Saturday, November 30, 2013

Being Heard

I've been looking into ACX this past week, with the intentions of making Farmer's Daughter available as an audio book.  It's another branch of Amazon somehow.  My profile on their site went up on Wednesday, and I've already had a narrator audition for it.

And it makes me a little nervous actually.  I've read her profile, I even googled her and she's a real actress.  Why this intimidates me, I'm not entirely sure.  I want to message her and ask her why she chose me and my book.

It's like, it's too good to be true and I'm afraid to contact her and get the ball rolling.  I have no idea how long the process would take, ACX estimates the book would be 20+ hours.  That's a lot of talking!

I didn't even have this much fear when it came to publishing direct to Kindle.  I mean yeah, there was some fear, but nothing like the trepidation I feel right now as I just think about making an audio book!

I shouldn't wait too long, as she might pick up another project or change her mind.  She's been trained at Julliard for crying out loud!  She was on TV back in the 80's.

No doubt I will be pacing the floor back and forth for the rest of the day.  Odds are I will press the buttons I need to and get the ball rolling...but it's going to take a good bit of encouraging myself.

Why not?  I mean, it's a good story and it ought to be made available to as many people as possible.  And don't I deserve to work with someone professionally trained? And yet, I quake in my boots.

It's going to be a long day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It's a crazy time of year...and it's only Thanksgiving!

Saturday was the first of two family get-together's for me.  Traveled about an hour away from home, after working four hours.  We had to work Saturday because we have Thursday off for Thanksgiving, obviously, and then we will have Monday off as well since it is the first day of deer season here in PA and that is pretty much a holiday here.  We'll be working ten hours on Friday and then another ten on Tuesday to prevent having to work this Saturday.  I'll take that deal!

Tomorrow Mr. Janney and I will be headed to his parents' so that I can back my dish-to-pass (sweet potato yumyum) and then head to his grandparents for dinner.

This explains why my posting is not consistent this week for which I apologize.  I'll have a better plan in store for Christmas, which promises to be just as crazy and is now less than a month away.  And as usual we have done no Christmas shopping!

I have gotten very little new material written this week, which is a little frustrating but I will have to deal with it as I have no choice in the matter!  As my friend Jaime says at work, "Suck it up Buttercup!"

One thing I did get accomplished is putting up a title page for Farmer's Daughter in an attempt to have it made available as an audio book.  I want to make it as available as possible.

Which, a quick reminder, Farmer's Daughter is still on sale for Kindle.  Although the price is bumped up to $1.99 now, but it'll be there for two more days.  And 16 some hours according to the last countdown I just saw!  It'll hop back up to $2.99 after that.

I'll get this stuff figured out eventually!  In the meantime:

And Happy Hanukkah!!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Just a reminder: my novel Farmer's Daughter is on sale this week starting today!  I verified it before posting to make sure the promotion has started.  You can get the Kindle edition for only 99 cents for a limited time!

I'm excited to see how it turns out!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unproductive Week?

So far it has been an unproductive week for me; at least when it comes to writing.  Mr. Janney has been home sick from work and the first the computer has been turned on this week has been to write this.  It hasn't been wasted time, as any time spent hanging with my hubby is nice!  He usually gets home so late that there is little time in the evening to really enjoy the time.  I'm not sure if I'll get anything other than this blog post written tonight as I am exhausted from another long day at work.

I did spend some time on Sunday working on back story for my series, scenes that will never be published and are solely for my information.  I'm still not sure they're events I want to have happen, but either way the rough draft of my characters' pasts is at least partially written.

Which is important for me at least to know because in a  very real sense, one of the antagonists in my novel Farmer's Daughter is the past.  At the very least, Craig and Angela's different reactions to past events which hampers their lives.

They both withdrew from life.

Craig's reaction to his abuse as a teen closed him off from the female gender, and because he didn't feel safe enough to tell his father it also hindered his relationships with men.  He also turned away from God.  Kevin, his friend from college, is the deepest friendship Craig has.  Craig is seen as aloof, sometimes unfriendly, and moody.  Most people fear his temper, although we don't really see much of that once Angela comes on the scene.  Although it is never said in the novel, it is evident that Craig lives a very scheduled life.  There is some debate as to whether or not Craig is considered kind, and it probably depends on who one talks to.

Like in any town, everyone has their own opinion about everything and everyone, but we'll talk about that on a later day!

