April 30, 2014

Meeting Friends, Cover Reveal for Devyn Dawson's Killing Me Softly & ROW80

So far, in my writing life, I have met some amazing people online. Occasionally, I get to meet some in person. 

I met Devyn at a Writing Conference in North Carolina. Not only is she amazing, but she is always one of the first people to jump in and lend a hand or offer encouragement. 

It's just another reason I'm looking forward to going to UtopYa in June--Devyn will be there! Plus, I'll get to meet some of the other lovelies I've only communicated with online so far. 

I'll be equal parts friend and fan girl. 

But back to sharing. Enjoy the latest from Devyn!!


Killing Me Softly - A Broken Souls Novel
June 2014

Hey everyone, I have a new book coming out in June.  I'm so excited for this book to get in your hands!  It is a New Adult book about a girl who was always told to stay away from military guys.  Her dad lived in fear that one day a military guy would come along and break her heart.  I grew up by Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma and we were always warned about military boys.  I met my husband 22 years ago while he was stationed at TAFB.  This story isn't about anyone I know, but it's about everyone I've ever met.  Not everyone is given the chance to live a charmed life, especially Holland.  Read below for the synopsis of this dear to my heart book.  Not every guy in the military is a killer, or angry, no, there's so many good guys looking for a good girl.  I know, because I found one.

Please do me a huge favor and add it to your TBR list on Goodreads and share on Facebook.  It is how authors like me get the word out!  Thank you so much!!!

Facts – My best friend died six months ago. My mom bailed on me when I turned 13. My dad is mentally ill and a permanent fixture on our couch. We live on his disability and my meager paycheck. I take online college courses so I can work full time to pay for the electric bill. I’ve fallen head over heels for Tate Cook, he’s in the U.S. Air Force.

I’m Holland Clifford, I’m 19, and this is my life.

Once upon a time, I was whole… and then I was shattered. Tate’s picking up my pieces and putting me back together again.
About the Author

Devyn Dawson is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Currently, she kicks up her boots in the lush green town of New Bern, North Carolina.  She attended Oklahoma State University where she studied business.  Growing up, she was considered the eccentric girl.  She wrote dark stories, celebrated Halloween like a national holiday, and burned candles before they were trendy.  The very moment she watched Kiefer Sutherland in Lost Boys she vowed to run off with him one day.  Real life took over and she got married and had two amazing children.  In her spare time and great weather, you’ll find her on the back of her husband’s motorcycle touring North Carolina.  Devyn is an avid reader, she has given up Stephen King and reads mostly young adult books.  She writes young adult paranormal books about werewolves, vampires and faeries.  She loves happy endings, but offers twists and turns to get to them. Devyn has decided to dip her toe in the big-girl pond and write some books with just the right amount of steam and twists the fans won’t see coming. 


A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

Chasing Shadows is now in the hands of my early readers. I'm so excited. If you would like to read an early copy and don't mind leaving a review sometime 5/7-9, please leave a message in the comments. Or contact me at tiabach@depressioncookies.com.

Now, I need to prepare the Release Day posts for 5/7. Sign ups are here.

So much to do before 5/7!

Hope all my writer friends are progressing toward their goals!

April 29, 2014

Pure Will: ROW80

I am an active person, although by no means a natural athlete. I particularly love the game of tennis. During a recent group lesson with my team, the instructor came up to me and said, "You play by pure will." 

At first, I didn't know how to take the comment especially since his only previous comment to me was, "No matter how many times you hit the ball back, you always look surprised."

Made at wigflip.com
Pure will... was that just a nice way of saying I overcome lackluster skill?

Then, several weeks later, he came up to me after practice again. This time, he said he could teach skill, but he couldn't teach people hard work and the will to push through.

I feel like pure determination gets me through most things. Am I the best writer in the world? No. There are just too many amazing ones to compare myself to. But I don't quit, even when I get frustrated or discouraged. By will alone sometimes, I keep moving on.

Well, will and surrounding myself with as many amazing people as I can. See, I not only have a strong will, I also appreciate that I can't possibly do it on my own. And no matter how many books I sell, I don't think I'll ever get over the thrill. Guess I'll just always have that surprised face! 


Just squeaking this in for Monday. Sometimes determination sure comes in handy. *smiles* Chasing Shadows is getting closer and closer to publication. 

eARCs out to early readers--by Wednesday, 4/30 (will send out tomorrow)
Update website--DONE (check it out here)
Set up GoodReads giveaway--by Wednesday, 4/30 -- goal for tomorrow
Set up Release Day signups--DONE
Prepare Release Day posts--by Friday, May 2

If I haven't said it lately, I must say it again: Jo Michaels rocks! I don't know what I'd do without her.

