If you've already bought and read To Love a Tea Witch, then you know about the little surprise waiting for you at the end of the book!
But if you haven't let me let you in on a little secret...
There's a bonus story in the back of the book!
That's right! I added in a short story featuring Caleb and Sydney, but told from Caleb's point of view. The story is called "The Perfect Date for a Tea Witch", and it is a free download for anyone who has picked up my novel!
What happens in this story, you ask?
Well, you see, Caleb and Sydney have been dating for a while now. And Caleb thinks that they should move to the next step. His apartment is awful lonely when she isn't there, and it would be his dream to wake up next to her smiling face every morning. So, he thinks up the most perfect date to take her on. It needs to be special! It needs to be surprising and loving, and Caleb knows that he's done something right when he enlists her friends to help.
But it seems like the date is cursed. Everything is going wrong! This isn't like what he had planned at all...
What will Sydney say to his question now?
To find this lovely short story, you need to look in the back of To Love a Tea Witch. There is a link that will take you to the free download.
I hope you all enjoy this lovely little story. It was a lot of fun to write, especially writing from Caleb's point of view. And the fun of continuing their story past the novel has given me some wonderful ideas for Sydney and Caleb in the future.
Remember, you can pick up my newest novel, To Love a Tea Witch, on Amazon! And you can read it for free through KindleUnlimited.
I am so excited, proud, and elated to say that my first novel, To Love a Tea Witch, is hitting Amazon on Tuesday, May 25th!
Four days! That’s four days away!
I almost cannot believe it, to tell you the truth. I’ve had the idea for Sydney’s story for ages, and I have been working on it for almost an entire year. This novel is the culmination of a year’s worth of work, and the very thought just shocks me. There were some days when I wanted to throw it all away and never write another word, but more often than not, I fell in love with Thistlewood and its people. Sydney, Mary, Alexis, and the rest are only a small part of this magical little place. And ever since I closed the book on Sydney, my mind had been zooming with different stories that I could weave.
But for now, let’s focus on Sydney Birch and her walk through life.
The novel starts out with our main character, Sydney. She’s young, looking for her path in life, but ready to give up everything to help her aging Great Aunt, a spry woman named Babs who has her own magical secrets. Sydney feels drawn to Thistlewood, the place where Babs lived and grew up, and our 22-year-old heroine quickly finds friends and a mystical, magical job. Flowers turn to her when she walks, and Sydney spends all of her free time growing a garden of magical plants and brewing teas and potions to help the people around her.
But everything changes when Caleb Kruse walks into her life. He’s tall, incredibly handsome, charms the socks off of her, and seems to love her as much as she loves him.
Life is perfect...
Until Caleb’s ex, a nasty woman with an eye for revenge and her own magical powers, comes back to take what’s hers. Now Sydney has to band together with the Thistlewood Witches to cleanse Caleb and free him of his ex’s wicked spell!
Man, this was such a fun story! I loved watching Sydney’s new friendships bloom, as well as see love unfold for her. And she changes through the story, becoming more confident and composed as life goes on for her. The story ends in a wonderful “happily ever after” and the steamy scenes were a BLAST to write!
I am just so, so glad that its debut is finally here!
If you’re reading this before May 25th, you can preorder To Love a Tea Witch on Amazon. If the story has already hit the world, make sure you grab it or read it for free through KindleUnlimited! Paperbacks are also available through Amazon as well, and I know that I’ll be ordering quite a few once everything goes live on Tuesday.
As for me, you will find me out on Tuesday celebrating! I’ll be heading to my local coffee shop for a bubble tea and a muffin, followed up by some takeout sushi! Then, it’s on to the next book...
For everyone who has stuck by me, read my starter novellas, beta read Tea Witch, offered advice and love, and for everyone who has encouraged me, I just want to say thank you. Thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart. I never would have gotten this far without love and support.
Until next time, readers! I hope you all enjoy the love story of Sydney Birch and Caleb Kruse!
One of the recent upgrades that I have done to our new apartment is making myself a dedicated work space!