Angela's reaction to her brother's accident is varied.  Because she feels responsible, Angela internalizes her emotions.  All her anger from that day, all her guilt and self-loathing.  She manages to live some semblance of a normal life.  She still went to school, graduating and enrolling in college.  She has several close friendships with other females, but because she felt abandoned by her brother and later betrayed by her brother's best friend she holds herself distant from men.  Yet she lives on a knife's edge, because the accident left her with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and just the sound of squealing brakes can send her into a panic attack.

Had these two continued to live in the same town without crossing paths, something Angela worked very hard at, odds are they would never have found the healing they needed.  Don't get me wrong, I believe in the healing power of God and right thinking about ourselves.  But I also believe in the human factor.  Our words, our actions, our love or hate towards another human being can do so much good...or harm.  We are powerful beings and all to often we ignore the powerful influence we can have on other people.

Each and every one of us has a past.  And we've all had heartaches and abuses and bad things happen to us. How we allow those experiences to shape us, is entirely up to us.  Fortunately it's something that can be changed if we come to realize we've made a wrong decision.  If we allow it, our past circumstances can give us the experience needed to help pull someone else out of the same dark hole we came out of.

I think I'm going to wrap it up.  I'd like to write more, but I don't want to go on too long.  And I'm thinking bed is in order soon.  4 AM comes WAY too soon, regardless of what time I go to bed!

Before I go, a question for you.  Have any of you had a chance to read my novel yet?  If not, the Kindle version will be going on sale at 8 AM Saturday morning and will be .99 cents for 72 hours.  :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Merry Chase

Well, here we go again.  I'm feeling a little more focused today.  I think problems at my job have been weighing too much on my mind this past week.  It's hard to see my friend hurting and struggling because the 'powers that be' made a really lousy choice in who they promoted, and didn't promote.  I probably shouldn't comment on it, because this is a very public forum and I know they watch social media like hawks for crap like that.  So my apologies for letting it all distract me; I may work it into a post eventually, but not today.

Today, we're going to talk about the romantic chase.

One thing that is commented on a couple times in my novel Farmer's Daughter is how the female lead Angela is hesitant to let Craig know that she likes him beyond friendship.  Her grandmother calls her on it at Christmas, reminding her that 'women are bold these days'.  Craig thinks about her hesitancy after Christmas and their 'almost kiss'; in fact Craig has the thought that he wishes she would just up and say 'Craig, I want to be more than just friends', as it would make it easier for him...and then realizes that in subtle ways, Angela had done exactly that.

She doesn't come right out and tell him, because she is a perceptive woman and realizes that a move like that would set Craig to running.  And she herself is terrified of being 'caught' in a one sided romance.  But once Craig makes up his mind, he pursues Angela with a gentle intent.

Which opens up the door to the entire question of whether that's how it's supposed to be?  Is it up to the guy to do all the asking and pursuing?  I once had a man tell me that a woman has no say in the matter of romance...that it's entirely up to the guy to notice her and then pursue her.  And this was a very proper Christian man, and I'm thinking I'm glad that he shot me down the way he did as I'm not sure I would want to be in that restrictive of a relationship. I mean, really?  As a woman, I have far more power than that!  I can say NO, and then where would Mr. Proper Man be?

It's not how my own relationship with my husband began.  We were both hesitant to pursue a relationship, for reasons different from my characters.  Some were legit (both our previous romantic partners were cheaters!), others were just plain least in my opinion.  Who cares who had a vehicle and who didn't?  Who really cares that there are ten years between us, me being the older one?  OK, his parents cared and that was a bit of an issue at first.  But we both had jobs, we both liked each other, and we were both why not see where it could lead?  And neither one of us really made the initial move...a friend/co-worker of ours gave us a good push towards each other.  Five years later, we're still enjoying tormenting each other and making life interesting.

For Craig and Angela though, it was necessary.  One thing I've learned from my many years as a single woman watching others relationships is: Every relationship is different and can't be approached like it's going to fall in line with a set of man-made rules.  That and you can't judge someone else's romantic relationship or marriage unless you're a part of it somehow and that too is a subject for a different day...indeed, Book Two.  In many ways, Craig was emasculated as a teen; indeed, it was his abuser's intent.  Predators go after the weakest member of the herd, and that's what Craig's abuser did.  And she wanted him to stay that way, so she could always have that power over him.