April 24, 2014

Work for Free? -- ROW80

Writing really is all about the blood, sweat, and tears; not to mention a roller coaster of emotions.

Chasing Shadows, thanks to the final editing changes I just finished, is that much closer to its release date of 5/7/14. As excited as I am to finally get it into the readers' hands, I'm also drained. 

But now comes the hard part, at least for me... marketing.

So much to plan. I don't have a publicist--although some day, when I win the lottery, I'm going to--so that's just another hat I wear.* I wish it was something that came easily to me. 

I know "free" is part of any good marketing strategy these days. Chasing Memories, book one, will go free for the five days upon the release of Chasing Shadows, book two. Free still bothers me. Maybe it's because I'm just finishing another book, and I know all too well how much work is involved. 

But I also love getting my book out to more people and love to gain new readers. From everything I've read from other authors, the best use of free is in a series. This is my first series, so we shall see.

How do you feel about free? What is the best use of it?


A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

My immediate goals...

Last edits--by Wednesday, 4/23--✓
eARCs out to early readers--by Wednesday, 4/30
Update website--asap
Set up GoodReads giveaway--by Wednesday, 4/30
Set up Release Day signups--by Monday, 4/28
Prepare Release Day posts--by Wednesday, 4/30

Only one check mark, but it was an important one. Off to work on more. 

* An aside: as I was re-reading this post for errors, I noticed a Freudian slip. I had put "that's just another hate I wear". I had to chuckle, so I thought I'd share.

April 21, 2014

Make A Little Better: ROW80

A new week... a new promise.

I'm in the final, final edits of Chasing Shadows. Seriously! It's time to accept the last edits and move to publish. Why do I find this process so damned exhausting?

Just today, I went with my youngest on a field trip to an old schoolhouse. There, written on the chalkboard, was an explanation.

It's so hard to say I'm done editing, to know it's good enough. Perfection is a pipe dream, I get it. Still...

So today and tomorrow, I'm re-reading until my eyes blur. Then, I will do what needs to be done. Let. It. Go. 

I've now set an official publication date of 5/7/14. This gives me enough time to schedule marketing efforts and get the eARCs out to the amazing peeps who signed up. Want in on that? Check it out here.

Here we go. Ready or not.

What helps you let go of something?


A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

My goals are all publication-centered the next two weeks...

Last edits--by Wednesday, 4/23
eARCs out to early readers--by Wednesday, 4/30
Update website--asap
Set up GoodReads giveaway--by Wednesday, 4/30
Set up Release Day signups--by Monday, 4/28
Prepare Release Day posts--by Wednesday, 4/30

Wishing all my ROW80 friends productive days this week! 

April 14, 2014

Mothering Characters: ROW80 Update

My oldest daughter and I went away this weekend to bond. I realized things had changed in the last two years. I went from wondering when I'd ever have a moment where she didn't need me constantly to wondering where she was hiding in the house. I missed her, especially when I realized she would be heading off to college in four and a half years.

So I came up with an idea to go on a trip of interest to her. I've let her lead the weekend and given in to her interests and wants, even when I didn't particularly want to. Two examples: I got a henna tattoo--I was told the symbol means mother, and I'm hoping it really does--and fed a squid to a creepy-looking moray eel.


As a mom, I have become more careful and more carefree. I make more practical decisions and consider my kids in everything I do, but I also get to act young and embrace experiences with them. It's so much like creating characters. I have to make sure they are well-crafted with the right plot opportunities, but I also have to give myself over to them for the sake of story.

Just another reason I love being a writer (and a mother)... getting to see life through another set of eyes. What a gift.


Time for another A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) update.

Waiting to get the final edits back for Chasing Shadows and still struggling with Acknowledgements. I am simply so blessed with influential people.

I took off a couple of days with my daughter, so I'll be back to marketing efforts and writing tomorrow.

Hope everyone is finding time to both be structured and to let go.

April 10, 2014

Rainbow Bridge: ROW80 Update

We are only three days into round two of A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80), and I'm already late with my check-in (usually Wednesdays).

Last Friday, after about ten days of watching our beloved dog go downhill quickly and counseling with our vet, we said goodbye to her. Jazzy was an amazing addition to our family, and we were blessed to have her for ten years. 