I have been working all over the place for the past few years, and honestly, I was finding myself distracted. I have a desk next to my husband's desk, and my computer there is my gaming computer. I usually spend time at that computer in the evenings, getting into trouble with my partner or wasting time watching YouTube, and I quickly realized that it never felt like a work space. I was quickly getting distracted by the other computer, and there were many times that I would open my dedicated writing laptop, but never write a word due to distractions.
I tried to bandaid this by getting a lap desk so I could be more mobile with my writing. I could write on the couch or in bed or take the desk with me on trips. But the couch was in front of the television, the bed made me sleepy, and the pandemic put a stop to all of our traveling...
So, when my husband and I moved (link) to our new apartment, we rearranged things so I could get myself a work desk!
(My desk is small and simple. It's just a nice flat top desk with some small open shelves on the side. I keep my writing resources there, along with my TBR pile (that I will one day conquer!), as well as some blank notebooks for when I fill my current one up. I keep a cup of brush pens, some stationary supplies, and my stacks of post-its nearby. My new chair is incredibly comfortable and I even laid out a nice rug underneath for a little extra charm!
And let me tell you, having a dedicated writing space has made my productivity SOAR. Instead of struggling to get a thousand words written in a day, all while wondering where the time went, I have been able to pump out 2k-3k words on my best days! At my writing desk, I am away from all distractions, like games and television, and my only real entertainment is turning around to watch the birds outside my window. It has been wonderful having a space completely dedicated to my craft, and I cannot believe that I was able to work for so long without it!
Eventually, when my husband and I are in a place to buy our first home, he has expressed that he wants me to have a whole office to myself. And though I catch myself daydreaming about that possibility, for right now, just having my little space is perfect enough.
What do you all have to have in a writing space? Do you need quiet or are you like me, playing music at a low volume? Do you also struggle with distractions?
Happy writing, creatives!
Monday, May 3rd, was another big day for me!
My fourth novella, In the Realm of the Emerald Court hit Amazon and KindleUnlimited!
I really enjoyed writing this story. It's a hair shorter than the ones before it, but I feel like it's a great romantic tale from start to finish.
The story follows Holly Hodges, a woman in search of meaning in her life. Her jobs are dead end, school is over, and her friends all seem to be moving into the next season of life without her. And in her quest to find her next move, she goes on a hike...
Only to discover a magical circlet of toadstools! The mushrooms transport her to a strange new world, filled with plants and animals like she has never known before.
She meets Theodas, a well-respected hunter for the Emerald Court. Only Theodas is not exactly human... He looks human, except for the blue tint of his skin and hair and the point of his ears and nose. But he isn't... he is a Fae!
And Theodas knows that humans are hunted in his realm.
The Fae hunter gives Holly the only option he can: Become his mate until the full moon rises and she can return home, or be hunted by the most fierce pack in all the realm.
But when Holly ultimately chooses, will she even think of returning home?
I hope you give this novella a try. This is not something that I usually write, because I love writing about strong women witches with kick ass powers and determined minds. But I love the idea of a magical Fae world filled with a whole different culture and rhythm when compared to ours, and I am a sucker for a "fish out of water" story. Writing Holly and Theodas's love story was a nice break in the writing that I have been doing for almost a year, and I felt really renewed after finishing it.
You can find In the Realm of the Emerald Court on Amazon and free to read with a subscription to KindleUnlimited! And if you give it a read, make sure to head back and leave an honest review!
We did it!! We finished Camp Nanowrimo! Us writers powered through and May 1st is here!
So, after a full 30 days of writing, how did I fare in the end?
I won Camp Nanowrimo!
Let me tell you, April 2021 was a hard Camp to win. At the start of the month, my husband was ill and we spent days running between different doctor offices. In the middle of the month, I was down for 2 days with a fever from my Covid vaccine. And at the end of the month, most of my time was spent talking to specialists about my husband's condition. But still, I managed to pull through and write 50,000 words in 30 days!
Now, all of those words were not in my current WIP. I spent a lot of my time in April working on my next two releases. Editing down and finalizing the final copies of In The Realm of the Emerald Court and To Love A Tea Witch took up massive chunks of my time, but I am proud to say that they helped get me through humps and slumps this month. I even wrote a small bonus story for Tea Witch, which I will be talking about in a few months time. Keep your eyes peeled for that!
