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Just Beyond Daybreak: Now available in Print and as EBook

Just Beyond Daybreak is now available as an eBook and in Print!

I just finished formatting the book over the weekend and you can get a copy in the format you love best from Amazon. It was a hard choice to send this one to print. It is just a novella, but the readers have spoken. The book is just 107 pages long, which is perfect for a quick winter day read. You can wrap up in a blanket and snuggle on the couch with the magical families, the Blackwoods and Blackburns.

On to the book!

Just Beyond Daybreak

When the source of her family’s magical energy and life force is stolen, Meredith Blackburn is left with little choice, but to search out the best magical tracker she knows. Unfortunately Malcolm Blackwood is more than just a tracker, he is also a man who captivates Meredith’s thoughts.

She strolled into Malcolm’s life with a job that he didn’t want, but instantly he regretted turning her away. Now, with his own family relics in danger, Malcolm finds himself unable to leave Meredith behind.

Can they save the Blackburn bloodline? Or will family ties tear them apart?

 

This novella is just the beginning of Meredith’s adventures as the head of her family. The stories are at the top of my project list and you can look for the second story featuring the Blackburns and Blackwoods Summer of this year. Wanna know what’s coming? Keep reading…

Meredith faces the next head of the Blackwood family and his distrust of her affection for his brother. Along the way Malcolm and Meredith have to fight off a magical terrorist trying to destroy magic and the entire culture revolving around it.

If you’re interested in Just Beyond Daybreak or want to know more about my books you can visit my blog, Barefoot at Midnight, for snippets and current writing projects.

 

 

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Read A Lord for the Duchess at Penpee.com
January 5, 2018
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A Lord for the Duchess

Simone Noir is a romance novelist who just wants to finish her latest story before her deadline is up. Her eccentric aunt, however, has other plans. Invited to a murder mystery weekend getaway, Simone learns that not everyone is who they seem to be.

Tease:

The drive to Simone Noir’s aunt’s house was long and lonely, but it gave her plenty of time to sort out some of the issues her characters were having. As a romance author Simone was accustom to playing match maker, councilor and even part time enabler to her fictional characters.

As Simone pulled up to the country mansion her characters went silent and let the fantasy of the place wash over her. Aunt Leigh hadn’t said anything about classy valets parking cars or strapping stewards carrying her bags, but she should have expected it. Her aunt lived a world apart from most other people.

Taking a deep breath, Simone watched her car drive away and prepared herself for the weekend. It was to be a masked murder mystery party that lasted the entire time and she would spend what time she could making her aunt happy. However, every other free second she could find had to be spent working to finish her novel.

Read more on Penpee.com!

About Penpee:

Penpee.com is  fun little site that anyone can sign up for. It’s a great site for avid readers to find new authors and get in a quick read her and there for next to no cost. I signed up for the site at the first of this year and posted up A Lord for the Duchess, a sweet short romance story that I’d had in the dusty file of “needs a home”. You see, short stories are hard to get out there and Penpee pays a little bit each time a chapter of a story is read. This means I found a home for the story and might make a little money for it.

To read a chapter a reader has to pay with 3 credits. Fun fact, you get 16 credits for signing up and 1 every day when you log in. You can also buy credits if you don’t want to just wait for them. You can also invite your friends to join and earn free credits while sharing new stories!

If you’re interested in reading or getting your own short stories out there (and maybe earn a little money doing it) you can sign up here: Penpee.com

I’ll be doing a more in depth post about Penpee later on outlining the pros and cons I notice as time goes.

Peace and Love1

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New Year Money Saving Tips

It’s the beginning of 2018 and if you’re anything like everyone else you’ve set some goals for yourself. Losing weight, quitting smoking or any number of resolutions that may or may not happen. Personally, I’m continuing my resolution from last year. Say sorry less. It seems easy but you’d be surprised. Anyway, another popular resolution is to save money, and that can be a lot harder than replacing “sorry” with “thank you for understanding”. So here are a few helpful tips and tricks.

