planning on writing a blog post about Penned Con, so I’m going to save the rest of that story for that.)

In writing news, I had my eight-year anniversary of publishing, starting with November Snow in 2007. It’s only fitting that I finished the rewrite of November Snow as well! (Can’t you tell this has been an absolutely insane month?) I could’ve written an entire post on the recent events in my life. Maybe I will. Maybe I have even more exciting news to come.

I like to tease.

Stay Dark,


Top Three Blog Posts:

  1. Minutes Before Sunset Release Day! I hope my rejoice hasn’t been too repetitive yet. I simply feel so lucky and happy and delighted to be here today, and I know I wouldn’t be without my readers, so thank you to the ends of my writer’s heart for continuing to believe in Minutes Before Sunset! The Timely Death Trilogy lives on!
  2. Can We Stop Hating on E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer? After EL James was attacked on Twitter, I wrote an article about how destructive hate (not criticism) can be, and how many authors are affected by it.
  3. It’s Never Too Late To Start Writing Your Bestseller: Written by EssayMama, this infographic outlines famous authors and how writing fit into their lives.

Other Blog Posts:

#1 SEO Term

#1 SEO Term

YouTube Channel:

Minutes Before Sunset Release Day

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. I also like to specially thank the Members of the Dark. Every week, I award one member a “Member of Week” badge, and out of those monthly members, one of them will win an eBook of their choosing as well as more prizes. If you would like to be a member, subscribe to my newsletter. If you’d like me to share your review of my novels or if you want to interview me, please send me an email at I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! And I will share your post on all of my websites.

Dark Members of the Week: The Schwartz Reviews, Red Sands Reviews and Ramblings, awkward Meow Productions, and Tranquil Dreams.


Death Before Daylight: Pointe Taken

Features: Juniper Grove Book Blitz

Calculated on July 29 at 19,851 new followers

Calculated on July 29 at 19,851 new followers


#SATurday: Reviewing Novels as an Author

20 Jun

#SATurday: Reviewing Novels as an Author

Back in the day—way back when—Goodreads didn’t exist, and I’m pretty sure (maybe not) Amazon didn’t even have a rating system for books. It was just Barnes & Noble and Borders, but mainly Barnes & Noble for me (R.I.P. Borders). I’m talking about the mid-90s. I used to buy all of my books from the store. (Okay. So my mom used to buy all my books from the store.) There was no Kindle, and there weren’t many book blogs out there, and if there were, they definitely weren’t like they are today. I actually remember sitting at my Komodo computer and scrolling the Internet, hoping to find somewhere to review books and I couldn’t find a website.

So, I reviewed books on Microsoft PowerPoint. (Something I just had a conversation about with author, Jonas Lee, so I must mention him in this article for sparking this idea in me. Thanks, Jonas!) It’s been over a decade since my PowerPoint presentation days. (A presentation that I used to show every weekend to my stuffed animals. What can I say? I moved around a lot. My toys were my friends.) I no longer have that presentation, but I can still see it scrolling through The Magic Tree House series and W.I.T.C.H.—stars flying in and flying out, wicked thick fonts twinkling on the screen before dissipating off. Sometimes, I would get a cartoon sound to line up with everything. It was 90’s perfection.

I loved it. I loved it so much. But years would pass before I ever began to post book reviews again. Why? Well…it’s a bit complicated, but it mainly came down to being an author. Beginning in 2007, I no longer felt like I could review books. I knew exactly how much work went on behind the scenes, after all, and it felt like a conflict of interest to say anything at all. If it was a positive review, someone could think I was just saying that to suck up to another author. If it was a negative review, someone could think I was just trying to tear someone else’s work down. Reviewing novels became a lose-lose situation in my mind, so I stepped away from them.

You can also expect to see more photos like this from me.

You can also expect to see more photos like this from me.

But I missed reviewing books so much. And I’ve missed them for a long time. Suddenly, I couldn’t stop thinking that I took the wrong approach all those years back when I stepped away from something I love to do—sharing books with whoever was interested.

I’m not a picky reader. I often love everything I read. I can definitely see value in everything I read, and my tastes range from cheesy romances to dark, dystopian sci-fi. I love poetry and memoirs and young adult and even the occasional blush-worthy read. I love everything. I really do. What I read mainly comes down to my mood, but I’ve always enjoyed recommending reads to fellow readers based on what they love the most.