So, what helped keep me going all this month?
One thing that I did as a way to motivate myself was this tracker! Just before NaNo started, I sat down and doodled out some leaves, 49 to be exact, with a flower at the end for number 50! Each leaf represented 1,000 words written, and as I worked, I would go through and color in a new leaf! It was really inspiring to flip through my notebook and see my progress laid out like that! I will absolutely be doing another doodle tracker for Camp Nano in July... I am thinking citrus wedges may be fun... or maybe little cat heads... or maybe a berry theme!
For as much fun as I had during Camp, I am ready for a long weekend of resting and NOT writing! I'm taking a long weekend for me, first to celebrate Beltane, but also to rest and come back refreshed on Monday morning! My stories need me!
And with that said... I cannot wait for July's Camp to start!
May Day. May 1st. Beltane.
AKA, my favorite time of the year!
Beltane is the next holiday in the wheel of the year, arriving just around the midpoint between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. It arrives in the height of Spring for us Northern Hemisphere folks, and is celebrated on May 1st.
I absolutely adore Beltane. I love Springtime, and Beltane always arrives just as my spring allergies are leaving, which is a wonderful celebration for me. The world around me is always in bloom, and any leftover winter blues that may be residing in my heart and chest just melts away into nothing. This is always the time when I start my seeds, plant any garden veggies that I have picked up from local greenhouses, and when I fertilize my blackberries, blueberries, and roses!
In old god lore, Beltane is when the maiden goddess and the god of nature come together as woman and man to conceive the horned god, who will be reborn at Yule. Many view Beltane as a passionate holiday, and there are some that celebrate with personal festivities under the sheets! My partner and I have been known to celebrate in these ways as well! ;-) It's a lovely time to connect with another person and celebrate the fertility of the new, blossoming earth.
Some of my favorite things to do at Beltane involve fire and flowers! I always try to have a fire going in the fire pit, just to enjoy the warmth and the flames and turning the world back to ash to be reused again. With flowers, I love to go flower picking during these times. Dandelions are picked to turn into tea or to feed to my pet bearded dragon. Clovers are made into chains that are worn around the neck and in the hair. I like to cut a few tulip poplar blossoms from the trees behind our home to give our living space a wonderful floral aroma. One year, I made a lovely wreath for my front door that was made from fern cuttings, and another year, I enjoyed a fresh bottle of dandelion wine that had been gifted to me by an old friend.
For this year, I am planning a nice little meal at home. Nothing fancy, just some simple roasted chicken with a fresh green salad and lots of sweet, ripe fruit. I may even make a fruit loaf for desert... blueberry and lemon sounds lovely!
I hope that everyone enjoys a wonderful, blessed Beltane!
Three down and one to go!
How has camp been for my other writing friends? Mine has been stellar!
So far, my writing for the month of April has been steady! As of this writing, I am at 35,808 words, which is absolutely amazing! I don’t think I have ever done this well at camp before! I think I have been inspired by my works in progress, which has actually grown!
Not only have I been working on 11 Rules, but I have also been writing a fun, quick short story to serve as a follow up for "To Love A Tea Witch!" The novel, which will be dropping in late May (more about that soon!) will have this little companion story dropping along with it for free! I will be announcing more as time goes on, but its safe to say that this off shoot story has given me some great insight to my characters.
Today, I get to put my attention fully back on "11 Rules," which makes me almost giddy. I've been itching to get back to that tale because I have got a lot to say about Lailah and Mikhal. The story will be nowhere close to being finished by the time April and Camp NaNo ends, but I always thought that the first draft was going to be too big to finish in one month's time. I'm still incredibly proud of the progress I've made, even though the book is going to be a monster of a story!
And so ends week 3. Still trudging along day after day, and I am so happy with what I have accomplished! I'm ready to blow this last week out of the water!
Well, it’s time for the week two update on my slog into Camp Nanowrimo and whew, this one has been a bit rougher than I was planning on!
I feel like April started off strong for me. I had a few 3k+ days where my story and me vibbed so hard that I couldn't stop working on it.