  1. Set up an automatic draft of $5 or $10 out of your pay check directly into a savings account. This may not seem like a lot, but if you can afford to stash back $10 a week then when 2019 rolls around you’ll have $520 stashed back for the year. Not a lot of money but it’s sitting in a savings account that generates interest.
  2. Take part in the Year Long Weekly Money Saving Challenge. This one has some pros and cons that a lot of people like to argue over, but here’s the concept. On week 1 of the year you drop $1 into a jar or envelop. On week 2 of the year you add $2 to the savings. Now you’ll have $3. On week 3 you add $3 and end up with $5. Getting the idea? It’s pretty straight forward. Finally on week 52 when you add $52 to your savings you’ll have $1,378 set aside. The pro to this challenge is you’ll have cash available if you really need it. A few cons include you earn no interest and you’ll be more tempted to dig into it for less than noble reasons.
  3. Juggle the bills. Look at your monthly expenses. There are a few that are mandatory and others that aren’t. You most likely need a cell phone, but are you paying more than you should? Same goes for streaming TV, like Netflix or Hulu. Ask yourself if you can consolidate your bills. When was the last time you shopped around for a better cell phone plan? Do you really need to spend $50 a month on four different streaming programs? Most people find they can free up at least $5 a month doing this an sometimes much more. It may not seem like much, but it adds up.
  4. Meal planning. If you have the time to cook at home do it as often as you can. Make out a grocery list once a week or once a month and buy what you’ll need to make those meals. Buying in bulk can save a lot of money. And remember you don’t have to have a first class meal every night. Splurge here and there but try to buy the healthiest foods for the best price. It’s a balancing act, but the work is worth the pay off.
  5. Set a budget for your monthly luxuries. Love video games? Have a reading addiction? That’s okay. You can enjoy those while you save. Personally I set a book buying budget every month and refuse to go over that budget. This type of budget can be created for any luxury. Just make yourself stay in line with it.
  6. Set some goals for your savings. This isn’t actively going to save money, but it will help you keep on track. Buying a house and need to save up the down payment? Looking forward to a new car? Want the latest tech gadget? Keep that in mind anytime you go to spend money you don’t have to spend.

Those are six money saving tips and there are tons money to be found online. From better budgeting to forced drafting you can save money as long as you roll up your sleeves and try. Sometimes life happens and the bills can’t get paid when they need to be. If you find yourself with that problem every month you may need to sit down with your bills and your pay stub and work on downsizing or finding a higher paying job. As long as you take steps to fix money issues there is no shame in it. It’s called taking charge and everyone has to do it at some point.

Best of luck!

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King Pet Photo Contest and The Cuteness
January 2, 2018
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Here lately my daughter has really been into taking pictures of the pets. She’s always had an interest in animals. She goes from wanting to be a vet to a zoo keeper to running an animal rescue shelter all the time. With another two days left for winter break before she goes back to school I decided that it was time to kill some time with something she’s been into. In comes KingPet and the contests.

KingPet has photo contests. Photos must be of pets. There are three categories; dogs, cats and other pets. Contests run for weeks and the photos with the most votes win a cash prize. It seemed like a fun way to let my girl start interacted with the online world. With me as a safe buffer between her and it of course. It will also teach her how easy it is for pictures to travel around online. Bonus lesson!

Anyway, my girl found a picture of our dog, Shader, and wanted to enter the contest. Here’s the pic she found.

That’s a party pup! Anyway you can click on the photo to go give her a vote if you like. Or not.

However, this little contest isn’t exactly a “fair” event. People can buy votes for their or others’ photos. At least that’s how it seems. Another bonus less: We’ll not be putting money into this fun contest. There is something to be said for a cash prize, but I don’t think investing money to win money like this is the best way to go about it. I’ll be pointing this out to my girl as she works with me and the site.

My daughter also has some pictures of the cats and her hamster. Currently she’s trying to pin down the best one to use. She’s also trying to take better pictures that capture more of their faces and their personalities. I think this is great. Without me trying to teach she is learning how to improve her skills with a goal in mind. That alone makes the extra work worth it. (Yep, had to run to the store to get batteries for the camera and dig out the cable to connect it to the computer.)

All in all I think these could be fun contests and if they help her explore her interests, why not?

Peace and Love!