That's the kind of dog she was -- she let the
girls  turn her into Captain America
When we left the vet's office, our entire family in tears, there was a beautiful rainbow. For those who know the Rainbow Bridge poem, you understand the significance. For those who don't know it...

Rainbow Bridge
(Author Unkown)

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. 

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. 

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. 

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

This emotionally raw time came just as I was finishing the last round of edits for Chasing Shadows. My editor had challenged me in several spots to amp up the senses and add emotional impact. It was needed, but I felt like I was an open wound after finishing. I had to take a couple of days to decompress, especially with losing Jazzy as well. Thus, my tardiness on this post.

This week I will be finishing up some publication elements like the Acknowledgements page and release day planning. 

But the edits are done, and I think I was able to access more emotions because of what I was going through. I hope it adds to the story. For now, my family is healing.

April 7, 2014

Nose to the Grindstone: ROW80 Round 2 Goals

It's time to get real. Lots to do this round. My focus is to keep my nose to the grindstone.

*** Word nerd alert ***

Before I continue, I had to look up the meaning behind the grindstone saying. The best explanation I found:

Knife sharpeners were known to have to stay at the work stations. The work stations were at grindstones for sharpening the knives. The phrase, "keep your nose to the grindstone," implies having to do work. Knife sharpeners were known to have to do hard labor and were sometimes punished.

While it is not certain that they literally had their noses put to the grindstone, the phrase may have originated from that type of punishment. (source

*** back to post ***

Goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Round 2

Just in case you haven't seen it. *Squeal*
My last Chasing Shadows edit will go to Jo--Editor Extraordinaire--by Wednesday. Then, we will gear up for a late April release. To that end, I need to:

- Write my Acknowledgements section ** See question below
- Get the eARC copies to the amazing people who offered to read and review
- Plan a GoodReads Giveaway
- Put Chasing Memories on free promotion to celebrate the release of book two
- Organize Release Day posts
- Organize (all by myself *eep!*) a Book Review tour

Plus, I am going to finish Chasing Forgiveness (novella) this month.

My original goal was to have Chasing Destiny (book three) out by UtopYA, but I'm just not sure. I've never been one to rush my writing, and I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. Then again, pressure can be a good thing (I wrote books one and two during NaNo). 

There's a lot to do to prepare for UtopYA, too. I need to decide on my swag and get it ordered plus order books to take. 

** I find this a hard task. There are so many people to thank, but I always hate it to get too long. I hate even more to forget someone. Any advice?

Wishing everyone a great Round 2!

April 3, 2014

Uncloaking Concerns: IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (or IWSG) is a wonderful group put together by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh (which now has an equally cool Facebook group). 

The first Wednesday of each month is the perfect opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch, get encouragement and support about such insecurities, and to read how other writers are faring. 
In June, I am attending UtopYA in Nashville, Tennessee. While I am uber-excited about meeting so many of the amazing writers I have come to know through the Internet, I am also terrified to push back the cloak of invisibility I wear so well.
I have only attended two writer's conferences. For one, I knew absolutely nobody and truly went to learn from panels, classes, and agents. For another, I knew friends and family. For both, I only had one book out and it was women's fiction.
YA is for fun, hip, and interesting people--or at least they all seem that way to me. According to my three daughters, I am most surely not hip and may only qualify as fun and interesting on rare occasions.
I just hope I can get past the nervousness and let people see the real me--someone who loves everything about creating characters and breathing life into them.
Any tips on how to relax and just have fun? How not to be overly self-conscious?

April 1, 2014

Chasing Shadows Cover Reveal

I'm so excited to share the cover of Chasing Shadows today! 

About Chasing Shadows (Tala Prophecy, Book 2)

Reagan thought one night changed her life forever, but her fate was written long ago.

Merging creature and white blood,
One of flame, one of night,
At eighteen years it will commence,
Spiritual warrior and power,
Will bring an end to the lawless ones.

A war looms: One that pits brother against brother for werewolf supremacy. Angels and demons will each have a say before a victor is chosen.

With her eighteenth birthday only six months away, time is running out. Reagan must find a way to harness the two powerful, ancient bloodlines coursing through her: Werewolf and Wiccan. Then, she has to figure out her role in the century-old prophecy foretold by her great-grandmother.

However, if Reagan can’t save her family from her most vicious rival, Rafe, the forces of Hell will be unleashed and the war will be over before it starts.

Add Chasing Shadows to GoodReads

Cover design by Jo Michaels