So, I’ve returned. Over the past two months, I’ve been reviewing and updating novels I’m currently reading on Goodreads. You’ll probably never see a 1 or 2 or even a 3 star review from me, but please don’t get me wrong. I just rarely dislike novels, and if I do dislike novels, I am more likely to put it down than to finish it, and I don’t feel right reviewing something if I don’t finish it. On top of that, I’ve been focusing on who I would specifically recommend the read too, and it’s been a lot of fun! I’ve been connecting with readers more, and I love talking to everyone about how they feel about novels or what novels they have on their TBR list. I finally feel like a reader again. I’ve always been reading, of course, but reading is always better when you’re reading with friends. (And I’m so glad I’ve found reading friends that aren’t stuffed animals.) So, you can expect more reviews from me on Goodreads. Feel free to tell me about what you’re reading too! I would love to hear your recommendations. Just comment below—::wink::—and we’ll start reading together soon.


P.S. Don’t forget! Three paperbacks will be given away on Goodreads this Tuesday, June 23 (a.k.a. my 24th birthday. What better way to celebrate than by giving away book gifts?) Click here to enter! Expect even more prizes soon.

Our most recent contest via Twitter just ended today! Congrats goes out to Kathy-Lynn Cross, the winner of the signed bookmark! Follow her @KathyLynnCross today.


#MondayBlogs: Never Give Up On An Idea

1 Jun


Pau’s Castles is a website that has a special place in my heart. I first met Pau across the blogosphere when I asked her to read The Timely Death Trilogy. Her reviewing style blew me away, and we ended up chatting—and never stopping. Her friendship is something I continue to cherish. Pau is a writer and an avid book reviewer, and I know you all will enjoy her blog as much as I do. She’s cheerful, insightful, and passionate—and today’s topic covers all of those emotions. If you’re a writer, you have probably written a story, then walked away, then came back, then walked away again, and then came back again. It happens all too often. And we wonder why we keep returning. Is it worth it? Well, I’ll let Pau explain that, but I will say this: I have been trying to rewrite and re-release my first published novel, November Snow, for eight years now. I understand leaving and coming back and leaving and coming back. This topic is something Pau and I have discussed in great depth before. Writing a novel is never going to be the same for everyone, and as an author, I know writing one novel isn’t going to be like writing another novel. (Writing The Timely Death Trilogy wasn’t like writing November Snow.) I believe leaving and coming back is significant, and Pau explains it beautifully. Please visit Pau’s Castles. She’s a wonderful writer well worth knowing!

Never Give Up On An Idea by Pau’s Castles 


(On the photo: Lucky Blue Smith and Pyper America Smith)

The reason why I’m using this photo is because these two models are my character references for Lucian and Luna (originally named Danae, but the name didn’t seem right) Malliarch—two of my leads in a current work-in-progress called Between Two Worlds.

Between Two Worlds started out as an idea back in 2013. Initially, the title was Attachment, which didn’t feel right at the time so it took a turn to being called Samantha’s Diary, but eventually, that didn’t feel right too, so now it is finally called Between Two Worlds. As you can see, I have already changed a character’s name once and the title had been changed twice. My point in saying all this is that if you have an idea, which does not seem to rest, don’t let it rest! Since I started with the idea for Between Two Worlds, I had two other story ideas. One even reached so much research and conceptualizing, but everything didn’t seem to fit in. The characters of Between Two Worlds were screaming in my head, telling me to finish their story first.

So what’s the good thing about not giving up on an idea?

1. You get to know more things every single time you try to write about it again

The original piece for Between Two Worlds was very different from how it is now. I never actually finished the original one because I did not know how to end it at the time which makes not giving up on the idea even greater. Eventually I discovered a lot of things which can help on the major points of the plot so it led me to a perfect (for now) ending.

2. The smaller details cascade in the thought process

When an idea is fresh, we’re all excited to write about it. We’re all excited for the big stuff to happen that we fail to recognize the importance of the smaller details. For example, there’s this scene on the novel about a fork road. On the first time I wrote it, the fork road was just an insignificant path on the forest. Now that I’m writing in the third time around, the fork road suddenly had a back story which is significant to the characters.