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Writing a Cover Letter and Why We Hate It

Most schools will at least teach students how to write a basic cover letter and with the ever growing job market it’s a skill that everyone should brush up on. The cover letter is the first glimpse at you that any employer will ever have (unless you have an ‘in’ with them) and it is the hook that gets them to look deeper. From the cover letter employers will go to the resume. Lots of people think their resume should be enough to impress an employer, but by going to extra step with a cover letter you can give them a look at you as a person.

And that’s the pinch. You’re selling yourself in a way with a cover letter and there are so many people who just can’t fathom what their selling points are. A cover letter has to be personalized to the employer you’re trying to impress. This means you need to personalize what skills you want to really push. As both an author and freelance writer I’ve written more than my share of cover letters and I really hated each and every one of them.

So what goes into a cover letter?

First and foremost you need to address it properly. You contact information should be found at the top of the cover letter and followed by the name and contact information of the company you’re sending the cover letter too. This is for handing in or mailing cover letters. If you’re emailing a cover letter this can be somewhat ignored or followed to the letter.

In the first paragraph of your cover letter you should introduce yourself and how you heard about the opening you’re applying for. Give them a feel for who you are and why you were drawn to this job. This is the hook that leads them to the next part: You experience.

The second paragraph should highlight in more detail your experience that qualifies you for the job opening. Here’s where some detailing comes in. If you’re applying for a tech position don’t include time you spent working at an animal shelter. Focus in on what makes you the best fit for the job. This part may be expanded to a third paragraph if you have a lot of experience you need to share.

In conclusion summarize everything that makes you the person they want to hire in just a few sentences. Add why the job excites you or why you’re going for this job. Make sure to reword it and add a little bit of knowledge. It’s nice to let the employer know you know something about them and their company.

Then end it with a sincerely (hopeful employee) and you’re set.

 

That sounds really easy, but for most of us it’s nerve wracking and nail biting to go through. After writing it you then have to send it and hope they like you more than any of the others applying for the job. So here’s some advice.

Take a deep breath and write your cover letter. Do a draft first if you’re not confident and then go back and read through it once. If you have a friend or family member that you trust to tell you the truth see if they’re read over it once for you. Then sit down and tweak it just once. Finally, take another deep breath and send it.

Best of luck!

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The Saving Grace Sage: Paranormal Romance

The Saving Grace Sage was my first published books. These books are paranormal romance and the characters are either werewolves or witches. There are some normal humans, but they’re secondary at best. The first novel, Witch Hunt, was my first attempt at Nation Novel Writing Month. (I’ll do a post about that later) and that’s where it all started.

My daughter was only two years old when I started Witch Hunt and most of my writing was done while she took naps and slept at night. The second and third novel, Fox Hunt and Fire Hunt, were written in much the same way. While I’ve been writing since before I could really write, Witch Hunt was the first novel I not only completed but also had published. A small publishing company, Cobblestone Press offered me a contract (after three rejection letters from other publishers) and off I went into a brand new world.

I had never gone back and forth with an editor before. That experience alone nearly had me throw in the towel, but I’m here to say this: It was worth it. Sleepless nights trying to get a chapter finished and the editing rounds. They were worth it. I learned so much from that first novel and I’m learning more every time I set pen to paper.

Now, on to the books!

 

Witch Hunt

After the bloody murder of her brother, Rei finds herself on the run from the coven that killed him. A powerful Earth witch, Rei searches for a natural well of magic to avenge her brother’s death, even if it costs her life. However, standing between her and her goal is an alluring wolf.

Aidan never took the time or interest to look for his mate, but when the young witch shows up on pack hunting grounds his solitary life is turned upside down. Now, he must find a way to protect his pack and the woman that fate has handed him.

 

Fox Hunt

Living a nomadic lifestyle, Dilly is accustomed to being on the move, but the Federal Witch Hunters are after more than broken wands. Now they’re hunting for wolf pelts, and Dilly and her family are in their sights. Dilly must choose to charge to her family’s rescue or rely on a man she just met.

Leader of his werewolf bloodline, Mike travels across the country in search of a family traveling through the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Finding his mate in the headstrong Dilly, Mike is faced with the possibility of war with not only the burners but his own mate.

 

Fire Hunt

Julia was dedicated to the cause, even though she was marked a traitor by her own kind for becoming a Federal Witch Hunter. When her partner captures a man from her past, Julia must make a choice: Let the witch be tortured, or blow her cover and go with plan B.