Angela figures out early on that Craig doesn't like to be touched.  She doesn't understand why, but almost every time she inadvertently touches him, he withdraws physically and even emotionally.  It causes more than a few hiccups in their relationship.  But that doesn't mean she never shows any initiative.  While Craig starts spending time with her at work on his own, to the point where he even asks her to come in on her nights off, she's the one who asks him to help her with her new karate class and she's the one who invites him to Thanksgiving dinner, an invitation which causes Craig to face his attraction and feelings for her in the face.  In many ways, Craig does the chasing, but Angela's the one that does the leading.

And it was indeed a merry chase.

At least that's what people have told me.  Well, my mother told me that there were times she wanted to reach into the book and smack the two with a two-by-four.  High praise indeed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Night Dilemma

I'm not sure what the problem is tonight, but I can't focus to write a post of any substance tonight.  Usually I write my post the night before and have it scheduled to post the next morning and it's just not happening tonight.  And I don't want to post something just for the sake of posting.

I've had my intended post on my mind since Sunday, perhaps I should have just written it then when it was quieter and I wasn't as tired.  Live and learn.

Tomorrow is another day and I shall try again.  Because that's all one can really do, right?

Monday, November 11, 2013

No Easy Answer

I was at a family get together Saturday and was once again faced with the inevitable question: so, what's your book about?

And really, there is no easy answer.  Because it really is more than 'boy meets girl'.  It's about battling fear. It's about letting past wounds heal.  It's about finding the courage to face an uncertain future.  It's about family discord and unity.  It's about faith and doubting...and finding faith again.  It's about the loss of a loved one and the impact it has on the entire family.

And there's a dragon in it.

Okay, she's just in Craig's dreams, but she's still there.  And she is one of the antagonists in the novel.  Although we never meet the woman the dragon represents until late in the novel, her influence over Craig even as an adult is undeniable.  His friend/shrink Kevin calls him on it more than once in the novel, telling Craig that he needs to stop comparing every woman he meets to his stepmother.  He denies it, but Craig does indeed compare Angela and his stepmother Veronica...and he can't help but notice the differences.  How Angela doesn't push herself on him, how she tries to consistently put others above herself, how her touch doesn't do the same thing to him that his stepmother's did.  Oh, it definitely arouses him, but it doesn't disgust him.

As an adult survivor of molestation, one of Craig's biggest struggle is with his own sexuality.  While the community in general thinks he is homosexual and he doesn't do anything to change their minds, the only thing about Craig that is in the closet is his romantic streak.  He's content as he is, for the most part.  At least, he thinks he is.  The truth is before he formally met Angela, he was a lonely recluse.  Oh, he was friendly to all but he made no real friends in the time he lived in Tyler's Grove.  Afraid that all women were like his stepmother, he not only shut women out...he shut men out as well because of the father that was unable to protect him and blind to what had happened.

The sole exception would be his friend Kevin, but even that is on his own terms.  He calls Kevin sporadically, usually only when something has sparked the dream sequence they both refer to as The Dragon Dream.  Kevin's wife Sherry is considered a friend, but mostly by association.  Kevin and Craig's relationship is probably seed for another post at a later date.

In the prologue, which I will forever question whether it was a good literary move or not, the comment about Craig is made: he no longer tried to escape the nightmare he was caught in.  He made the mistake of accepting what he had been told, of accepting that the nightmare was never going to end.  And then he caught a glimpse of sunlight in his darkness and he was faced with a whole new dilemma.  At once afraid to embrace the sunlight, and yet afraid to lose it.

But once he had a taste of happiness, he gave himself to the chase with his whole heart.

More on the 'chase' on Thursday...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Like Jumping off a Cliff

Once again I tried getting ahead of myself!  Before I get into the different antagonists of my novel, perhaps I ought to tell you why decided to self publish.  After all, someone's bound to ask me sooner or later!

So, here I was with a finished novel and I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.  Do I send it to a publishing house?  Try to find an agent?  Send query letters...after I figure out how to write one that is.  And I knew that all this took time.  One of the pages I follow on Facebook, Saints Not Sinners had recently been telling us how he was going to publish his book straight to Kindle.

I didn't think too much of it at first.  Until I was sitting with a finished novel on my hands and a sequel unfolding at the same time.  I thought...should I try it?  I looked into it first, to make sure there were no hidden fees.  I mean, that was always my first thought when I considered self takes money.

