Sunday, March 11, 2018

London - March 11, 2015

Say what you will about Facebook and their "On This Day" function, this popped up on my newsfeed and was totally taken back.  I had found this bonkers Black Friday sale and it was cheaper to stay three weeks in London than just a week, so... I did it.

Friday, February 2, 2018

My Maggie Valentine

It's here! It's here! Grab the new Maggie Holiday short story special "My Maggie Valentine"!

Valentine's Day is terrible. Especially when you're Maggie MacKay and tasked with chaperoning the local high school Valentine's dance. Join Maggie and Killian on a holiday, short story adventure. Sometimes you wrestle with demons. And sometimes they just want to cuddle...

A part of the Maggie MacKay: Holiday Special short story series. This stands independently from the main Magical Tracker series and can be read at any time and in any order. 

WARNING: This adventure contains cussing, brawling, and unladylike behavior. Proceed with caution.

P.S. For those of you new to this side series, every now and again, I'll get an idea for something and just want to play around. Think of them like those old holiday specials they used to do for television shows. These stories stand outside the regular series and can be read in any order. They're just meant to be 40-pages of brain candy. All sugar, no nutritional value whatsoever. Enjoy the buzz!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Enter to Win Five Signed Books

Me and four other AWESOME authors got together and are giving away FIVE FREE SIGNED paperbacks of our bestselling urban fantasy books!  Enter to win between now and January 26!

Private investigators. Trackers. Cops. Cleaners. In Urban Fantasy, monsters exist alongside humans. Someone needs to keep the bloodshed to a minimum. And when the body count rises too fast or too high, someone needs to find who’s responsible and make them pay. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Behind the Scenes of Eine Kleine Nacht Maggie

By now, you have all probably read Eine Kleine Nacht Maggie, right?  If not, get on that people!  Did you know that all of my Maggie books have their roots in real places in the Los Angeles area?  You can actually drive around the county and see all of the places and building described.  Well, here's where Eine Kleine Nacht Maggie got its inspiration.

My buddy, Adam-Adam, and I were headed off for a cruise, if I'm remembering correctly.  And as all great adventures begin, I believe we were driving down the 405 and said to ourselves, "What is that magical place?" 

We pull off and discover this magical, semi-abandoned, Bavarian village filled with German grocery stores, durndel shops, smorgasbords, and a flea market!

They have really great peanut butter Cheetos here.  German peanut butter Cheetos.  And chocolates.

Down this way was the restroom.  Not a murder hole.  At all.

Get your teeth done here!

* singing loudly * "Isn't it roooomaaaaantic..."

I'll admit.  I kind of want these shutters.

We snuck into the meeting hall.  I don't think we were meant to go inside the meeting hall.

Maggie's mom LOVED this place

Setting for the grand finale

Sunday brunch!  They were open for business.

So, fast forward a year and I'm back in LA to see Michael Nesmith play for the very last time with The Monkees (as one does) and my friends are like, "What do you want to do while you're here?"  And I'm like... "Let me tell you, my friends..."  And we are off to eat Hawaiian food at Kings Hawaiian, makers of the best Thanksgiving rolls to ever grace your table, and a restaurant with a bakery store and chiffon cakes of your midcentury modern dreams.

And then I'm like, "And we're going to Oktoberfest."

So there you have it!  As you re-read the book, which I'm sure all of you are doing, there's some images to help color the pictures in your imagination.  And if you're ever down in SoCal, go check out these spots.  Maybe one day I'll do a Maggie map.  Until then... tune in until next time...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Write-a-lution - Your Mindset

Over the years, I have spoken to a lot of people who have confessed in low, embarrassed tones, "I've always wanted to write a book... but... I just can't..."

Writing is HARD.  Listen, if writing was easy?  Everyone would do it.  But the big secret is that writing is just as hard for us folks cranking out the books as it is for you.  Let that sink in for just a moment.  If it is hard, it means you're normal.

You figuring out how to overcome these challenges will be the greatest gift you receive.  The tools you pick up to face the monumental task of writing a book will bleed into the rest of your life and the rest of your life will become more efficient, more effective, and more powerful.

This post is about how to silence all of the little voices in your head that are telling you that you can't do this.  This post  is about how to turn something you WANT to do into something you believe you CAN do.

The biggest roadblock I hear from frustrated writers is that they have no time.  I hear you.  But, to be fair, I wrote The Woodcutter and the first three Maggie books while I was juggling a full-time job and a full-time acting career and going to school to become an x-ray tech, while also taking care of my household.  

There is a great little book (and it's free on Kindle!) called How to Live on 24 Hours a Day.  It was written at the turn of the century.  The basic premise is that money comes and goes, but time?  Time is our most valuable commodity.  Prince or pauper, everyone only gets 24 hours a day and we each get to choose how to spend it.

So, how do you manage your time?  I, personally, am a BIG fan of lists.  I'll go into my own habits in a later blog post, but right now everyone I know is swearing by their Bullet Journal.  It is a way of organizing your life in bulleted lists and it is pretty cool.  There's a really nice video on that site and you can pick up a cheap journal at Michael's for a couple bucks and get started today.

I also found myself getting into the habit of getting up, getting a cup of coffee, slogging to my computer, and watching my life get sucked away by Facebook.  The rest of the day was doom and gloom as I mulled over all the horrible things happening in the world.  No matter how much I tried to change this habit, it always snuck back in.

So, I began a thing this week called The Miracle Morning and, I gotta say, it is pretty frickin' miraculous.  The premise is that if you start your morning off right, the rest of the day falls into place.  And what does starting your morning off right mean?  Ten minute chunks devoted to a little exercise (I use it to gently stretch), a little journaling, positive reading, some meditation (there's an app my sister introduced me to called Calm which is lovely), some affirming self-talk, and visualization.  You know, all the stuff that people say is good for us.  This idea is what sold me on starting:  

"Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become."  

But what has been THE most powerful tool for me?  It s a program called The Artist's Way (I recommend buying this particular book in paperback.  The Kindle version has some funky formatting issues that makes it hard to read.)  I TOTALLY thought it was stupid the first time I heard about it.  

And then I read an interview with the gal who played Pam in The Office.  She said that when she started doing The Artist's Way, that's when things changed for her.  Soooo... I picked up a copy.  I started doing it and things... just changed.  I can't explain why or how.  But by doing the exercises, I began trusting my instincts, began trusting my dreams, and I began honoring and protecting my artistic soul.  It's been close to a decade since I first picked it up, but I still go through the process several times a year.  The Artist's Way will unblock your blocks, it will address all of those things holding you back, and it will give you practical tools to walk boldly and bravely onto your road less traveled. 

Invest a little time in yourself.  Figure out your dreams and goals.  Take care of your brain and body.  Decide you're worth $9.99 for a paperback that will change your life.  It is in acknowledging the value and worth of your true self that you will find the strength to share your story.