All Edmund wanted was to help the magical community and escape his extremist lifestyle. Instead he was setup and captured by Witch Hunters. Cut off from his magic and held prisoner, Edmund didn’t think things could get worse. Then Julia struts into his holding cell with an escape plan.

 

That’s all for tonight. Peace and Love!

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Update to Inkitt Issues and Their Site
December 29, 2017
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Yesterday I wrote a post about my experience with Inkitt. While it was an honest explanation of my experience with them I was surprised to wake up this morning to an interesting email.

Over the summer I uploaded two stories to the Inkitt website for a promotion. The promotion was a payment of $15 for year story over 30k words. I was not paid for those stories which soured me to the site, but I left my stories up to see how readers might respond to them. I figured the nonpayment was an oversight somewhere or a technicality. Thus, other than a few emails back and forth I didn’t push the issue too heavily.

This morning I woke up to several emails. One was from Ali Albazaz, founder and CEO of Inkitt, stating that he had seen the post and dug into what happen. It was a polite email and explained this never should have happened. Apparently he’d gone over the emails with one of his colleagues and discovered my emails had been lost. There was also an email alerting me to money added to my PayPal. I’m impressed that he made this right so quickly and efficiently.

It gives the Inkitt company a boost in my respect and confidence. That said I’d like to give everyone a bit of information on the site.

Inkitt is not just a place writers can share their work and where readers can find some unknown talent. As I said it is also a publishing company. The staff at Inkitt pays attention to the well written and engaging stories. Stories they feel readers respond to best are offered a publishing contract, with professional editing and book cover. They also have a nice marketing plan in place to help spread the word.

They are more than that. Writers can find a number of contests on the Inkitt website. Many of these contests offer winners a publishing contract. Cash prizes are also available. Some of the contests do require an entry fee. The deadlines for contests are clearly outlined.

Over all the Inkitt website may not be for every writer, but they are a place for aspiring authors who don’t have time or the insane drive to deal with more traditional publishers. Yes, it gets harder and harder year by year to work out contract deals with traditional publishers.

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Inkitt and Why I’m Not Publishing With Them
December 29, 2017
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I ran a test this past summer in regards to Inkitt. For those of you who don’t know or haven’t heard of Inkitt I’ll explain a little.

Inkitt is a publishing platform where writers can post their stories a chapter at a time and could get a publishing contract offered for said story. Writers are not paid for uploading their stories. Money only comes in if a story is offered a publishing contract. There are also writing contests on the site that offer publishing contracts.

Again, the writer posts their fiction up for free.

So over the summer Inkitt ran a special where they did in fact offer $15 for each story over 30k words posted to the site. It only lasted a few weeks and I only found out about it because I was signed up for a newsletter somewhere, but I was a little hard up for money at the time and thought why not. Digging through some old stories I found two that I wrote years ago. I did a brief polish (yep, I cried a few times when I realized how badly I wrote at that point in my life), and set up a basic cover image.

The stories were uploaded and off we went. I confirmed with the staff that I had uploaded the stories for the promotion and was promised to be paid in a week or two. Payment never arrived. I haven’t uploaded another story.

Beyond that, I have kept my eye on the site to see reading stats and whatnot. To date there have been about 150 reads to the stories. That seems kind of impressive but deeply disheartening. There have been no reviews or anything else. No feed back from staff. Nothing. Normally I would see this as a type of off the cuff site where writers share their work, but this site says they want to publish.

In the publishing and writing world feed back is vital. How else does a writer improve without it?

So, I’ll not be posting any stories on Inkitt in the future. I will keep the stories there for now, but I have plans to revamp them and self-publish them at a later date.

Peace and Love!

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Day Two and It’s Going Well
December 28, 2017
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Two days and I think I’m getting the lay of the land. I’ve already found a few places to talk about anime. I’ll look for a manga station later. With the New Year so close I’m in crunch time trying to figure out budgets and business plans for 2018.

Along with LiteracyBase, which seems like a wicked cool social area, I also found Penpee.com. Writers are paid per chapter for their short stories. They aren’t paid much per view but they do get paid for every read a chapter gets. It seems like it might be a good spot for short stories that don’t have a home. I’ve still got some digging to do, but it’s on the list.