Not anymore!

Amazon makes it really kind of easy.  Publish straight to the Kindle and there's no cost involved.  Easy peasy.  Just like jumping off a cliff.

I hemmed and hawed for weeks, stuck in indecision.  Was self publishing some kind of cop out because I didn't want to face rejection letters?  Was it the same?  It came to me one morning, that I either believed in my story or not.  As simple as that.  So I took the plunge  I still face the possibility of rejection...not from agents and editors.  Friends, family, readers in general...are far more scarier!  Granted, I haven't heard too much negative yet, but it's bound to come.  I know I'm not going to be everyone's cup of tea and I'm ok with that because I know I'm going to be somebody's cup of tea!

And then there were those friends and family members who don't have a Kindle.  They wanted a chance to read it too.  So I dug a little deeper and found I could do the same with CreateSpace.  The cost for the printing of the book comes out of the list price, you couldn't ask for it to be easier!

Until you take into consideration everything I didn't think of until marketing the book!  It has been a learning experience, and I'm glad I did it.  I'm learning the ins and outs of all the social media I ignored before, like Twitter and Pinterest.  I've met some really cool people in the process as well.

This will happen.  It is happening!

Monday, November 4, 2013


I'm posting late today, and there is good reason for that.  Yesterday my husband and I experienced New York City for the first time in our lives, something I absolutely loved!  Today we have spent catching up on everything we would have normally done yesterday.  I absolutely loved the City, and the inspiration I was looking for, and would gladly go my wildest imaginations to actually live!  As if!  I'm not sure Mr. Janney would go with me willingly!  LOL  He is a country boy through and through.

Saturday, I think it was, I realized that I've really done things backwards.  I have a bad habit of doing that.  I mean, I published my novel straight to Kindle and then to paperback!  Ah well, we live and learn.  The second book will probably be released simultaneously to Kindle and paperback.  I've never actually told any of you what my book is about, the synopsis I mean.  I've just kind of assumed everyone will go to the website I link to!  Presumptuous on my part.

So, here it is:

When two wounded souls meet for the first time in a decade, sparks fly and threaten to catch an entire community on fire.

Devastated by a childhood accident, Angela Carman does her best to hide her pain hoping that no one will see the guilt it covers. When she learns that her family's farm is at the brink of foreclosure, Angela's course of actions sets into motion events that will change not only her life but her entire family's as well. As if learning to balance work, school and church wasn't enough, Angela is soon faced with adding love into her equation.

Haunted by his own painful past, Craig Moore is more than a little unwilling to hire the pretty young woman who arrives at his store at just the right time. But something about Angela in those first few minutes intrigued him and he found himself wanting to know her better. Perhaps it was the way she looked at him with only professional interest when other women always seemed to have ulterior motives. Perhaps it was her determination to not take "no" for an answer, or her tightly controlled emotions. Craig soon finds himself drawn into her world. A world steeped in faith and incredible pain, and he finds that he is not alone.

As two sets of self imposed prison walls begin to crumble and they fall in love, the entire town of Tyler's Grove notices and not all are pleased at the turn of events. From the young pastor who covets Angela for his own, to her own jealous cousin, to the Beast who works against them in another realm; at first the two only find support from their own best friends, both of whom are phone calls away. But as tragedy after tragedy seems to beset Angela, the small town unites behind her and Craig.

Will it be enough? When Angela is kidnapped from the streets of this small country town in broad daylight, and her life hangs in the balance, will her town's loyalty be enough to bring her justice? When Angela once again stands at the crossroads of life and death, will Craig's love be enough to bring her back? Will Craig's renewed faith stand the strength of this test? Or will it shatter them all?

In many ways, it's a love story...but it is about so much more than that.  It's about faith while questioning the One you believe in, it's about healing, and there is enough suspense to hopefully keep you guessing at the secrets the different characters hold close.  I mean, we all have secrets...some are just darker than others.

And there is no single antagonist in the book, there are several and I hope I managed to balance them all well.  Because just like secrets, none of us really have one single person out to get us.  Sometimes all we have are selfish people just trying to look out for themselves.  I think Thursday's post will touch on that some more.

For now, I think I'm going to end for the day by saying I LOVE NEW YORK!!  And back to life as normal tomorrow!  :)