3. The characters are easier to write about

Sometimes, not giving up on an idea makes us know about our characters on a deeper level. Sometimes we discover things which didn’t seem right on the first times we wrote about them. My example on my work here is Danae Malliarch, now known as Luna Malliarch. I felt quite detached to her because there was something off about her name back then, but it never occurred to me what it was. It turned out that I have a personal admiration to the name “Danae” but it didn’t fit the personality of character. Now that she’s named Luna, it sounds a lot catchier next to her brother’s name — Lucian.

4. The plot is easier to write about

This is simply because you already know the general flow of events. Maybe you can just add a few more scenes to not make the pace too fast (but be careful! It might get too draggy. Remember to include only the necessary ones to the plot) but other than that, you know where it’s going.

5. You find out the reason why you never gave up on it in the first place

A friend who’s currently doing Lucian Malliarch’s digital painting told me, “Pau, Lucian is a lovely character. I don’t see him as a character stuck in your laptop. Instead, I see him as a character people would know and love.”

Personally, I don’t know the reason yet as to why I never gave up on the idea surrounding Between Two Worlds, but I am excited to find out. Hopefully, you guys will get to read about it in the future.

Found this post helpful? Let me know what you think through the comments below or email me ( if you have questions and suggestions for future writer-related posts!

Connect with Pau:

Website, FacebookTwitterInstagram

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. A picture and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at


#SATurday: The Secret Garden of Trees

2 May


From now on, one lucky winner will receive any eBook under $5.00 from Amazon every month. How? Well, every week, I post a Dark Member of the Week, and out of those members that month, one of them will be chosen for the monthly prize. Basically, the more you participate, the more your name gets entered into a giant, black cauldron – where the elders then work their magic to pick the winner! If you want to become a Member of the Dark, please email me at You are not required to do anything, and I will never give out your email. I will only email you during special events – like cover reveals or release days – and based on your participation, your website might be chosen as a Member of the Week. Those members are shared on The Timely Death Trilogy FB page and Twitter, and out of those spotlight winners, one of them will win the eBook prize. All April Members of the Week will be entered into the May lottery.

Good luck!

#SATurday: The Secret Garden of Trees

Let’s talk about trees for a moment. Why? Well, because I love them, and I often share my love for them on my Facebook and during my monthly Website Wonders – like these posts A Majestic Cathedral Made of Living, Breathing Trees, 12 Amazing Tree Tunnels You Should Definitely Take a Walk Through, and 16 of the Most Magnificent Trees in the World.

I’m not sure where my appreciation and admiration for trees began, but the first tree I remember loving was an old pear tree at my grandparents’ home. It was the only consistent home in my childhood, seeing as I moved around constantly while regularly visiting my grandparents during the summers and holidays. Mainly during Christmas. Which is why this pear tree memory stands out.

It was either the fall or spring, during that time of the year where it’s too cool to be summer and too warm to be winter. It was night too – which is even odder considering I can tell I’m very young, mainly by my lack of height in the memory. Everything was much taller than it should’ve been, and I have a feeling I shouldn’t have been outside, but I always have been a bit of a rebel, a bit of an explorer, a bit of an obsesser. When I get focused, I can’t get unfocused, so it’s highly likely that I snuck out – off the porch and around the bend to the place that I can only describe as a secret garden of trees (at least, in my child’s mind).


In truth, it was a makeshift grove, tucked away at the corner of the house, sheltered by the brick walls and a stone patio. The pear tree encompassed the little lot, and it hid a cracking, cement birdbath, something that equally fascinated me despite the fact that I never saw it being used. Even so, I loved sneaking into this spot, and almost every time, my mother caught me and told me I wasn’t allowed back there – something about it being right next to my great grandmother’s bedroom.

I probably only snuck back there a few times, but I still remember lying on the damp cement – staring up at the pears and the light spotting on them through the leaves – while fallen pears rotted around me. Nothing at all could’ve bugged me – not even the bugs – and I find that many trees have that effect on me.

Later in my life, we had a Dogwood tree, and a blackberry tree, and a willow tree, and a forest of all kinds of trees near me – at separate times but near me nonetheless. This morning, I noticed my neighbor has a red flowering tree – something I haven’t been able to see until recently considering I moved in during the winter. The colors are appearing – one at a time – all over my walk from my home to the coffee shop where I often write, and I am taking note of all the trees that accompany me along the way, and if I had to say anything at all, I’m just glad not every beautiful tree is locked away, tucked away, or hiding away in a secret garden.



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