There are also my nonfiction works. I’ve been playing around on Vocal.Media for the last few months and I believe it may be a paying market for passive earnings. I’m looking for other places to post articles for passive income, but it could be tricky. That seems to be a fading market and I hate Adsense share. It makes things overly complicated and I just can’t keep track of it along with everything else.

My “little online earners” are in need of a shuffling around too. These are my easy survey sites and paid to sites. I even have a paid lock screen on my phone. Hey, anything to keep the ends tied. These sites don’t pay much. That’s why they’re “little online earners” and why I don’t focus a lot of time to them. My mom makes a good bit more extra from them than I do, but still it’s just enough to get her a few hundred dollars a year.

Anyway, once my daughter goes back to school I’ll be able to settle back into a schedule and get everything straightened out. I’ll also start posting more meaningful bits and pieces on here. Expect posts about anime, manga, writing, publishing, cover design, book reviews and just about anything else that might be wandering around my head.

Peace and Love!

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It’s My First Day Here
December 28, 2017
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So, I’m just testing my limits here. This evening I stumbled across Literacy Base while looking up passive income writing sites. I have yet to find any kind of word limit for these posts, but I expect to keep looking around and find something.

A little about me… I’m an author who works from home. This gave me five wonderful years to bond with my daughter before she headed into the public school system. I started freelance writing a year after she was born to help keep the ends tied. My husband gave me a lot of wiggle room for how I’d create my income and 8 years later I’ve published five books and have a handful of side earners that keep me on my toes.

If you’re interested in paranormal romance or interactive romance you can check out my titles:

The Saving Grace Saga

  • Witch Hunt

After the bloody murder of her brother, Rei finds herself on the run from the coven that killed him. A powerful Earth witch, Rei searches for a natural well of magic to avenge her brother’s death, even if it costs her life. However, standing between her and her goal is an alluring wolf.

Aidan never took the time or interest to look for his mate, but when the young witch shows up on pack hunting grounds his solitary life is turned upside down. Now, he must find a way to protect his pack and the woman that fate has handed him.

  • Fox Hunt

Living a nomadic lifestyle, Dilly is accustomed to being on the move, but the Federal Witch Hunters are after more than broken wands. Now they’re hunting for wolf pelts, and Dilly and her family are in their sights. Dilly must choose to charge to her family’s rescue or rely on a man she just met.

Leader of his werewolf bloodline, Mike travels across the country in search of a family traveling through the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Finding his mate in the headstrong Dilly, Mike is faced with the possibility of war with not only the burners but his own mate.

  • Fire Hunt

Julia was dedicated to the cause, even though she was marked a traitor by her own kind for becoming a Federal Witch Hunter. When her partner captures a man from her past, Julia must make a choice: Let the witch be tortured, or blow her cover and go with plan B.

All Edmund wanted was to help the magical community and escape his extremist lifestyle. Instead he was setup and captured by Witch Hunters. Cut off from his magic and held prisoner, Edmund didn’t think things could get worse. Then Julia struts into his holding cell with an escape plan.

 

Lost Relic: An Interactive Romance Novel

Years of working inside a museum have taken a toll on Lillian’s passion for history. Now two strangers, each a master of his field, have shown up offering her a chance to rekindle her love. The lost temple of the Golden King is hidden just beyond the horizon of the Amazon and now Lillian has the chance to be a part of its discovery. Will she follow the prestigious historian or the roguish treasure hunter? You decide.

 

Just Beyond Daybreak – a paranormal romance novella

When the source of her family’s magical energy and life force is stolen, Meredith Blackburn is left with little choice, but to search out the best magical tracker she knows. Unfortunately Malcolm Blackwood is more than just a tracker, he is also a man who captivates Meredith’s thoughts.

She strolled into Malcolm’s life with a job that he didn’t want, but instantly he regretted turning her away. Now, with his own family relics in danger, Malcolm finds himself unable to leave Meredith behind.
Can they save the Blackburn bloodline? Or will family ties tear them apart?

 

All of my titles are available on Amazon. Also, I plan on exploring Literacy Base more as the days go by.

Peace and Love1

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