But then, my husband caught the flu. Yes, he had the flu in April, in the middle of a pandemic, after getting the flu shot, AND while following all of the Covid guidelines. I don't know what to tell you, he's just that talented! :oD With some early intervention, he was able to get over it in just a few days, which was wonderful. And just as he was recovering, I received my second dose of the Moderna vaccine, which knocked me off my feet for two days. The first shot did not affect me at all other than needing a small nap in the middle of the day, but the second one? I ran a fever that bordered on 102 F, had chills and aches, and pretty much had to stay in bed the entire time. It's much better than actually catching the Coronavirus, but whew, it was a rough patch for sure. I'm doing loads better today, and would do it again in a heartbeat. It was just bad timing for Camp NaNoWriMo.
My story is progressing wonderfully, which I am so happy about! Even with all of the sickness at home, I was finally able to force my main characters, Lailah and Mikhal, into their betrothal! And man, they hate it. Which is exactly what I want. Mwahaha! This has actually been a lot of fun to write, pushing two opposites together in a way that neither can get out of. Mikhal is a blast to write about because he reminds me of a lot of my friends. Lots of inspiration to draw from when it comes to him. I cannot wait for him to try and loosen up our tightly-wound heroine as the story progresses. Maybe he will be successful, but with how stubborn Lailah can be, I highly doubt it!
Week two of Camp NaNoWriMo is officially behind us, and it can only go up from here! Week three is bound to be better, as the weather is clearing and my little family is getting healthier by the day. I have high hopes for the rest of the month and the work that I can accomplish between here and now.
Happy writing, everyone!
The first week of Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021 is in the books, and what a wild week it has been!
The first week of camp has had its ups and downs, but I am pretty pleased with where I am standing now.
The first day of April was a great one for me, starting off the month with 1,486 words! And even though it snowed where I lived, I ended up hunkering down and getting things done. I had a few days of travel where may numbers were not the greatest, and I had one day where I literally wrote a single word, but other than that, the work has been steady! (Also, I have had my Covid vaccine, and the family I visited are all vaccinated, so no worries on traveling!)
My story has really surprised me so far. If you’ve read any of my work, you know that I tend to write stories that are a bit on the short side. My rough draft for Tea Witch has been the only exception, coming in at 69k words before edits began. But this one? Man, this one is going to be an epic! And the best part is that I’d have this story planned as a trilogy... whew! 11 Rules is shaping up to be my magnum opus.
I am really enjoying the story so far. I kind of love Lailah, my main character, and I adore the personality that is coming through with her. This whole week, I have been immersed in her thoughts and feelings, and she is so different from every other character I’ve written. She is not meek like Sydney, but not a firebrand like Victoria. Lailah really feels like she has her head firmly on her shoulders, and I am enjoying that. It’s going to be fun when I introduce her love interest, who couldn’t be more of an opposite to her.
So, week one (and some change) are in the books and is am feeling great! Here’s to a wonderful rest of camp and a great rest to the month of April!
Oh, boy, here we go!
It's CampNaNoWriMo time!
Man, I love the NaNo months. April, July, and November get me so hyped every time they roll around. April, especially! The first NaNoWriMo that I ever started AND completed was April 2015, just a few months before my daughter was born, and I was so proud of myself that I couldn't sit still! Since then, I've participated in every Camp month and every NaNo-November. I really find them to be inspiring in a way that keeps me motivated and pushing through to the very end.
This time around is no exception. I am so pumped for this April's Camp! I have already planned, plotted, and am patiently waiting to start my new project. I'm going full-on novel length with this one, tentatively titled "11 rules." I've laid out a monster plot, and I think that this book is going to be my biggest yet, leaving Tea Witch's 69k words in the dust. I filly expect this story to grow legs of its own and take off without me. But it's such a good, twisty, entertaining story that I think I'll let it.
I plan on doing weekly blog posts on my Camp progress, just like I did during November 2020 (you can read those here!). I'm all about documenting things, and Camp gives me the perfect excuse to check out my progress. Expect posts to come out on 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, and a wrap-up post on May 1st!
Man, April needs to hurry up and get here, because my fingers are absolutely itching to dig into my new story!
Just me, a paranormal romance author with big dreams and even bigger crushes!